Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Christmas Conundrum

This year I'm wondering how to get into the Christmas spirit and how to share it with my family. For most of my life, Christmas has been my favorite time of year. Scratch that, Christmas has been my favorite for ALL of my life. But my dad died during the Christmas season nine years ago and, understandably, Christmastime became a reminder of that depressing holiday season. Then life happened and we added children and years to our marriage. We added debt and stress and school to our lives and Christmas became just another "thing" to do, never mind the blatant reminders of the loss of my dad that I felt every year.

This year is different. While I still miss my dad so much that it hurts, I'm ready to move on and get back into the game of living. (It only took nine years, how's that for progress?) I guess my problem is that it's been so long since I felt that Christmas-y feeling that I don't know how to get it anymore.

When I think back to when I was a kid and try to define what exactly this mystical feeling of "Christmas" is, these are the things that I think of:

  1. Mom's homemade candy, especially the stuff without nuts.
  2. Listening to Christmas carols.
  3. Snow outside the window.
  4. A fire in the fireplace.
  5. Dragging out the worn out cardboard box that contained all of our Christmas treasures.
  6. Picking out the perfect tree and decorating it.
  7. Crawling under the tree to find the presents with my name on them and then trying to guess what each tightly wrapped package might contain.
  8. Seeing if I could "accidentally" find some of my unwrapped presents.
  9. Attending church the Sunday before Christmas and singing Christmas hymns.
  10. Going for a drive with the whole family on Christmas to look at the light displays in town.

I want my kids and my Scroogy husband to enjoy this time of year as much as I used to. It wouldn't be so bad if I got a little enjoyment out of the deal, too. : )

This year I vow to:

  1. Make Christmas candy (without nuts) even if I'm dead tired. I will then share this candy with friends and family but keep a secret stash in my bedroom for myself.
  2. Keep a cheery attitude at all times, even when there is laundry to do, diapers to change, dishes to wash and discipline to be meted out.
  3. Play and sing Christmas carols with my family, despite any protesting I may hear from the peanut gallery (read: Morgan).
  4. Put up a real Christmas tree because despite the hassle and the mess, it really isn't the same without that great piney smell.
  5. Decorate my house, including the outside, even though no one but my family and the ducks will likely ever see the decorations.
  6. Pray for snow.
  7. Remind my children of the reason that we celebrate Christmas, reinforcing the value of gratitude.

I hope that all of you have found a way to find joy in this season. Take the time to go the extra mile. Give what you can, share what you can, love all you can.

Merry Christmas!

1 comment:

Greg and Gwen said...

I for one LOVED the caramels you made so I'm REALLY glad you added that one to your list!