I blogged a couple of days ago about not being in the holiday spirit. Since then, I have heard from so many people that they feel the same. That's given me reason to think and I'm always one to share what I think.
Remember a few years ago? The holidays were special. Stressful or peaceful, didn't matter. They were a special time. The rest of the year was kinda bland, and then there were the holidays. You could look forward to them. Everyone was anxious for the holidays and excited to see them draw near
Today, we are so bombarded with stimulation; every day hangs heavy with the possibility of doom. The news networks and the politicians have had us so excited and anxious for so long that holidays can't even compete in the anxiety/excitement arena. Holy Roly-Poly.
A few days ago, a friend and follower sent me an email. She lives in Israel. She asked me if I was going to wear my Chanukah apron this year. It took me back a bit. (Thank you Sarah.) A holiday tradition that is so specific to me and my family that it made me sit back and take some thought...and bless her for remembering it.
First, the holidays are not about the presents or the wrapping paper. It's not about the gift count or who can run up the most credit debt or who gets the most holiday greetings. I give my family gifts all the time. But, there are traditions that I can't box up that are the real meaning of the holidays for us. And, they're the things I have to not lose sight of. For us, it's about over abundant food and time spent together and time spent apart and shopping trips (not the buying, but the being together away from home), board games, and candy making and holiday dishes and yes, my blue Chanukah apron. It's about the Camelias that only bloom during Christmas week and Sydney's pink cactus that she doesn't realize is about to burst into bloom, as predictable as the turning of the calendar. It's cold, blustery, rainy days and wondering if the homeless can stay warm. It's about handing out; out the car window, across the street, into the red kettle; where ever my hand can reach. It's about singing the beloved carols and putting up the decorations that have become wrapped up in the tradition for our kid. It's about building people up and doing things that I don't usually do.
And, it's not about worrying whether the stock market will crash or Iran will bomb or whether any candidate for president will actually try to do what they say, good or bad. It's not my business to worry about Sandusky or the grandma in Florida that tried to kill her daughter's ex or whether gary busey cried on celebrity wife swap. I feel sorry for the professionals that have to think about things like that at this time of year (busey has gotta be a holiday bummer!) But, I don't have to think about it and I don't have to know more than I want to know and mostly, that's about it not being any of my business.
I'm not saying I'm going to stick my head in the sand and pretend there are not significant threats in the world. But, I am saying, I've got a kid and the most important thing that I want to have going on right now is sharing with her the good traditions that I remember from all the Christmas holidays of my life. And, hoping that one day, she'll share the good ones with her kids. And, so on. And, in a way, my Grandmother and my Mother and I will live on as long as turkey and dressing.
So, I pulled my apron out this morning and hung it on the hook in the kitchen. Step 1.
Oh what fun
It is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh.