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Almost There

December 15, 2007

“We aren’t real big on traditions” That’s what I answered on number 16 of my previous post. But a few of you have gotten me thinking that perhaps I have more traditions than I believe I do. I look forward to certain things that happen every Christmas season. But are these truly traditions?I guess we can get into a discussion about just exactly what constitutes a tradition. In my mind traditions are very rigid things, filled with memories and coated with thick layers of expectations.  We will gather around the tree as a family and decorated it and it WILL be fun. We will go Christmas carolling and the neighbours will smile and invite us in for coco and oh what a pleasure it will be!  We will gather on Christmas Eve and read “Twas the night before Christmas” from the book that great grandpa used to read from, and everyone will feel warm and fuzzy.  

But that’s the problem. The expectations of how it’s going to be. As though life is a made for TV movie and everything happens just so, and it’s always a happy ending. Not gonna happen! Someone will be late, another won’t care, perhaps a few will drink too much, something burns in the oven, one of the strings of lights doesn’t work, can’t find the book where did you last see it and Oh My God will you STOP eating all the snacks until the guests are here!!! And everyone is so caught up in how it should be, they forget to just be. And so there they are, all frustrated and mad at each other and bickering at each other and not really enjoying anything at all.

Now that may sound familiar to you. The expectations part. It’s what Kelly doesn’t like about the holidays. I guess without the same thought and analysis, I decided many years ago to let go of my expectations too. And that has been helpful. It’s not like we had to let go of a lot of traditions, we never really had them. We just aren’t that kind of family. But I did stop expecting things to be a certain way. I just flow with it. And at that, I am getting ever better, particularly with some of the tools I am learning these last few months.

But yes, there are certain things I DO look forward to. I love Christmas lights. My dad and I used to decorate the outside of the house like crazy. He isn’t able to do as much any more, so we keep it to the trees and shrubs, and with my mom and sisters help we cram them full of lights. My mother does a great job of decorating the entire inside of the house. There are two trees, garland, big red bows, ornaments, wall hangings. I used to put up a miniature Christmas village as well.  I have dozens of little houses and trees and cars and tiny people. Also a miniature ice rink that you can turn on and the people skate around. Street lights that work and a little train the works too, circling the village. I would love to put that up every year, even though it took hours to do. But then we got Bailey, and she would have none of it.  I also love my mom’s tourtières, I love giving gifts, I enjoy shopping at this time of year, and I love the generally happy and generous mood that everyone is in.

I suppose the only thing we do that could be considered a tradition (according to me) is that every Christmas day, my sister and her husband and my niece and nephew come over for Christmas dinner. That has been happening for years, and is something that I very much look forward too. But I never expect it to be anything more than it is. Dinner with loved ones. Not having expectations allows me to just enjoy whatever happens. And I do.

So how are the Christmas preparations going? Great! I took Friday off work and completed all my shopping in one day! Today Kelly and I went back to the mall so she could pick up a few things. She needed me to leave her for a while, so I wandered around and soaked up the Christmas vibe. I have to say that I LOVED it. I bumped into no less the 4 people that I know, had short conversations with total strangers while standing in lines and listened to the Salvation Army brass band play Christmas favourites. Tonight I’ll finish wrapping a few gifts and I am done. Right on cue, we are getting a snow storm tonight, so it looks like the odds of a white Christmas are pretty good. A rarity for us in recent memory. Yeah, it’s all coming together just fine. And I am feeling very much in the holiday mood.

Even Bailey is getting into it.


One Comment leave one →
  1. December 16, 2007 9:19 pm

    Ah…oh…in all sincerity I am gathering ideas here…not for Xmas gear as I don’t DO Christmas, but my little family is coming over next Saturday, and although my girlfriend is going to instruct me the day before how to cook a brisket in my crock pot, something I’ve never done before, and even though in the PAST I have fretted over how the house looks, etc. etc. I am determined to just go with the flow. It’s not the king and queen coming, (even though they may think of themselves that way at times, ;-), it’s just the daugher, her husband and my two delightful grandkids, and my brother. Easy? Should be. I am determined as I said above to relax and enjoy what ever happens.

    Thanks for sharing yours. I would love to see that little village in action. Sounds delightful. Just my cup of tea.

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