Now before you call Intervention, let me explain. This isn't going to be a drunken pirate party for the next 30 days. Although, I can't promise there won't be a nip here or there. What I am proposing is to turn Christmas on its head, to keep some traditions, to dismiss a few, and to start new ones as well.
For instance, this whole Elf on the Shelf thing is fired. I jumped on the bandwagon right away, in its infancy, when I was gifted with one of the first for my kids. I actually know the Elf Creator - we were in The Sound of Music together - and although I sincerely wish I could support her demon spawn - it is way too stressful. Just TRY to forget to move the Elf one morning, and see how your child's faith in humanity completely unravels. I've had it. Sleep is too important. So, this year, John Spyee is going all "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" and we're getting super creative with his antics, like marshmallow poops in the toilet and such. That'll cure that fairy tale.
But don't Bah Humbug me! One tradition that I am insisting on keeping is the fake Christmas tree. It has been in my family for over 30 years, and we need it because both my son and I are allergic. It is missing a section and is shedding plastic leaves. But it's ours and I am going to bling it up, despite the kids' protests.
Here is the before:
Just wait for the fabulous after!
The final item is what I am calling the Co-op Christmas. This is inspired by our most recent Thanksgiving. I can't remember a holiday I have enjoyed more - even my husband remarked on how he'd never seen me so not stressed. For starters, Child #1, who has been sick for so long, is in recovery. After some very invasive testing, we have a diagnosis, and good medicine, and even an amazing personal trainer. It has been a complete, blessed 180 - my child is back and it is joyful to see that quirky, crazy personality come shining through. So, I was automatically more thankful and happy.
But that wasn't all. I then rented the neighborhood clubhouse, invited both sides of the family (thereby ensuring only one meal - my husband and I used to have to eat THREE in our early days of marriage) and everyone pitched in. From table decorations to glassware to side dishes, everything was covered. I cooked two casseroles and some dip, my husband handled the turkey, and that was it. Heavenly.
|They only said I couldn't post this on Facebook|
This Christmas will be no different. I am again going to ask for help, for everyone to pitch in just as before, and make it a collaborative holiday. I don't mind bringing out the china and serving the big meal, but I know now that I don't have to cook it all, host it all, or even clean it all up afterwards. I don't have to do it all - and to be truthful, I don't WANT to anymore. If there is one thing I have learned in 40 years, it is that martyrdom doesn't equal sainthood. And that memories are made not in sacrifice, but in sharing.
With that proclamation, I wish you all a Happy Holiday season. I intend to make my home a veritable explosion of lights, decorations, and joy. This year, it's about love and not chores. It's about thankfulness, and not regret. And it's about time.
Until next time, keep crowin'!