Making Christmas

Most everyone I know has their Christmas decorations festively strewn about their homes. Trees are up and properly adorned and the real keeners have wrapped gifts underneath.

Me? Well, I have discussed this before, my disinclination to housewifery. Decor, holiday or otherwise, definitely falls under the heading “drudgery” and I really have to work myself up to it.

This year, I am nowhere close to the loin girding necessary to clean up the spaces needed for holiday phoofery.

The problem, as I see it, is that most people look at the packed boxes of lights, ornaments and other sparkly things and they can see it on the tree, walls, shelves and every other nook and cranny. Happily they dig in. Carefully they create the festive setting. And it’s weeks later when the holidays have passed that they look around and realize that it all must be taken down and packed away again for another year.

I look at packed boxes and think “Christ, I am just going to have to repack this in a few weeks”.

I’ve been threatening my family for a couple of weeks now with “we’re going to gather around a string of lights, take presents out of plastic sacks and eat pizza” for Christmas. The teen is pretty horrified by the prospect but not so much that she is offering up her services as a decorator and so far, my husband’s protestations have been weak and unconvincing.

Christmases past, I have hinted at simply running away for the holidays but even that requires effort that I am not certain the holidays warrant anymore.

It’s not that I don’t love holidays.

The music is jolly and there is eggnog.

The teen is off from school so there are no lunches to pack or chauffeuring to do.

We sleep in. Binge on Netflix or wile away the hours with new books and gaming.

It’s not all bleak with obligation and work but what there is of that has become … un-fun.

The past few years have witnessed a steady decline in decorations and baking. Minimalist has become my middle name and not just during the holidays.

Today, I need to start excavating the living room. Reclaim the spaces devastated by never-ending reno projects and recent episodes of influenza. My preference is leaning toward stuffing garbage bags and just taking things to the dump but that’s probably overreacting. Right?

Making Christmas is not something I’ve spent much of my life doing. Until I moved to Canada, I packed up myself, and later myself and child, and drove to my parent’s. They made Christmas. My mom still does. But now it’s on me and I seriously can’t wait until circumstances allow me to offload this on one of my own kids, who aren’t exactly stepping up and volunteering at this point. And I don’t blame them.

One thought on “Making Christmas

  1. This didn’t really hit me until i was a divorced empty-nester. The first few years on my own, it genuinely felt good to dig out the tree, and some decorations and say “i’m doing this because i WANT to!” i was mindful of how much time i spent decorating, with an eye toward – “how many hours will it take to un-do this in January?”, so i’d keep it to the tree plus about an hour of other stuffs.

    The past three years? Tree is in a box in the garage, and i haven’t done much more than hang a wreath on the door. My children are grown and dispersed, and don’t come here for Christmas these days…

    This year? Nothing. i truly enjoy baking – so i did that. Now that i’m retired, i did that EARLY, and managed to get nine different types of biscotti baked before the first of December. This was driven by my interest in sending some to my kid who lives overseas. Knocked it out in less than a week, and quit before i resented it…

    We’re headed out west to hang with Studley’s kids this year in a rented condo in Montana. Maybe someone there put up a tree? Whatever. i’m mostly about the time spent playing board games, cooking communal meals, watching movies…

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