When we were kids, there was no decorating until after our December birthdays were over.
I always though it was because Mom wanted to make sure our birthdays didn’t get lost in the Christmas rush (and that was part of it), but as I got older, I discovered Mom just doesn’t like Christmas that much.
Oh she likes the gift giving, and having the family around… but all the stress, drama and anxiety… when we were kids, Mom would go full out with Christmas baking. She’d start weeks in advance – our unheated back porch was filled with cooling macaroons, sugar cookies, nanaimo bars and more. Then there were pies… and Christmas dinner. On top of that… Christmas Eve at the paternal Grandpa’s, a Christmas day visit to the maternal Grandparents, and Boxing day at the paternal Grandma’s. And that was on top of five December birthdays (me, my brother, cousin, Dad and Grandma)… all on a shoestring budget.
I can understand why Mom was never a huge fan of the silly season. Then I met Dave, who could easily be called a Grinch when it comes to Christmastide… and he brought with him a whole other sort of family Christmas drama.
It took us a few years to find our stride with our mutual Christmas tradition, but now I think we’ve found the perfect compromise. Christmas Eve with Dave’s grandma and Mom (and whoever else in the family drops by that night), and then a dinner with my family (Mom & Dad, and Ron & Jenn and the girls) whenever we can arrange for all of us to get together. No stress, no pressure – we do it when it works.
We don’t go crazy with presents. We stay in budget and keep it small. As you know, a lot of gifts in the family are homemade, making them extra special.
At home, I do a little decorating, and I don’t wait quite as long as Mom did. Because of space, and my army of furry tree assassins, we just have a small, pre-lit two foot tree. It goes up in 10 minutes (including decorations).
Skiing sock monkey helps us count down the days. And I think he’s my favourite of my few decorations.
Out front, my chilly little polar bears greet visitors.
And thanks to neighbour Krista, this little Christmas elf crash landed in my ivy pot. I was planning on getting some winter greenery for these baskets, but because I was sick, I didn’t have a chance. But so far, the ivy is holding up quite well.
And lastly, this pretty little candle is keeping us warm and cheery inside. It was my birthday present from Dave, and he insisted I open it early (still a few days to go until my birthday.). These are my favourite candles and this one yielded a very beautiful surprise….
Just perfect for this December baby!
So welcome December, welcome Christmas! I’m ready!