Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Is a State of Mind

Like many working Americans, FryDaddy and I have a myriad of celebrations and responsibilities keeping us on the road over the next ten days or so. When we sat down with our respective calendars and realized that (the simple fact that we both had respective calendars to coordinate should've told us everything we needed to know), we decided that we needed to be bold and resolute regarding the holidays.

Now, let me make this clear. I love the holidays. I really do. But I also totally understand why so many people cite the holidays as the most stressful (rather than "most wonderful") time of the year. Personally, I blame us as a society. Generally speaking, most of us don't have a problem throughout most of the year admitting that we're barely holding it together. But sometime around Thanksgiving, we begin to feel inadequate and guilty if we don't have a gorgeously-appointed house that is sparkling clean, tastefully decorated, and scented with the smells of Colorado pine, gingerbread and simmering wassail. It's as if we're collectively possessed by the the love child of Norman Rockwell and Martha Stewart - a bad combination at any time, I think you'll agree.

FryDaddy and I didn't want to opt out of the holidays, but we wanted to be sure that we had time to enjoy them at our own pace. So we came up with a solution that may be unconventional, but I think borders on sheer genius.

We moved them.

Why not? If the Queen of England can decide her birthday would be better in June rather than April when she was actually born, I think anything can be a moveable feast. So we ran around like mad hatters through yesterday tending to the bits and pieces of the season (Cards! Parties! Wrapping! To the post office! To the mall! To the grocery store!), then quietly began our Christmas celebration today. We slept late, delightedly ransacked stockings, and littered the dining room with the remains of wrapping paper. Later, I acted as sous chef to FryDaddy's chef de cuisine and the result is a stuffed duck roasting in the oven even as I type. I think it'll be delicious and hey! if all else fails, I have the number for the local pizza delivery guys.

I have to say, I recommend having Christmas when it suits you and yours. We'll still be here on the big day - and probably more rested and relaxed than we would be otherwise.

In my part of the world, Christmas is the mack daddy of holidays and it's easy to get caught up in the hype. It's not about the hype, you understand, but sometimes it seems that way. Why not take a lesson from some of the antecedents of this holiday (Hanukkah, Saturnalia, Solstice, etc.) and just stop for a moment to look around. After all, while it is true that the dark is coming, it is also true that the light always returns.

So don't be afraid to take time from the flurry and bustle of the holiday madness to look for the miracles. They really are there, but often worthwhile things must be sought in order to be found.

No comments: