Monday, December 14, 2009

The Christmas Spirit... and all that rot...



I haven't gone shopping once. I haven't eaten anything peppermint flavored. I haven't wrapped one present. I HAVE put up two Christmas trees complete with decorations and lights. My grandmothers and ours. And ours is real so I got to go cut it too! And I've mapped out a plan to spray paint the donkey red and tie a Santa hat on his head. The horses will get wrapped up like Christmas presents. Guaranteed to stop traffic, possibly garner some attention from local law enforcement and, if I'm REALLY lucky, attract PETA's nearest representatives...

My point is that Christmas is not about shopping and presents to me. Yes I grew up flying down the hallway long before the sun even THOUGHT about crawling into the sky and ripping into presents until the living room disappeared beneath wrapping paper. Yes we always wore half of our presents to the grandparents houses and dragged the rest along with us because somehow, once they were opened, we couldn't live if they left our sight for more than twenty minutes. I've survived dinners that would make Chevy Chase faint dead away, and I didn't get paid for the movie rights to them either. I've spent paychecks on family members on occasion, sometimes more than one.

But...

I've also gone Christmas caroling on horseback. Sung ALL the verses to all the OLD Christmas carols. The ones you have to look up in moldy old tomes. Gone horseback riding on Christmas day in fresh snow. Gone sledding on Christmas morning. Cooked Christmas dinner for homeless people. Cooked Christmas dinner and then didn't eat it, but gave it away to someone who just suffered a death in the family and didn't have one for themselves. Bought something and then gave it away before I got home with it. Made all my presents for other people. Baked DOZENS of cookies and then drew goofy pictures on all of the boxes and helped send them to Navy boys on the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt. Got together with my twin sister and took the Christmas themed pictures I posted here so that we could send them with the cookies to the Teddy R. which is the carrier where my brother in law (sister's husband's bro) is serving his country. That was last year, actually. The last year we had with the boys' mom, Charline. Damn you ovarian cancer.

I can tell you what Christmas things I remember the best, which stories get told over and over again, which ones I'm most proud to talk about. And they don't involve things I bought, sales I made or deals I found. They don't involve aunt so and so's best turkey ever, or cousin whoever's camping trip just to be there when the store doors opened and the FiFi the talking hamsters hit the shelves.

No, the best Christmas adventures, mishaps and memories I've ever had involved my family, bonfires with Bear Clan, and cookie capers with my best friend (I'm planning one of those now which will involve a killer recipe for chocolate chip banana nut bread and spiked hot chocolate) and just enjoying the spirit of the year. If I can find it behind all the obnoxious billboards, electronic advertisements and newspaper coupons...

5 comments:

  1. Ok, who is this FiFi? Great post. Same for me. I remember the board games late at night on Christmas eve, the spiked nog, the smell of gingerbread cookies and all the things that do not have receipts.

    Happy holidays, love.

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  2. Love the pictures!!!

    Also, can't wait for December 23rd. And your comment on our blog today had my rolling. Classic.

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  3. Christmas caroling on horseback!~ I love it. I want picks of that! Thanks also for reading my branding article on Lisa and Laura's blog

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  4. "the best Christmas adventures, mishaps and memories I've ever had involved my family, bonfires with Bear Clan..."

    I thought you said "Bear Claw" and immediately reverted to my childhood as I recalled eating Bear Claw Pastries.... mmmmmm.

    Great, now I'm hungry. Good job lol

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