Monday, December 21, 2015

Getting Christmassy

I cannot tolerate all of December being overtaken by Christmas.  I can't  control what goes on outside our house, but I really tamp it down inside. Even Advent is getting on my nerves this year and I like the concept of waiting and reflection in theory, but in practice, I just want a cozy winter without all the Christmas decorations! and sugar! and glitter! and shopping! and events!  I know some people think winter is boring without Christmas, but I find the revved-up pace of commercial Christmas hard to sustain or enjoy.

So, a few days ago, I got out our collection of Christmas music.  We made one batch of Christmas cookies and I let the kids paint them with a simple cookie paint glaze.  We got a Christmas tree (so much different from last year!  I got to choose the tree entirely - it is slim and elegant; Mr. Thrift had to jury-rig the tree stand since last year's behemoth crushed it, so the tree can only stand straight since it's wired to the wall).  I let the kids decorate the tree entirely - they broke two ornaments and fought most of the time.  I have already announced (yelled) that we are not getting a tree next year because it was so unpleasant.  Humph.

The big kids had already set up the manger scene by themselves, I had hung the stockings earlier and they are filled.  We ate homemade St. Lucia buns on December 13, and I have Grandma's Christmas bread tucked away in the freezer for Christmas morning. Well, I guess we are getting rather Christmassy around here!


Tammy said...

This year I've somehow managed to be much more relaxed about everything, including my expectations. The one silly thing we did was take our 6-year old to Handel's Messiah. What we were thinking, I'm not really sure. Especially since our little ball of energy can barely sit through church. Haha. We could have looked into it beforehand (Google would have helped, no doubt) to realize that the full performance (which we were attending) is somewhere in the 2.5 hour range. Oh well. We left during intermission. But otherwise, this year has felt different in a good way from other years, I'm not really sure why.

Still need to make my peppernuts! I wanted to make them earlier in the month but haven't had a lot of baking time.

sillygirl said...

I am with you on not being a fan of Christmas - mostly I don't like the sudden depression when everything is "over".

Being older we don't need anything - we are in the process of getting rid of things. We are giving each other a special meal out for Christmas Day instead. We like experiences to enrich our lives now.

I don't $ee the need to buy a tree that dries up and gets thrown away (we don't have children) and my decorating is minimal.

I have enjoyed making St. Lucia buns in the past but this year I made panettone instead - my one holiday treat (we also don't need extra calories or we will be even more depressed come January)plus we can enjoy treats when we visit other homes.

We do celebrate the solstice with a dinner at a small table set up in our living room window and I put candles on the table and we play Christmas records.

Celebrations now suit where we are in life. My motto is do what you really like and don't feel the necessity to do any more.

Rozy Lass said...

There were many years that we didn't have a Christmas tree for one of two reasons: we had a toddler and I didn't want to have to say no constantly and be mean; or I was tired of the children fighting about who got to put what ornament where. Fighting equaled no tree the next year. I still wanted decorations up so I strung up some beautiful garland at the top of the living room wall and hung my prettiest ornaments from the garland. No one could touch it and the house looked Christmasy. I sure understand your feelings about Christmas lasting too long. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday: no pageants or festivals, no decorations, no parties, no gifts, no costumes. Just good food, family and gratitude, what more do we need? I tried to instill in our children a simpler attitude about Christmas, but as they've reached adulthood they still want to go all out! I'm not sure where they get it, but at least they don't fight anymore and they are very helpful and giving. Press forward Mom, children grow up and then you're surrounded by your best friends!

Tracy said...

You sound very much like me. I don't know if you listen to podcasts, but I have found it very helpful to listen to the last three (Home for the Holidays series) with my husband.

MDiskin said...

We've had 3 rounds of sickness this month that totally knocked us flat. (Advent? What Advent?) And of course they weren't the *same* sicknesses... that would be too easy. I finally got up in a burst of energy and got us all out yesterday to buy one gift for my husband... and came home and had to lie the sofa for the rest of the day. So all my plans for anything and everything are greatly simplified perforce.

But I wrapped gifts last week during round 2, and put ornaments on the tree yesterday, hung some lights on the bookshelves and put up the wreaths this afternoon during round 2, and just may make some cookies and spiced nuts tomorrow. I refuse to have round 4. I just refuse!

(I am so happy to take care of everyone else when they're sick... but when I'm sick all I want is my mom to bring me soup and oranges and tuck me in. Which just can't happen. Waah!)

Oh well-- at least there are some pretty things around, and I think this is the perfect year to do the LMLD way of 12 days of Christmas, not least because I hope to get some fun out in front of the delay of the past few weeks. :)

Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

I laughed out loud at your description of the kids decorating the tree. That exact same scene played out in our house with the details being scarily similar.

jenny_o said...

This must be pretty common. Our kids did the same, unfortunately. I miss them now that they aren't at home, but I don't miss the arguing! If I remember correctly, when our kids were about the ages yours are now, it was about the worst in terms of bickering. Another year or two and things will start to change. Hopefully.

BLD in MT said...

All the rush to start Christmas at Thanksgiving makes me ill. For me part of what makes it special is that is a fleeting time. A fleeting time to sing carols and decorate cookies and play games and play in the snow and go to church and open simple presents with those I love. Trying to make it bigger or better or flashier or longer does nothing to imporve things by me.

We had a cookie decorating party for the student workers at my library. I'd never seen this paintable frosting glaze stuff before. It was very fun.


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