Christmas is closer now than it has been all year, which means more and more people have reached their peak stress levels. Presents they haven’t bought, cookies they haven’t baked, lights they haven’t hung…there are plenty of things that could/should be done (and plenty more, thanks to the holiday-shaming of Pinterest), but when you think about it, is that why you enjoy Christmas?
(Maybe you don’t like Christmas, and that’s fine. Maybe you don’t celebrate, and the thought of humans dressed as evergreens singing about flying reindeer pisses you off more than the obligatory red coffee cups Starbucks insists on serving your non-winter-themed beverage in. And for that, I hope you find some join in the final days of December, other than this holiday. Oh, and Happy Holidays!)
When I was a kid, I did not worry about the following:
- Calories…Christmas was the time of year when the rules on food were lifted, and we were allowed to eat that extra cookie and have a few more pizza rolls (we have weird traditions). There are so many food-related traditions, like pizza rolls, that make me excited just thinking about them. And now that I can bake, it’s my turn to create new traditions and make people happy with what I can make. Now isn’t the time to tell me how to “keep off that holiday weight”, People Magazine…thanks, though.
- Presents for Others…When I was young (8 or 9), I took $6 to the dollar store, and bought Christmas presents for my family members. (Side note: that was my first lesson in sales tax…”dollar store,” my ass.) I believe the gifts included a giant piece of bubble gum, a fly swatter and a “glass” figurine, among other fantastic finds. Christmas morning, I was THRILLED to have my siblings and parents open their gifts, knowing that I had spent MY money to give them something. They loved their gifts. This is the feeling everyone wants when they get a gift for someone…no matter if it’s everything on their list, or that one special gift. It matters more who it’s from than what it is.
- Christmas Decorations…If our tree was up, and Christmas music was on, it was Christmas. I loved decorating the tree, and seeing my dad fight with the Christmas lights, but if those things hadn’t happened, Christmas would have still happened. Taking the time to put cookies out for Santa was encouraged, but there was no Elf on the Shelf watching my every move in the days leading up to the 25th. (Nor were the obligatory “funny” Elf scenarios necessary.)
Things I DID worry about?
- Singing “Angels We Have Heard on High” in our Christmas pageant without twirling my halo around my wrist.
- Would Santa come on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
- Getting to see the Hey Arnold! Christmas episode.
- My Christmas dress…and if I got to wear tights or pantyhose.
- Will it snow?
Every year I try to remember what Christmas was when I was younger, because that’s the nostalgia that is captured every year. The innocence of youth is often trampled by the greed, envy and sloth of adulthood. Don’t let the days leading up to the “most wonderful time of the year” bring you down…remember WHY you celebrate!
So, Merry Christmas! I genuinely hope you get to celebrate it with those you love. You might not get to spend it with everyone you love, but I can guarantee that whoever you spend that day with is grateful to have you.