Hey people. I'm practically *done* with Christmas preparations. I know, I know-- how ever do I do it??? Well, here's one way-- ~*Merry Christmas*~ everyone I know-- here's your card: (back by popular demand) (You can click image to make it bigger)
You may remember last year Dan went off the reservation and sent out cards by himself. This prompted lots of teasing, people saying smugly, "I thought you weren't doing cards this year." Well, I didn't. So there. Last year I got a card from my cousin's wife, that had "Darrin had nothing what-so-ever to do with this card!" scrawled on the back of the envelope. It was for sure the funniest card we got.
Another time saver?-- ~*Merry Christmas*~ friends of Sue! Since it is the thought that counts, that's what you're getting this year! A friend recently pointed out people generally go out and buy whatever inexpensive things they want anyway-- something I've thought for a long time. Also, most people don't remember what they gave or received year to year unless it was something super special. Some trinket I'd pick up could never encapsulate how I feel about my friends anyway.
I guess I could say my gift is letting you all cross one more thing off your lists-- "find gift for Sue."
As for decorating?-- No traditional tree this year, and not much else either. There have been years I've gone completely nuts with this, making garlands out of fresh cut pine boughs I went out and got myself out of the woods etc etc. This year I have one or two ideas, but they're really minimal, just things I think would look nice and would kind of have fun doing, so that's what I'm going with.
I'm having my family over Christmas day, but it's supposed to be about spending some time together anyway, so in the spirit of not driving myself nuts, and therefore perhaps being in a crappy mood that day, I'm just not going to go all out.
Oh-- HA! Too funny--Dan's mom just called to ~pass along~ this little light-up village scene he gave her one year. She doesn't really want it anymore, so instead of just getting rid of it, is pumping it full of holiday sentimentality/guilt for Dan. (Which totally works on him btw-- he's so worried about bursting her bubble he's assuring her we'll put it up somewhere. Probably not.) ~Like we want it.~ This is the kind of thing that makes the holidays so hard.
I've heard of both sides of this occurring-- kids pressuring parents to sustain, or even recreate traditions from their childhoods for their own kids (the grand kids), and parents, pressuring kids to adopt traditions or objects, sort of passing the torch. These are just *things* people. If you don't want it, no one else does either probably. As for the traditions, I've heard people say they are super into this, and that's something I've never understood. Maybe it gives them a feeling of constancy or something, to me it just feels suffocating.
I think it's unfair for people to expect others to take on their traditions though. People load the holidays with so much excess baggage. It would be very easy for me to sardonically unpack those bags right here on the lawn, so to speak.
The holidays are:
A big excuse to go shopping and over-spend (for some).
A time to remember those less fortunate.
A time when you're forced to participate in social/family gatherings you'd normally try to get out of.
A time when you get to see people you see little of the rest of the year.
A consumer event, that marketing specialists and retailers strategize for all year.
A religious holiday.
A very difficult time of year to get through.
The happiest time of the year.
Only about a month long.
*This last item is about the only thing EVERYONE can agree on.