Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Christmas is coming...and I feel like Scrooge

I started my Christmas shopping officially yesterday, on November 1st. Do not mistake this for enthusiasm about the season. On the contrary, this year I am dreading Christmas like never before. I have many reasons for feeling this way, but please let me clarify. I am a Christian. I love God, and I am happy to celebrate the birthday of Jesus. But that's not really what happens at Christmas, at least in my experience. This year, I have many, many things I am dreading about the season, not the least of which is the stomach flu, which we have experienced now two years in a row from Christmas morning until New Year's. I guess in recent years, my bad memories of Christmas are starting to outnumber the good ones, so this year, I don't even want to hear a single Christmas song. It doesn't bring the warm fuzzy feeling it used to. In fact, when I hear songs I was listening to last year, my memories are of nausea and extreme discouragement.

This year I am not looking forward to the season. Not the music, not the food, not even the family gatherings, which, though I love the people, are fraught with chaos and stress, and not much chance to really visit anyway. So, I decided that in the very least, I will be doing my shopping early this year to diminish the stress as much as possible. In truth, if I did not have kids, I would opt out of gift-giving and receiving entirely this year and just buy a bunch of goats or cattle for third world starving families through an organization such as World Vision, or another one. In the past I have gotten swept away in all the excitement and the gifts and everything else, and I think that's okay. But this year, I am not there. It all seems frivolous to me. Not the birth of Christ, which technically didn't happen in December anyway, but all our traditions which seem to overshadow Him anyway.

These are just my thoughts as we move into November, and we are expecting snow late this week. I know this all sounds very negative, and maybe it is. But I am ready for some deeper meaning at Christmas, and perhaps I am too late for this year, but next year I want a different plan. Something meaningful and something that will truly honour the real meaning of Christmas, which is not just "family", contrary to popular belief. I hope this year will turn out better than what I am expecting, but whatever happens, I'll get through it. I'm off to read to my sweet Micah.


Jo said...

I remember Christmas with little ones being such a mixture of joy and pain. Juggling tired children, hopped up on sugar junk while trying to visit and look and feel "normal". Ha ha. Our Christmases now are much more relaxed and sometimes seem to go by without us hardly noticing. I think I find this worse. It's like when the holiday goes by and you realize you haven't had a gingerbread cookie, etc. My concern is that there will be no gifts this year. My Dad may be recovering from hip replacement and we will just hang out. So I am making gifts for the girls and we will celebrate Jesus as we have for many years ~ without commercialism ~ We cut out sugar in December as much as possible and no longer get those sicky bugs after Christmas either. Good luck with that one! Pump up the veggies! Is there a way to celebrate your own little family Christmas with a little less other things? So hard to be pulled in all directions ~ want to visit and want manageable children as well!

CAT said...

Jo, I love the idea of no commercialism. I think this is the first year I have felt really, really strongly about this. I love the sound of your quiet Christmas. I love seeing the whole family too, it's just with the kids this young it's overwhelming, and inevitably they all end up sick because they are overtired and because it seems those bugs are always circulating at Christmas. The boys really have a blast though, and they don't seem to remember all the barfing from the last two years. It does make me happy that they will have good memories. I just wish things could be done a little differently. We'll have to see what we can manage this year.

Christy said...

There's nothing wrong with trying to dial down the commercialism. K & I have been talking about this this year also. We do a quiet supper and day at our place on Christmas day and we love it! We had to push really, really hard to get that day for just us but it's totally worth it. Most of our best memories are the little things like making the gingerbread house from scratch and decorating it...playing games and decorating the tree (talking about special ornaments and why we chose them too).

It's a lot easier once they get older...the stage you're in can be so tiring...and it's okay to express that. I second upping veggies and maybe try freezing some of the goodies to bring out later (We started doing this to cut down on the over sugar buzz too).