Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The truth about Christmas

Our Christmas get-together turned out to be a good day. Just to prove it, here's an adorable picture of Dave (aka: chef) with a little red number his sister bought for him, LOL.

It had "Merry Christmas", written on the apron & "Christmas Cook" on the hat. He even liked the matching rubber gloves. His sister bought it as a joke, but then Dave has never been one to turn a challenge down. A lot of fun was had by all.

Having shared how wonderful the day was, I also feel I need to write about my changing feelings towards Christmas. Growing up, it was always a difficult time with separated parents. My dad would promise to see me on Christmas day, but then he wouldn't show up. Not even a phone call. Maybe three days later I'd get one, only to arrange a quick drop-off for presents. The older I got, the more I realised that Christmas was a day of fallen expectations. I tried to be brave for the day itself, then I'd get hit with all this sadness the day after Christmas.

I really thought I was over those sentiments this year. Certainly, I have come a long way. I wasn't filled with as much angst leading up to the day, or maybe I was deflecting that angst with all the cleaning I had to do beforehand, LOL. Nonetheless, I still experienced the after Christmas blues. But I don't think my experience is so unique now.

Even our daughter was more inclined to cry over something after Christmas. I'd asked what she was crying about, and she put on a happy face and said, "nothing". It eventually came out that she felt let down by the fact she didn't get a bedtime story for the second night in a row. We had a few late nights so we said their wasn't time for a story.

Anyway, it got me thinking about the whole lead up to Christmas. Is it an artificial state of happiness, we're all expected to take part in? If you're caught feeling sad, then you're the Anti-Christmas spirit! If you're caught not buying presents or eating copious amounts of food, then something is wrong with you?

We had a very subdued Christmas this year. I very much enjoyed it. But still - the after Christmas blues came. Even to my little girl who had a lovely time and was loved by all. It got me thinking that maybe Christmas isn't something we should save up for one day towards the end of the year. Maybe we should be focusing on making each day special and enjoying the people we meet, when we get the opportunity.

A present can be your smile and a genuine hello.

It's funny that we appear to borrow from the year, chances for happiness and community, only to be paid back on one day - and one day only. I realise now I think, it's not just about taking the commercialisation out of Christmas. It's also about bringing meaning to the rest of your life in between.

Anyway, I did manage to make a couple of gifts by hand, which I was very proud of. Each bundle consisted of 4 knitted cloths, a bar of soap and a Christmas themed tea-towel. Oh yes, and 12 hours worth of knitting time. Each cloth took me 3 hours to finish. But I'm glad I did it. I hope they work well.

I'm actually indulging myself now, and knitting my very own dishcloth, LOL. All those hours knitting and I haven't made one for myself.

To everyone, a safe and happy New Year.

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