Thursday, December 30, 2010

Xmas Xhale

Our Christmas tree has a heart.
Flippy is happy with her gift
of crinkly paper.
Christmas is over (yeah). I'm not a Christmas person. And every year I experience self-judgment and intense social angst around this flaw in my nature. The closer we get to the actual day the higher my tension levels rise. Shouldn't we all be Christmas people? What's wrong with me? Did I have a past trauma around Christmas?

In an effort to get into the Christmas spirit I vowed I'd get my Christmas cards snail-mailed by Dec 1st. On the 23rd those who remained on my list were getting the more familiar "I hope you had a great Christmas and that NEW YEARS IS FANTASTIC!"

Since December the first, in an effort to amp up the joy, I tuned the car radio to a 24/7 all Xmas music all the time station; blasting myself with Christmas songs on the radio. Are there only 25 Christmas songs in the whole world? The result: I drove around aimlessly in a deja vu induced Xmas stupor.

I truly enjoyed the Christmas light displays adorning neighbourhood homes. And though I'd set an intention to decorate ours a week before THE DAY, the 24th found Rod and I working together to drape our eves in multi-coloured lights to provide one of 2 displays on the darkened side of our street. Meanwhile, neighbours across the road flooded their side of the street with so much Christmas illumination that you could land a 747 on the road; tt's like looking into a solar flare, sunglasses are recommended during the wee small hours of the night. Christmas keeners all, they invited deer and elves to play on their lawns. Stars, wreaths and strings upon strings replaced Halloween's ghosts, spider webs and pumpkins the day after Halloween.

Rod and I (child-free) are extremely fortunate to have gracious friends and family who invite us to take part in their celebrations every year. They too have celebrated in our home. But logistics have changed, children now grown have formed bonds of their own. What would our Christmas be like? We wondered. And so, for the first time, we decided to find out.

As we declined invitations, "Was it something we've done?" "You're not going weird on us? Are you?" were some of the unexpected concerns that would not have come up had we told friends and family that we were going away for the holidays. We wanted peaceful time in our own home — a place that normally is shared by clients, and projects. How does one explain, "We just want to jump off the speeding freight train that Christmas has become and experience different ground?"

For the first time ever, we slept in on Christmas morning.  In the afternoon we visited Mom at the nursing home. The parking lot was full.  Other families visited their loved ones making for a delightfully upbeat experience. Mom loved listening to conversations, watching toddlers, kids and dogs bringing new life to the place. That night Rod and I cooked, shared a lovely candle lit dinner and cleaned up together as Christmas music played in the background. Rod had found a music station on the TV that played seasonal songs I'd never heard before.

And now we are in my most favourite time of the year...the time between Christmas and New Year! There should be a name for it something like CHRISTMAS IS OVER; EVERYBODY EXHALE!

And have a HAPPY NEW YEAR ALL!!!

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