December 9, 2017

My Christmas Carol

I don’t see myself as an “Ebenezer Scrooge” type, but there are moments during the Christmas holiday when I can’t help but utter a “bah humbug.” I’m sure I’m not alone in this sentiment. Let’s face it, Christmas can be stressful under the best of circumstances, and I’m making a conscious effort not to get entangled in all the holiday chaos. Despite the elaborate Christmas displays and the incessant holiday music in stores—almost like it’s being thrust upon us—I’m gradually finding excitement for the upcoming festivities. We’ve been inundated with an early holiday season, and panic seems to be setting in! Nevertheless, I’m embracing it, adopting a “WTF” attitude and enjoying the season for what it is. Just remember to breathe—if you don’t find the perfect gift, it’s okay, as long as it’s not mine;)

In my previous post, I delved into my Christmas “past,” reflecting on childhood memories and the importance of maintaining traditions with my own family moving forward. While my Christmas “present” may look a bit different due to my separation from my husband and the likelihood that my older children will have plans of their own, Christmas is an ever-evolving experience.

I love to “deck the halls,” so to speak. However, despite my family’s protests about buying an artificial tree, I’ve reluctantly caved and opted for a real Christmas tree. My older son, currently away at university, insisted, “I won’t come home from school if you have a fake tree,” while my younger son threatened to dispose of the artificial one! So, disregarding bylaws, I’m planning a covert operation—a stealthy late-night arrival of a fresh Christmas tree, to be adorned in a traditional fashion. At least, that’s the current plan…

My sons and I (the youngest never making it to the end) typically stay up late on Christmas Eve to watch “A Christmas Carol” with Alastair Sim—the best version, in my opinion. Last year, we switched it up for “Love Actually,” and I hope we continue the tradition this year, regardless of the movie choice. Christmas Eve has always been about hanging out together and guessing the presents under the tree because that’s what kids do, right? We never truly grow up…

Christmas morning will undoubtedly begin with me waking up first. Gone are those 5 am mornings with little feet running through the house to open stockings. I know what you’re thinking. Yes, they were adorable when they were little, and to be honest, they’re still adorable even grown-up. Coffee takes precedence, but with a generous swig of Bailey’s, of course! Opening presents is not a ceremonious event, nor are we that family that lingers over breakfast before gift opening; please, who does that?! It’s literally a race to the tree, a little organized chaos with gift wrap flying in every direction, but we’re careful to note who the gift was from. At the end of it, my mom will try to salvage any bits of carnage to reuse for the following year. Some things you can’t change.

I have no intention of altering the Christmas dinner menu. I’ve been serving up the same turkey dinner for as long as I can remember. Everyone seems to love it (or so they tell me). Keep it simple. If it ain’t broke, why fix it, right?! As for who’s sitting around the table this year, it’s still a work in progress… I enjoy having a large crowd. However, this year might feature a more intimate guest list. I’ve learned from my mother: always cook more than you need. That said, we’ll have plenty of food for any last-minute guests.

My Christmas “yet to come” or Christmas future conjures many thoughts. What will that look like? Will it involve my sons with partners and children? Will my mom live to see her 100th Christmas? I hope so. How will the world look then? Will it be possible to turn on the news one day and hear that people are making a difference, and the world is a better place? So, this Christmas, I wish to slow down and not stress about the holidays. Instead, enjoy the beautiful things in your Christmas “present,” try to make a difference or bring about a conscious change in some little way, so that we all have many more Christmases “yet to come.”



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