Friday, December 17, 2010

Bah Humbug

As usual, I am nothing but honest in my blog entries. So, this one will be no different as I cover the subject of Christmas. I must tell you, I’m not a fan of the season. And that begs the question: why?  How can you not like Christmas? What a scrooge!

Let me clarify. What Christmas is really about -- the birth of Christ, the manger, the wise men, Mary, Joseph -- I love that. The true meaning of Christmas I can’t get enough of it. However, each year I find myself wanting to escape the craziness. The overwhelming amount of ads on TV, radio, newsprint, and my mailbox sends me into near panic and I feel like I can’t breathe. I mean, when you start seeing Christmas d├ęcor for sale in October? Seriously? 

In our eight years of marriage I have literally searched for either a trip away with just the boys or if we did stay around I seek to change the traditional Christmas happenings to something non-traditional. A couple of years in a row we took a ski trip with the boys. It was great, just the four of us. Then we actually went skiing on Christmas and the days following and I realized it was way too crowded for my taste.

If we have hosted our family at Christmas, then I try to come up with something different. One year we did a gift exchange for the adults and the only requirement was that the gift had to incorporate the color orange.  I heard about it on that one!  It was fun and challenging to say the least. The next year we did a gift exchange and it was “As seen on TV” gifts. Again, many laughs and actually some pretty darn useful gifts.

So am I warped? Why do I always want to escape the month of December? Was a traumatized as a child from Christmas past? The answer is no. This made me reflect on what some of my most fond Christmas memories were. For one, waking up around 2 AM and sneaking into the living room because I could not sleep until Christmas morning. And yes, Santa had been there! So exciting to go wake up my parents because I was sure they would be equally excited. It was so magical to walk around that corner and see gifts under the tree and cookies eaten and milk gone.

As I got older, we would always go to my grandparents on Christmas Eve and have either lunch or dinner and exchange gifts. My favorite part of this was my younger cousin Megan closing all of the drapes to make it dark so Santa could hurry up and come. That is what they used to tell us that we couldn’t open gifts until it got dark. I bet she is still pulling the drapes. 

And probably my favorite memory was us going to my church on Christmas Eve for communion. We didn’t always make it to this, but when we did it was so special. Everything was peeled away and this is what was important this time of year. No gifts involved, no stress, no drama -- just taking a moment away from the holiday rush to honor the birth of Christ.  

So, this year we are escaping to Mexico the week before Christmas and I have all of these reasons why we don’t need to get out all of the decorations. However, I will keep the true reason for the season in my mind and my heart.

What are your favorite Christmas traditions?

Makala Pollard is a Senior Public Relations Specialist for Texas Health Resources and a Stepmom to two boys.

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