Christmas … Christmas… Dang it all Christmas! Who loves Christmas? Well I do, but not for the gifts or the big huge family get togethers. I gave up those long long time ago when I got divorced and my ex wouldn’t let the kids spend time with me.
Our family used to gather when I was a small kid. We’d travel nearly 12 hours by car to get to Grandpa and Grandma’s cottage. We’d brave poor roads, bad weather, and grumpy Grandpa who didn’t like kids in his tiny place. Everyone would then meet up at one of the Aunt’s houses. One Aunt had indoor plumbing so we tried to go there. That is until the ‘family’ had its outs and it got to be way too much.
We then decided to have Christmas with just the 5 of us. I accepted that as just fine and figured that is what all families did. Our Christmas Eve was pleasant and quiet. The morning was filled with the gleeful opening of gifts. And man, for quite a few years, the gifts were so many!
We grew older, the gifts were no longer placed under the tree. Mom got rid of the live tree. She claimed it was nonsense to keep such a messy thing. We got a tiny table top tree. We ate a nice supper at the dining room table. The only time of the year we ever used it.
High School and College changed things up. We’d bring over friends and we’d sit around the kitchen table with mom and just hang out with the snacks she put out.
Marriage ended all of that. Christmas faded away into something much different. We had it with our spouses … mom and dad moved away. Family Christmas became a past memory.
In this last marriage I found the Christmas tradition renewed and at first it was so inviting and nice. Now? What a pain. Mother in law is 86. She wants the family together and she should have them together. Her daughter has some strange attitude that the 86 yr old just is being selfish. My stepdaughter nearly kills herself with stress and prepping to make her biological mom happy, her in laws happy, and her father happy…along with the 86 yr old who won’t let go of the WAY things MUST Be Done.
I could care less. My Christmas Thing? I stay up to Midnight on Christmas Eve and let my eyes drink in the little fantasy of the tree, the chairs, the toys, and the lights. I dress up and go outside just before midnight hits. I wander into my pastures and hug each mule giving them a carrot. I hold them close wondering if This Christmas they will ‘talk’ to me.
After the animals are treated with carrots and apples, Morris gets a cookie… I sit in the living room with just the Christmas lights on and ruminate over Christmas Pasts. Santa was real. My uncle proved that. The nights were enchanting, filled with wonder and expectation.
I keep telling my Stepdaughter that she should stop this Christmas nonsense of trying to be the HOSTESS with the mostest. Spend quiet time alone with the kids. One day those kids are going to be gone.
I can attest to that. Christmas Eve will find me sitting quietly and drinking in the ‘magic’ of the night. Yes I still believe in the good of people and the magic. Even if it is for only one night.
Christmas Day dawns and I will find myself content not to be a part of rushing around and hurrying to get to so and so’s house…
It will be time to do chores and poof…Christmas is Over.