December 25, 2008 — Merry Christmas!
I am taking a break from Christmas this year.
I’ve said for years that I’d appreciate the holiday more if it could happen every other year — or maybe even less frequently than that. I know that would be FOREVER for a child. But for adults, especially as we get older and older and a year goes by faster and faster, I think it makes sense. Every other year would be soon enough.
I used to wonder about people who left their Seasonal decorations up all year, but that was back when a year lasted reasonably through four long seasons. It had been coming on gradually over the years, but I think I was 45, the first time I noticed time really shift. I was putting up my Xmas decorations and kept having this feeling that I had JUST done this. It was not deja vu — it was time warp. And then last year, I forgot to put up the decorations. I didn’t miss Christmas — it was one of my best Christmas’ ever, since I spent lots of pre-Xmas day time with my family, plus it was the first Christmas after my sister’s accident and we were just all feeling very good about her being alive and home. Now that I think about the season felt unusually long. But, I forgot to put up my decorations. Floppy Santa never made it out of the box, the stockings never got tacked up. The holiday placements and towels never saw the light of day. Please understand that this wasn’t something I was going to do but ran out of time. I totally forgot. And did not figure it out a couple days AFTER Christmas. Like, oops! I forgot to put up the decorations.
Up until Sunday, I thought I was going to send home presents to all the nieces and nephews. But nothing seemed like the right gift. I wanted to do something that reflected the southwest. Gifts for the girls was not the problem — I could have bought each presents at least three times over. It’s the boys that stumped me. And I have more boys than girls to buy for. So I procrastinated. My best idea would probably have gone over like a lead brick– or rock. I was thinking of getting them each an interesting rock — Quartzsite is a gem and rock mecca and there are some real beauties here. Again, the girls would probably love this gift. But would the boys, especially the teenage ones? But then I thought about the cost of sending rocks through the mail. And, the reaction of the kids as they opened their presents. While I was stuck on this idea, time jumped forward and the next thing I realized it was Sunday and if gifts were to arrive by Christmas, I’d had to buy them that day. But still, I wasn’t going out looking for rocks. What was wrong with me?
And then I got it. For me, giving a gift is watching the person open it and getting the feedback that it is a good gift. I like to know that that I guessed right. And, if I’m honest with myself, it is a chance to explain the gift if the initial feedback is more wonderment than appreciation. So maybe, just maybe the gift will be remembered a month or two later. Or even the next Christmas. Especially, if, say, I skip that Christmas.
So, somewhere Sunday afternoon, I decided that I absolutely would not do Christmas this year.
No Holiday parties, either.
No decorations (though I miss the lights).
I feel down right liberated.
I will call home and hopefully talk to everyone.
I will cook a nice dinner for Carl and I.
And I will stop feeling guilty that I didn’t get the kids a single thing this year.
It would be a lot easier if everyone skipped Christmas, wouldn’t it?
BTW – The photos on this page were taken while walking around the Holiday Palms RV Park where we are currently living. Fun, huh?