Talking to someone recently about Christmas preparations I realized as I talked about what I wasn't doing or wasn't looking forward to, I felt somewhat like I was raining humbug on their Christmas parade.
Speaking of parades, we don't go to the Santa Claus parade. It's Winterpeg, it's cold! I don't like being cold. I see more impressive floats on the t.v. airing stuff from the States, in my nice cozy home anyway.
I have no decorations because I have cats, and I prefer them alive. Not even lights outside, because again, that means going out in the cold, and neither of us like heights. Don't get me wrong, tastefully done Christmas decorations are beautiful and I like looking at them, just not worth the work for in my own home. I'll look at them at the mall or driving in the nice areas of town.
Speaking of the mall, I will be there at an absolute minimum after Nov.11th,I have exactly 5 gifts to buy, for the kidlings, because they are kidlings and they enjoy receiving much more than adults. And they don't feel obligated to give me something back because 'that's what you do at Christmas.' Christmas used to be such an exercise of trying to figure out what each person would want or need, and it isn't that I don't truly want to give them something to show I care, but I feel I can better show I care by spending quality time with them, rather than a gift that likely just clutter up their home. And feeling like receiving gifts was doing the same to others. My immediate family was the first to catch on to that 7 years ago, and now Sean's family has as of last year as well. So only gifts of our company and great memories for everyone but the kids.
I am very particular about my Christmas music. Maybe it's the kind of music we all grew up with that turns into memories rather than personal taste, but I cannot stand 50% of secular Christmas songs. There are a handful I really love like Carol of the Bells, The Holly & The Ivy, Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree, Silver Bells, Snoopy's Christmas (Snoopy vs The Red Baron). Other than that, strictly CHRIST-mas songs are my personal choice. Even with songs I love I get tired of them pretty quickly, I don't like listening earlier than Dec. 1st because then I'm just sick of them by the day I would actually like to enjoy them. Never mind the annoying 'Christmas' songs about hippos and Dominic the donkey, a couple of days is enough to drive me over.the.edge.
Even the food. You would think, at least Lori likes the food part of Christmas. Well, yes and no. I enjoy the food that Christmas is known for, to be sure, but it is a bit like an alcoholic celebrating Christmas at a vineyard. It's a temptation fighting season, holiday drinks at Starbucks, candy canes and chocolate passed around the office, cookies to bake, and then of course the Christmas dinners, we average about 4-5 of them. It's hard to say no thanks when these goodies are often equal to gifts but I am finding my ways to not let myself overdose, although it is a bit of an internal battle.
The one thing I can whole-heartedly get on board with is all the Christmas gatherings, I love our office Christmas party, our family gatherings, the Church events, the extra social outings with friends because, as I mentioned, that's what I try to gift my friends. To me, all the rest could (mostly) fade away, but as long as I have all those dear to me in my close company over the holidays, I feel like I am experiencing the true reason for joy behind the season. God sent His Son to break down separations between us all, to make us all one in Christ.