And by love Christmas, I mean LOVE Christmas.
I base my entire calendar year around this particular holiday, and last through the remaining 6 days by floating on the ecstasy that 'was' Christmas.
On January 1st, I start to get excited about Christmas again.
I have some pretty big goals for the traditions I would like to start for my family, some plans that are still in their growth stage, but most importantly of all: I will make Christmas happy for my family.
I have been thinking about this recently, thinking about why I love Christmas so much, why I NEED it to be a happy and love filled time of year, and this is what I have come up with.
When I was a child, my parents had very little in the way of material possessions. We were dirt poor. And yet, my parents would scrimp and save every year to make sure that we could celebrate Christmas as a family. We would have a big Christmas Eve dinner with the extended family every year (I got to stuff the turkey :D) that would start around 3pm on the 24th. We would all gather together, talk, laugh, eat, by the real Christmas tree that we had picked out and cut down as a family. These beautiful trees that smelled like Christmas, that had survived the trip home - tied pathetically to the roof of the car - only to be screwed to a base, tied to the ceiling, and painstakingly decorated.
Dad would climb into the attic and pull down the rubbermaid of Christmas decorations. He would string the lights around the tree, after he plugged it in and pulled out every bulb to see if the
Brother and I would take turns taking these ornaments and hanging them on the tree, trying to distrubute them evenly. After all the glass and tinkers were placed on the tree, Mom would break open the tin of silver candy canes, split them evenly between Brother and I, and then let us go nuts placing them.
The first three or four would be placed gently on the tree, then after that it was a mad toss-fest during which we would throw the canes one at a time onto the tree in hopes that they would hang themselves.
Dad would put the blanket under the tree, and when everything was done, Mom would climb on top of a chair while Dad held her up, and she would put the Angel - that she had handmade many years prior - on top of the tree.
Every. Damn. Year.
And then it stopped.
And it hurt.
I didn't (and to this day, still don't) understand why she started hating Christmas. But I do know what happened. The box would be brought down, and then abandoned. Brother and I would try and decorate the tree as quickly as possible, just so it was done. Mistletoe was no longer hung. Dinner was no longer made.
Christmas became a time for stepping lightly around each other.
Brother and I tried to make it happy for each other, but every year there would be some selfish drama from other parts of the family, and then tears, and then it was awkward and over.
After some reflection I have determined that Christmas is so important to me now, because I want to give my kids the happiness that I once had...
and then I NEVER WANT TO TAKE IT AWAY FROM THEM.
Despite the depressing nature of this post, I am still PUMPED OFF MY FACE about Christmas. I will be sending Christmas cards out again this year, with pictures of my kids in them...again lol!
Because everyone wants pictures of my children.