Ok! I know my tone is sarcastic. I’m not really cheering on the holidays! And I know I sound like Scrooge, or the Grinch! And I’m sorry if I take some of the fun out of the festivities for others, maybe even you. But, really? Do we HAVE to do all this elaborate celebrating EVERY year?
(PLEASE don’t allow any child to read this. I make a BIG effort not to spew my sarcasm on children. I would never want to rob a child of the magic that comes with these winter holidays, especially Christmas. And I promise to fake enthusiasm whenever they’re around!)
But let me defend myself for a moment.
I’m 74 years old. My family celebrates Christmas, every year! We used to celebrate Thanksgiving, wait a week until December actually began, then begin to get ready for Christmas. Ready just meant bringing out the Christmas music, cleaning the house to make a space for a tree, buying a couple of boxes of cards and making a list.
When I look back over the years I can clearly see the progression of expectations, almost like a snowball gaining weight and size as it rolls down a steep hill. It’s so different from when we got excited over the orange in the toe of our stockings!
Whats bothering me is that I’ve allowed all the hype to increase my own level of expectation and anxiety over not being able to fulfill all those expectations. I get tired now after less than an hour of shopping. I find myself saying “I used to…” a lot and feeling a bit overwhelmed and disappointed. I rest after each housecleaning task and baking a batch of cookies is a notable accomplishment. I even find I wake in the wee hours thinking about how and when I’m going to do all the things on my many lists. This isn’t normal is it? After all, I’m just the Granny in this family. I already had my turn, for many years, at hosting the whole family and providing all the traditional goodies and making sure everyone got their list fulfilled. I’m NOT Santa Claus! I need to remind myself that I am not responsible for everyone’s good or perfect Christmas.
I’m confessing this to you because I want to declare to this hyped up commercialized world I live in that I am not participating in the frenzy this holiday season. I’m saying this out loud to you and to myself.
This year I am going to breathe deeply and evenly. I’m going to sleep through those wee hours. I’m going to only host and buy what I know I can do simply and with pleasure. I’m going to look deeply into the eyes of my grandchildren and laugh with them and play games with them.
I’m going to say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays to everyone I pass. I’m going to give a listening ear to anyone who wants to talk to me, and hugs for everyone.
I’m going to refuse to think about what I used to do or what I think I should do or what other people might be doing or expect me to do.
I’m going to do Christmas the way it fits me now… and I hope you can too!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!