Over the years, I’ve developed a blasé attitude toward Christmas. Middle Child has been decorating my house for me for the last few years, else I’d only have my Charlie Brown tree and a few scraggly ornaments hanging.
Christmas presents? Hah. A friend was stressing over buying the perfect gift for everyone on her list and nearly tore my head off when I suggested doing what I normally do – gift cards.
This year I deviated a little from my usual gift card giving tradition. Middle Child told me exactly what she wanted and even went so far as to order it herself. I did wrap it for her and she gets a kick out of wondering what her presents are.
Baby Kid has been “borrowing” bath products from my house for the last month (how do you “borrow” body wash? It’s not like I want the used product back . . .). A quick trip to Target took care of her.
Firstborn was easy, too. She likes smell-good stuff and lotion. Son-in-law got his usual shirts from me and grandchildren got what their parents requested for them (Target to the rescue, once again). Within the space of a few hours I was done.
However, no matter how fast I run, I can’t escape a touch of the Christmas madness. I leave Georgia on Wednesday after a five day visit with Firstborn; it’s a 10-hour ride home. I’m cooking on Thursday for the next day (a Cracker Barrel holiday dinner was unanimously shot down), going to my mother’s for Christmas Eve, serving Christmas dinner on Friday, and juggling several Christmas Day invitations.
All the while, I keep thinking of the mad touch of irony in worshiping the birth of a God alongside the celebration of a red-faced, red-suited old guy breaking into your house to give instead of steal. The more I think about it, the more I love it.
The older I get, the less seriously I take things, including holidays. The celebration of Christmas can’t be pigeon-holed – it has varying degrees of meaning for different people. If someone embraces commercialism instead of spiritualism, I say, go for it. If the birth of Jesus means more to some then others, I’ll roll with that, too.
To me, Christmas is a time to see and appreciate my real family, and a holiday where I’m destined to gain another ten pounds. It’s the time to look at your blessings, particularly your loved ones. It’s a time to set goals and promise yourself you’ll keep them – resolutions are harder to break when you make them on a sacred day 😉
Get silly, don’t take anything too seriously, bask in together time with those you care about. Try to avoid the holiday stress; embrace your inner elf.
Share about your holiday madness and how you cope with it.
And, above all, have a wonderful Christmas holiday with your loved ones and a prosperous New Year!
J J Dare, author of Joe Daniel’s “False Positive” and “False World,” and numerous short stories