Monday, November 23, 2009

Christmas is Love

I had lunch with a great friend, Sara, today, and we got to talking about Christmas. Isn’t interesting that we both have these romantic notions and ideas of how Christmastime will be (and I have a feeling we aren’t the only two with these delusions!) Maybe it’s the movies that do it to us. Or just our hope that the special time of year really will be romantic and wonderful. During the holiday’s it’s always nighttime and snowing as you look out your picture window with your lovely lighted tree with perfectly wrapped presents below. The tree is perfect, of course, as was the day you went to cut it down-snow was lightly falling, the air was crisp, and of course the tree is shaped perfectly. Decorating was fun and went smoothly with the whole family helping out as you listened to carols and had cider cooking on the stove in the kitchen and Dad lifts little child to put the angel on top. Every night the fire is crackling and there is a sweet Christmas movie playing. A plate of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies and egg nog are set prettily in the center of the table. All the family will bundle up and go sing Christmas carols after the movie. The house is clean. There is music in the background. The smell of apple cinnamon wafts through the rooms. A perfectly round snowman waves to passersby in the front yard. Tomorrow night there will be a fancy holiday office party that you can dress up for and enjoy with your loved one while you sip a glass of wassail and mingle pleasantly with co-workers and friends. This weekend you’ll bake and take homemade presents to your neighbors and get to know them a bit more. Your shopping trip for present will take just a few hours and you have the perfect presents picked out for each person on your list. Maybe when you’re done shopping you’ll just sit at Starbucks while the snow falls, sipping your peppermint mocha, reading a nice novel with Frank Sinatra crooning Winter Wonderland in the background. Christmas Eve is full of baking cookies for Santa and gathering by the fireplace in pajamas to read Twas the Night Before Christmas-then all the kids scurry off to bed, excited for the morning-and the adults cuddle cozily by the fire. When Christmas morning comes around you’ll wake up to fresh snow, have a leisurely breakfast (that somehow you didn’t have to make yourself-and somehow will clean itself all up), gather by the tree and take turns opening gifts and oohing and aahhing over each gift (which everyone loves and will not return, and yes, the paper will all throw itself away), he will give you a romantic, thoughtful gift, and he will love the perfect thing you picked out for him, then you’ll watch a Christmas movie, play in the snow (without tracking in mud or puddles when the playing is done), drink hot cocoa and enjoy the rest of the day and evening.

Dream on.

Here’s how it might really go, and why it is still a beautiful time:

It will be hard to figure out where to even spend Christmas because she wants to go there, he wants stay here, they want to come here and everyone wants to do what everyone else wants them to do but clearly that is impossible. And so, your company will arrive. OR you will arrive as the company You will have to sleep in an uncomfortable bed. You will bring presents, they will bring presents. The cats will break some ornaments, the needles will be falling off the tree, the paper will be torn on some of them. Maybe you’ll be embarrassed to have company over because there are so many gifts! (weren’t we supposed to spend less this year?) With these generous gifts from visitors will come more dishes, more laundry, more footprints AND more love, more laughter, more memories! Some people will want to watch a movie, some will want to take a walk in the snow, some will want to play video games, some will want to play other games, some will NOT EVER want to play games ;) and so you will try to do it all with everyone. The office party turns out to be a potluck with crazy co-workers and strange food. Christmas shopping was hectic, you couldn't find the perfect gift because everyone else found it first! Freshly baked cookies will turn into crumbs on the table, there might be cat hair on the couch, the TV will be on too loud, the lights on the tree might short out, the hot cocoa might get cold, the game of choice might not get chosen, the kids might cry when it's time for bed, your neighbors might forget your name when you take them burned cookdies, you might even get bored, annoyed, frustrated. You might… BUT, the food will be delicious, the kitties will be loved, people will be doing things together, there will be laughter and visiting and memories will be made. Couples might disagree. Kids might not play well together all the time. Things might not go as planned. It will be day time for most of the day! It might not even snow. The cookies might burn. But you know what all of this really means? You are surrounded by family and/or friends. You are loved and you have loved ones, and getting to spend time with any of them (even if it’s just the two of you) will mean more treasured memories made. Love. Isn’t that what Christmas is about? That’s my dream, anyway :)

Pictures from last holiday season:

playing with cousin's while visiting grandma and grandpa

family pictures

cousin's helping with dinner

putting on a puppet show!

I can't wait for the memories that will be made this year!


Sara Joy said...

LOVE IT!!! One thing too that I thought of was wrapping the presents. Somehow I just picture them wrapped, but the process of actually doing it eludes me. Ahh...

You captured our fantasy and reality perfectly! It'll be a great year for the holidays!

bass family said...

I love this. I want so desperately to make things "perfect" for my family at the holidays... when am I going to learn that they love "imperfect" just as much... as long as we're together.

Kim said...

Hahaha...this made me laugh. I think a lot of our fantasies of the holidays comes from marketing.