Monday, December 6, 2010

Trying not to OD on Christmas Cheer

Christmas is in full swing and I FINALLY gathered the energy to get my decorations out.  
Yep, this is about it for me.  I have the stockings my mother made, a quilted throw a student made, some elf shaped candles, a cat in a rude pose and a thousand Christmas catalogs.  
 You have to see these stockings close up!  They are so detailed and took my mom forever to make them.  
 This is the first time I've been able to enjoy them upstairs since she made them!  They are definitely my most treasured Christmas item.  
 I really like this wreath because it doesn't really say "Christmas" but more "winter".  (also it has metal stars all over it!)  You see, I'm not really into Christmas.  In fact, usually I detest Christmas so much that I begrudgingly pull out the decorations for the sake of my students only.  What I don't like is the rampant commercialism, the incessant tired old Christmas carols that I have to play a million times at gigs, and the pressure to buy, buy, buy.  I also feel that many of the emotions are contrived and insincere.  But maybe that is just my emotions, I'm coming to wonder!  I usually grumble through the season and hope it will pass quickly, but this year I have decided to try and look at things differently.  I don't WANT to be a scrooge, and I think there are some good things I can find in this season.  I have Netflix so I can easily avoid the commercials.  I no longer work in a department store, so the emotional trauma of the one hour cd of Christmas carols they played back to back ad nauseam is slowly numbing with each passing year.   This year, I'm trying to focus on family and traditions.  
 Unfortunately I don't actually get to see any of my family this Christmas, but I put up a few things that remind me of them.  My grandmother on my mom's side was Swedish, which only makes me 1/4 Swedish, but I still like honoring her and remembering Christmas at her house.  Here I have a Swedish straw Yule Goat and a Dala horse.  The Yule goat is missing some of his beard I think but I've had him for a while.  The reindeer was purchased at Target and isn't Swedish or family oriented in the least but I think it makes a nice trio with the others!  I have some other decorations, but I left them in the box this year partially out of laziness but mostly because a little Christmas goes a long way for me and I don't want to OD.  I am trying to be optimistic here and I'm taking baby steps! 
When we purchased the house it already had these rope lights up, so all we have to do is plug them in.  That's just the right amount of effort for us.  There is a dead spot in the middle of the rope, but we really don't care enough to do anything about it. 


  1. I started typing a mini-novel here and decided to start over and keep it brief. I agree with everything you said about Christmas. For the last decade, I haven't really been much of a fan either because people have lost sight of what it is truly about. My family actually stopped exchanging gifts a few years back because we don't really need anything and anything we want/need we can just go get. We feel that gifts are really for children (from Santa). This Christmas, however, I am really excited because we have this darling little girl! It will be so much fun to see the expression of joy radiating from her this year and in the years to come.

  2. Jen, I agree that children will change my perspective and I look forward to that!

  3. The past two years I've been fairly disenchanted with Christmas. We don't even put a tree up anymore and just keep the wrapped gifts in the guest room. The most I do is display the Christmas cards (well, and send out our own) and make edible gifts. I do get a lot of enjoyment out of that since it seems like everybody just buys each other the same old things every year, the same sweaters, the same books, the same DVDs. It's like Groundhog Day but it's Christmas Day.

  4. Yes your homemade gifts are far superior! The spirit of Christmas is alive in your jams!