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Not Really Bah-humbug, But We Don’t Do Christmas

on 8 December, 2014

So, I’m not working. Its not like I couldn’t be working, if I wanted to. And it isn’t that I don’t have anything to do, I do. I just choose to spend some of much needed time on me.

And one of those things I do is blog. I actually have two active blogs (and a couple of not-so-active ones). I also read other people’s blogs. And right now many of them are discussing the merits of the upcoming holidays and the benefits (or not) of all things that come with Christmas. And ‘Elf on a Shelf’. Thank heavens that I have better things to do than figuring out how to make this quirky little doll “do” all kinds of mischievous stuff.

And it got me to thinking. About how we do – or rather – don’t do Christmas in our house.

We used to do “Christmas”. Much like my parents used to celebrate. And when my son was little, it was fun. Fun for him and fun for me to watch him enjoy it all. But he has gotten older (as have I) and doing Christmas has become more of a chore than fun. And expensive.

A few years ago, well, to be honest more like a decade ago, I was racking my brain trying to come up with ideas for gifts for The Kid and just couldn’t. I mean, he has always gotten pretty much anything he has ever wanted, within reason. I grew up with virtually nothing save for the ‘roof over my head and food on the table’, but little else. So I was determined that my kid wouldn’t grow up experiencing that. Now, I don’t “spoil” him because I am not talking about buying him everything, but rather, buying him what would be good for him. Until he was 12, his toys couldn’t be battery-powered, they had to be powered by imagination. His imagination. And then, it was things that would be making him a better person in this world that we live in. So, computers and equipment, games and chemistry sets. Tools – real tools for wood working or metal working (did I tell you about the recent metal forge he built?) and books. Lots and lots of books.

So, when one year’s list of chores to take down and put away Christmas, I made a comment in passing that I wished we didn’t do the whole Christmas debacle. I had agreement. We didn’t go cold turkey, so to speak, but the following year we did a living tree (small and in a pot) and we drew the line on not putting up lights on the house. The next year was a little less and by about the third or fourth year, there was no Christmas of any kind in the house. And no one worse for the wear.

When I big into the Christmas thing, I think I was trying to recreate something that I thought I had had in my childhood. But to be honest, what my childhood Christmases were like were anything but happy and cheerful. Or spiritual. I grew up pretty poor. Like I said, I always had a place to live and food to eat, but outside of that, not so much. When you grow up in a big family, everything is stretched to the breaking point and rarely is there anything left over for “fun stuff”, you do a lot of wishing and believing that you were like everyone else around you. I think I tended to do that with Christmas, that we were this big, happy family singing carols around the tree. But to be honest, I think that those holidays were sparked with anger, fights, selfishness, rudeness, envy, disappointment and downright hatred.

And that was not what I wanted to “recreate” for my son. So, we did away with Christmas in our house. And we embraced its departure. And now with those days, we tend to spend that time together in more productive ways, even if that is just to strengthen our bonds with each other.

But this time of year, blogs are rife with the how-to’s of Christmas. And occasionally, I may find myself wanting to partake of the merriment behind it all. I will sometimes give in, but then give it away or sell it. But mostly, I love that materials to do my projects are cheap and plentiful. Its amazing how much of the basics of Christmas are great for year long decorating. For instance, I am planning on creating a new way-over-the-top girly chandelier and there are tons of cheap tree decorations that are just screaming to be taken apart for a new use. And everywhere are those ‘percent off’ coupons, bringing the prices right down to downright cheap!

So, yeah, here is my “non-Christmas” Christmas blog. Go do your own thing and have fun. I know I will be.



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