Our holiday celebrations have been proceeding apace. I think these pre-Christmas holidays--borrowed from cultures and countries around the world and adapted to fit our family, free of dogma and expectations and materialism,with traditions created, remembered, and enhanced year-to-year--are my favorite part of the season.
I felt good going into the weekend, my Christmas shopping and preparations pretty much done (other than wrapping, which is another tradition: a late night "It's a Wonderful Life" viewing and wrapping party on the 23rd). But now the Christmas anxiety is setting in. Did I buy enough? Too much? C and I have large extended families and several groups of unrelated people to buy for, and it's always a struggle for me to know what is the right way to give--do you put the same amount of money and thought into every single gift for everyone, or match simple with simple and extravagant with extravagant? Sometimes it can feel like an arms race. And then C does his shopping very last-minute, which leads to other complications--too much stuff for the kids, always, and weird, impulse purchases. He lacks my garbage filter. Or he's just more fun than I am. Maybe both.
We are hosting three Chrismases at our house over the next week--Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Christmas, Observed, on Sunday--but I only have to cook for one of them (Our guests will bring dinner Christmas Eve, C will make brunch Christmas morning and I'll put out finger foods in the afternoon for whoever feels like taking a break from their new toys to eat something--one of my holiday traditions is to not cook on Christmas Day). Our third Christmas will take place Sunday evening. I think I'm most looking forward to the two days in between--time free of work and obligations. I hope to finish knitting the hat that is clearly not going to get done by Christmas, lie on the couch and read a book, build a puzzle with the kids, sit by the fire and sip eggnog.
Happy holidays, however you celebrate, and happy winter! Can you feel the days getting longer already?