Wednesday, November 9, 2011
It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas?
Every year, November rolls around and the same thing happens: the start of the Christmas season. And every year, for some reason, I am shocked to see how soon they start pushing Christmas on us. Who is ‘they' you ask? The stores. And who is ‘us’? The consumers. I guess it comes the same time every single year, but for some reason, I’m always surprise when it does. I always have to send out a mass text when I turn on 92.9 only to find that they have already started playing their 24 hour a day until Christmas music extravaganza (and yes, it has begun my friends). I know I complain about winter and the cold, but Christmas is NOT something you will hear me complaining about. I LOVE IT ALL. I love the music, I love the smells, I love the cheesy Christmas specials, I love how my sisters and I get together to bake, to shop, to wrap, to organize, to plan and to scheme. I love how seriously we take our gift-getting and how excited we get to surprise each other with the perfect gifts on Christmas morning. Some of us (K) even get so excited that we can’t wait until Christmas morning to give it.
My family goes, for lack of better expression, balls to the wall. We go all out and I love them for it. My mom has spent over 30 years hosting both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and even though I am sure she could use a break… she does it better than anyone. I think she could give any sitcom mom a run for their money when it comes to making Christmas special. My best memories from Childhood… heck my best memories ever, are of Christmas time. Though I could definitely tell you funny stories of burnt turkey and ‘someone had a little too much wine’ arguments, those little hiccups are what make Christmas, well, Christmas. As I mentioned when talking about my sister’s wedding, if everything went smoothly, then it wouldn’t be a Christmas with my family. We get through it alive, however, and are ready to do it all over again 364 days later. All of this wouldn’t be possible without my mom though. She makes the best turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes that I have ever had and can decorate the house to make it look like a winter wonderland out of a magazine. Most importantly, she makes sure that everyone is included. She welcomes boyfriends, friends, aunts & uncles and cousins; no one is left out in the cold. She puts her all into Christmas, and the only reward she gets is knowing that my sisters and I have unforgettable memories of all of the ‘perfect’ Christmas’ we have shared as a family. We, in turn, share our traditions and rituals with our friends and boyfriends (and now husband) and will one day share them with our own children. I hope that one day, my sons or daughters will get all chocked up talking about their childhood Christmas’ the way my sisters and I do looking back on ours. Our memories are priceless.
Now before I finish, I want to say that my dad becomes the superman to his wonder woman around the Holidays. He loves buying his girls Christmas presents and for years drove from Toys R Us to Toys R Us to find us whatever ‘it’ toy we had asked for. We were never disappointed; he made sure of that. As our parents, they always made sure we knew to appreciate all of this and be thankful for all we had. We learned that the gift of giving was much more powerful than that of receiving, and if anyone questions their teachings, you just have to come over on Christmas morning to see their lessons in action. Like it or not, the holiday season is upon us. The Christmas cups are out at Starbucks (a sure sign it’s here) and the malls are announcing the arrival of their Santas. I even had a few Christmas Party invitations on my desk when I arrived at work this morning. There’s no denying it; Christmas has arrived. So, who’s down for some shopping? Jingle Jammies anyone?
I would like to mention as a 'Post Script' that these pictures are from last year. Although we do love Christmas, we are not eager beavers. We put the decorations up a couple weeks before Christmas, and they do not linger past New Years. After 30 some years, my mother has become quite efficient in the entire process.. She's like a stealth Christmas Ninja :)