Tag Archives: holidays

Christmas Already?

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I am not yet in the holiday spirit. I will get there hopefully, but as of right now – nope. There are several reasons.

1. The overzealous folks that go a little crazy when anyone says Happy Holidays rather than Merry Christmas. Here’s just a really brief history lesson if you happen to be one of those folks – and I get where you’re coming from, I understand, but really….please take a second and read this: This is erroneously regarded as taking the religion out of Christmas or “secularizing” the holiday. However, the word holiday is a compound of two words; Holy and Day – thus people are literally wishing that you have a Happy Holy Day or a “happy religious festival” of WHATEVER KIND YOU CELEBRATE!!! So stop being such jerks about it, sometimes when we say things like that, we’re really trying to be nice and include everyone, not offend. Geez.

2. I don’t have the kind of money I want to buy the gifts I want to give, therefore I am not in the spirit of giving because I’m concerned about my budget. Now, with that said I have been tooling away crocheting things since the beginning of last month but….it’s still not what I would give if I was able to purchase exactly what I wanted to….well, you know what I mean. Anyway, it’s a different kind of Christmas this year basically. Not bad, just different. I love giving gifts, it’s my favorite part of the holidays. I don’t care about getting a single thing. I would be happy as a peach if I didn’t open a one – but I sure do love giving them. I just want them to be special and perfect and I worry that they won’t be – and I stress a bit.

3. I’m not looking forward to another holiday of just me, the hubs, and the pups. That sounds like I don’t enjoy spending quiet time with my fella, and that’s not what it is at all, I do like that time very much, but when you think holidays you think family and noise and lots of food a wee bit of chaos. The kids visit with their dad and his family, my mama is pretty far away and the hubs’ family is even farther away. We kinda live in another world it feels like. We don’t really, but we are really out-of-the-way, and not in anyone’s line of travel. So…holidays are quiet. Even the 4th of July. Although, don’t get me started on that one….I’m not patriotic at all, I actually…well, that’s for another post. I’m Irish ya know.  Anyway, we do have a few new special traditions. We have a dinner spot on Christmas Eve now that’s really nice and is a special treat for us, kind of our gift because we don’t really give gifts to each other. But otherwise, it will be ten days or so of quietness. I guess I should be looking forward to it really, but it IS the holidays after all….

4. So December 1st rolled around and I realized it was in fact time to put up the tree, Christmas spirit or not. The window is small for when that baby’s gonna be up around here anyway so better get it up on time. I spent the afternoon getting it out, yes artificial is the way we go. We went real tree one year about 3 years back. We have 2 dogs and 2 cats. It didn’t end well. I’ll just leave it at that.

Anyway, I had it ready to go and when kids 2 and 3 got home (1 lives with his fiancée three states away), up it went and decorating was off to the races. It didn’t take all that long, the tree isn’t very big. We got it finished, lights on the patio – all before dinner. I’m still not feeling like Kris Kringle, but I must admit that I enjoy the lights. Even when you don’t feel very Christmasy they are pretty and are a nice little break from the norm. So, off to bed…

I swear, not 10 minutes after we crawl under the covers until I hear a crash and I know….no doubt what it was. I sit up like a rod’s been shoved up my yahoo, hubs jumps up, throws open the door…alas no kerchief nor cap…but I knew….those damn cats. Mhmm – the tree was now lying on its side, flattened, balls scattered across the floor. And then I remembered another reason why I was yet to be in the spirit of the season. I had forgotten that I needed to deadbolt the tree to the walls as if we had tiny dwarven metalworking lumberjacks that would chop it down nightly if we didn’t do this. I had forgotten. Silly me. Damn cats.

5. Really I think what it is more than anything is that I miss the sense of tradition that change brings. Don’t get me wrong, some change is good. New jobs, births, marriages, loads of other things that my brain can’t come up with right now  – but sometimes changes just kinda hurt. The kids are growing up and that’s fantastic – they’re pretty cool people (most of the time), we’re getting older, and that’s good too because the alternative isn’t so good, but it’s kinda not good too. It’s all good and bad wrapped up in one big package. I feel like I smile for one thing and then in the next breath cry for something else. The kids open their gifts 3 days before Christmas, cookies for Santa get eaten out of the oven by Santa and Mrs. Claus, Rudolph gets screwed….no glitter oats for him at all anymore.

I suppose I’m just feeling a bit nostalgic. And I suppose that’s okay, it is Christmastime after all. So, hug your family tight, hang on to those traditions. Those babies grow up so fast and before you know it they’re going to be off making traditions of their own. Enjoy every single moment that you have with them, even those 4am wake ups on Christmas morning, because one day, not all that long from now, Christmas morning just may be a little too quiet for your liking – trust me. Maybe I’m getting in the Christmas spirit after all.

Happy Holidays everyone.

An Empty Basket

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Easter was different this year.

This was the first Easter in 17 years that I didn’t color Easter eggs, make baskets for my kids and set them out the night before, have an egg hunt……. I had an empty nest….er, basket this year. The kids are visiting their dad and that’s a good thing – but it sure did make me think about what it will be like when they’re grown and all doing their own things.

My oldest is a high school Senior and will be graduating in 2 months. He’s promptly hitting the road, ready to be on his own doing his own thing…..worrying his mother. The other two have a few years still, but I can see it coming now. I’ve been doing a fine job of pretending that my babies are going to live with me forever and that they will always be doing things like egg hunts with me. I’m just not ready to move on to the next phase quite yet.

More or less this is just a gentle reminder to all of you parents out there – and certainly to myself……cherish those little moments, every single one of them. Cherish the Valentine boxes you make for school, the leprechaun footprints you leave out for St. Patrick’s Day, the egg coloring and baskets and bunnies and egg hunts, the red white and blue banners you make for 4th of July parades, the back to school shopping, the Halloween costumes, those fantastic glitter Popsicle stick ornaments for the Christmas tree……cherish every one. I can’t believe how quickly time goes by, much too quickly for my liking. Just don’t take those moments for granted. Our world is so fast paced and frantic anymore, we all rush around from one thing to the next. It’s not that we don’t want to notice the little things, it just seems like we don’t have time. And so often, the things that seem like minor annoyances now, the holiday things that take extra time and extra money……well those things are the things I missed this year. No baskets, no bunnies, no egg hunts…..

Enjoy all of those little moments with your kids folks, time passes quickly and those moments are precious. Trust me.

Decoration Deadline

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I am not a Scrooge. I love Christmas time – I super love Christmas lights. One of my favorite things to do in the final weeks of the year is to drive around and see what clever decorations people have erected. You can kinda get a feel for the personality of the family living inside just by looking at their Christmas decorations. Some are reserved, some elegant, some a bit flashy…you can also tell if the family has young children (evidenced by Snoopy and/or Mickey Mouse in the yard). Granted, these assumptions aren’t always correct but often they are spot on.

Here’s the trouble though……Christmas decorations have a deadline. Seriously. Every town should have a mandatory time when Christmas decorations must be taken down. We’re now almost two full weeks into the new year and it drives me just a wee bit crazy to see full-on displays still up. And being turned on. I can understand if you haven’t had time to take all the lights down and get them stored away in the garage……but do they need to be turned on every night? I just don’t understand the desire to have them up until spring. My tree usually comes down Christmas day – I realize this may be a bit extreme, but when Christmas is over, for me it’s over. Time to clean up the mess and move into the new year unencumbered by blinking lights and stray tinsel.

Let’s keep Christmas lights and decorations confined to Christmas time – it makes them more special – and it keeps your electric bill down.