Friday, December 7, 2012

I Predict a Chance of a Perfect Christmas

I’m freshly returned from a trip to the Caribbean with the husband and WITHOUT the kids.  I had an absolute wonderful time.  I can hardly believe it’s over.  It went by so stinking quickly.  It was fantastic but of course we landed back in the land of commercialism and consumerism during its peak forte. It was sort of nice to be in a country where people aren’t so geared towards spending all their hard earned dough on trinkets for each other at this time of year.  Although it may sound like I’m pooping on Christmas I’m really quite into it for the first time in a very long time.

I however am hoping that this year we can capture some of that real Christmas spirit.  The feeling of days gone by in peace and harmony, I’m really hoping to avoid the big crowds and not spend my days worrying and stressing about what I need to buy.  We’ve pretty much narrowed our gift buying extravaganza down to small proportions.  We no longer do a major gift exchange with my parents (although this year we’ll help pick up a few items here and there to supplement our stockings).  My hubby’s parents just this year also jumped aboard the no-gift train and will instead just dedicate their thoughtful purchases to the kids alone.  I would love to A) Have the money to go out and purchase everyone a wonderful gift or B) Have the patience to tackle the big crowds with both kids in tow but it’s just not a reality.  

This year we’ve found ourselves a little tight around the wallet seams.  The tropical trip we went on was probably not perfect timing in terms of financial intelligence but it definitely was optimal for psychological benefits.  We’re going to have to spend the first part of this upcoming New Year to provide a soft cushion of cash inflow again, therefore Christmas this year will be fairly low key.

I think the good thing about that is you start to delve deeper into what makes Christmas so special.  First and foremost it’s for the kids.  I know that I don’t need any more stuff to put in my already full cupboards and shelves.  I know that my parents don’t want anything else cluttering up their storage space.  The kids don’t need anything either but it’s still so much fun watching your kids open their gifts.  There are also very few days in the year you can threaten them with the prospect that Santa may not visit them if they misbehave.  My daughter is already in deep awe and fear of being on the Naughty List so I’ve been using it to my advantage as much as possible.

We’ve already put up our X-mas tree and decorated the house.  My husband is like a giant kid.  He loves doing this kind of thing.  Normally I’m reluctant to get in the mood, I try not to be the household Scrooge but usually the work involved and the inevitable clean-up afterwards makes me skeptical of having doing it at all.  For some reason this year I’m way more excited about it.  Maybe it’s the fact that I’m finally in a house where I’m not participating in major renovations in the middle of the “Holiday” season.  It could be the fact that I just came back from a super relaxing vacation.  It’s also I think a lot to do with how much the kids understand are excited about it this year and that I know I get to spend it with my parents without also planning a bunch of airplane rides and travel dates in between. 

I’m really excited that my mom and I are going to do all the Christmas baking together.  I’m looking forward so much to this part of my life.  I think I’m finally starting to realize that this is all real.  I actually live close to my mom and dad again.  I can hang out with them as often as I’d like without having to take days off work, to fly across the country or drive a million hours.  We can drink Bailey’s and Coffee (although my mom is currently NOT drinking coffee so it may have to be Rum and Pepsi), play cards, participate in our family tradition of watching a Lord of the Rings marathon (oooh and go see the Hobbit that’s coming out in theatres next week) and just really spend some quality time together.

We’re actually not even going to be having Christmas on the 25th this year.  My husband will be returning from his work stint 2 days after the actual date.  I think that’s another reason that makes it even more special.  It’s because it’s our day.  We’re not letting any of the traditions of others ruin our time, we’re still celebrating but on our terms.

Where it may be a Christmas low on the wrapping and not on the right date I have a feeling it’s going to be a perfect one (that’s if the world doesn’t end on the 21st…but that’s a different topic entirely).

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