Today in many areas of the world, it’s Christmas, which is one of my favorite holidays. Growing up, Christmas was complicated in much the same way that Thanksgiving was. We were poor and for a good chunk of my childhood, Christmas presents were sparse. Our fake-plastic tree was gaudy, but ours.
In many ways, Christmas was a disappointment to child-me because it didn’t resemble the Christmases of the movies. There was no beautifully decorated, real evergreen with its bounty of presents, nor was there snow on the ground in Florida or a huge family dinner. Child-me missed the point of the holidays, but that’s not unusual for a child. I found the holidays lonely and thus, overrated.
Adult-me is a completely different person when it comes to the holidays. Much like Thanksgiving, I’ve vowed to create memories during the holidays with my family. The day after Thanksgiving, my husband and I, with the unneeded help of our cats, put up our tree. It’s fake (real ones can be harmful to cats if they chew on the needles or bark), but it’s us. The lights are made from D20’s (dice) and other geeky objects, as are the ornaments. Everything from Star Wars and Star Trek, to Harry Potter and Destiny decorates our tree. We have a few non-geeky ornaments, including once from our first Christmas together, twenty-two years ago, and each ornament is a memory.
I’ve grown to love the holidays for what we make them, though I know they can be difficult for many folks. One of my friends lost her cousin last week, an event that will forever color the holidays for her. I know my husband often thinks of his deceased mother during this time, but these too are memories that form and shape our lives. Speaking of my husband—he goes on vacation on my birthday, December 21st, and thus, I will join him on a much needed vacation at home for the holidays.
I hope that like me, you find ways to make memories this holiday season and find time to relax as well. After all, ’tis the season of naps, good food, and kitty snuggles!
Whatever you celebrate, happy holidays to you and yours!