Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Memories of Christmas

I struggle with Christmas in so many ways.  I am not a scrooge or anything like that.  I find Christmas stressful and frustrating.  I hate that my family insists on buying me things that I don't want or need.  Even though I tell them to just enjoy, get something extra for the kids or donate it - it never seems to work.  Then of course I feel bad either returning the item or sending it to charity, as my family has spent hard earned money on the said item that I didn't want or ask for in the first place.

I love the part about Christmas where we go and cut down a tree from a tree farm as a family.  Even the years where the kids are crying and not having a particularly awesome time.  I am still able to find the joy in these traditions.  We all know that at the end, once we have chosen our tree, taken a family photo, chopped it down and hauled the blessed thing out of the bush - there is hot chocolate and homemade cookies waiting at the end.  I know the kids will love and remember this part!

I also love that every year much to my partner's chagrin I invite a slew of people over to our house for some kind of Christmas cheer.  This year it seems that I have inlcuded a range of people all living in our neighborhood who don't have family in town.  They will be here for Christmas eve.  I have asked that they all bring a non perishable food item for the food bank.  My neighbor and her family rent a sleigh and ride through the area collecting food so out there we will be with our many guests enjoying the horse drawn sleigh through our urban neighborhood giving to those in need.

The family part is also a favorite.  Since I was little we have spent Christmas with my dad's family.  Even now that my grandmother has passed away almost 8 years ago now we still keep the tradition.  I don't know a lot of people who are still close to their cousins and aunts and uncles into adult hood but we are very close.  All together spouses and kids included we make a huge family of 14 people plus one dog and 4 cats.  We have a great time and really enjoy it.  We like it so much that the whole group of us get together again on New Year's day and do it all up again!

My children love Christmas.  We play into the make believe of Santa and have a lovely modest Christmas and Santa brings gifts and fills their stockings.  They always hear bells on the roof and Santa never disappointes by drinking his hot chocolate and eating his cookies.  I love the magic of Christmas that I witness in the eyes and spirit of my children. 

I am passing on to my children that Christmas is about the wonderful smells made by me for a month or so by the many treats I make a freeze, that it is about lots of family and friends about traditions and it is about magic.  I want them to realize when they become my age that it is not about all the stuff that you have to buy or that you want to get... 

Christmas for me seems to contradict my big attachement to non-attachement as well as to moderation.  It is a lot of overabundance and a lot of stuff all at once.  How do I balance it all...

Hari Om

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