A month and change of planning and *poof* it’s done.
Christmas 2013 is over!
I really liked watching the photos and posts that came through social media yesterday. When Christmas is celebrated with older children, present opening takes a new meaning. This year Christmas was low-key in our house. This year I took a stand and said no.
No to debt. I love watching my children’s faces as they opened gifts in the past, but I also know how I feel the next week when I’m scrambling for gas money, dinner, or whatever comes up. Like Election Day, Christmas is just one day. If I spend all of my money on gifts what about the next week, heck the next day? It was tough having a minimalist Christmas. In the back of my mind I could hear self-talk berating me for denying my family. However, over the past month, my family has gone to see four stage plays, visited the Ronald McDonald House in Delaware, played video games on consoles that costs way too much, had two big dinners out, new clothes, and some other things that we normally wouldn’t have had if I followed past behavior and shopped out of control.
No to eating up my day off. I washed my hair, watched Season 2 of Breaking Bad, and got some rest. December was crazy busy between work, Mom duties, and wife duties and I just wanted a day off from it all. I also used up my time early in the year when my mom got her kidney. Thinking it unprofessional to call off sick when I’m not (Mental Health Days aside) I’m working straight through to 2014. I have planned better for next year, but December 2013 saw me with nothing but the holidays off. My Breaking Bad binge watching has me convinced that a carcinoma is circulating through my body. However, the tightening in my throat is more aligned with a cold waiting to spring up. I did visit both sides of the family, but both visits were brief. I left The Mister downstairs watching the Knicks get demolished as I took to bed at a decent (to me) time.
No to drama. Interpret as you wish.
No to material foolishness. The kid a few doors down said his mom told him “To hell with Christmas. You get Christmas every day.” I feel you, sis. This is not the point where I go into the Christ in Christmas. I will say that had I planned better, I would have opened my home to my ESL students who are in this country alone as well as other people who don’t have a place and spent the afternoon with family and friends. The material foolishness of fighting over TVs, kicking ass over the hottest toy, or whatever foolishness led the evening news was not how I want to remember the holiday seasons. I like the music (after Thanksgiving that is), looking at decorations, and mothers snapping on their kids (that’s also a favorite for back to school time). I hate the crowds, the mothers snapping on ME, and the lack of items in the grocery store.
My sister and I chatted today about making Christmas different next year. This year we wanted to visit Center City and view the Light Show as well as the Christmas Train Village at Reading Terminal Market. We never made it. With planning and intention we can make it next year.
Some ideas to make the next year different:
- A Wrap Party. This is where we get together and wrap gifts together while either a holiday movie or holiday tune plays in the background.
- A Card Party. Here we would sit down and write cards together. Same theme as above.
- Brunch. I attended a brunch with my fellow Toastmasters Officers and it was really fun. I can whip up some banana bread, cut up fruit, and brew some coffee.
- Secret Santa. This was The Teen’s idea. She suggested the older folks pick a name and then spend the month of December doing things that cumulate in a meaningful gift on Christmas Day.
- Making gifts. My sister got a canister of all the dry ingredients for cookies. That would be a nice afternoon spent laughing and making new memories.
- Leaving the area. This remains my plan for 2014. Breaking Bad has me wanting to visit Albuquerque. However, I am not opposed to a Disney Christmas either.
How was your Christmas? What traditions are you keeping? What are you chucking?