I love Christmas.
I really should say, I love everything about Christmas, except the people who gripe and chew about how stressful Christmas is. Several times over the past few weeks, I’ve heard or been part of conversations where people are frustrated at how much they have to do, how commercial Christmas is, how people have lost the “real meaning” of Christmas.
And I want to grab them by the shoulders and yell YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT YOURSELF – YOU ARE THE PROBLEM! You see, Christmas isn’t like Thanksgiving, where it floats around the “second week of the full moon yada yada yada”. Its always the 25th of December. It is always the second last week of the year! It never pops ups on the 10th or moves back to the 28th. So what’s the problem?
Is it the gift giving? I enjoy gift shopping, NOT because I love throngs of people, but because I truly love thinking of my family and loved ones. THAT’s what gift shopping is: thinking of your husband, mother, father, kids, nieces, nephew (you get the picture) and think about what THEY want, what THEY will enjoy opening on Christmas morning and how your present will make THEM feel. I bought my first gift this year in September for a certain nephew AND I AM SO STOKE ABOUT IT I CANNOT EVEN BEGIN TO TELL YOU!! It makes me smile every time I think about it. I’ve been told I do well in the gift-giving department, and I think that is due to the fact that I really enjoy putting that excitement into each gift. The funny thing is, when I’m thinking of someone else, there’s no pressure!
Is it the decorating? Because you know, HALLOWEEN is second only to Christmas for retail sales and I don’t hear anyone moaning and groaning about how much work it is to put up their five inflatables, install their graveyard and hang a oversized spider off of the hand-crafted rope web off the third story of their house. Just saying’…
What about the baking? Well I love making food, so that’s not a huge issue for me, but there have been years when I’ve worked through the holidays and had to host a meal as well. As you know, I live in the sticks, but I still found a place that would cater Christmas dinner and it was AWESOME! Why turn yourself into a zombie for one meal when you can spend roughly the same amount of cash and let the praise fall all over you for being a resourceful AND brilliant hostess for having such an amazing meal.
Is it the Christmas cards? Very few people send cards anymore. Over the past 20 years I’ve watched my list get shorter and shorter as I reduce the number of people I send them to. After the season I go through the cards and check off those who send them to us. If you miss three years, you are a GONER my friend. I understand some people think its dated, but I can tell you, for some, it’s the only way we hear from them and it would be very sad to lose that contact.
Is it the running around seeing family? I know some people who have to split the day (and Boxing Day) several different ways. This is more about your family than about your frustration with the holiday. I’m going to guess that the people who demand you see them on the 25th are the same people who are picky and demanding the rest of the year too! Don’t blame Christmas.
The way I look at it is this, I know people who weren’t supposed to be around for this Christmas. I know people who are going through some really tough times. I know some people who aren’t here for Christmas, and their families really wish they were. Christmas is how we mark the passage of time. We need to have that celebration of life, faith and hope to sustain us. We need to be able to look forward to the New Year, whether its because the one we are in completely tanked, or because we have so much to look forward to.
I refuse to make Christmas the whipping boy of my day to day frustrations. Yes, it is more work – but doing a Christmas task with someone can be twice the fun. Yes, you can spend (a lot) more money – but you don’t have to. Some of the best gifts I’ve been given were not overly expensive.
What it comes down to is this, you get out of it what you put into it. You cannot spend weeks complaining about a religious holiday about peace and love and then wonder why you have no Christmas Cheer.
And if this post doesn’t help you out of your doldrums, I highly recommend popping in Christmas Vacation. Sounds like you need a laugh.
You are welcome.