I am trying to get myself ready to do a big project post Christmas about what Christmas this year was really like. So I will be posting musings on different topics all month – so I can work with them later next year 🙂
Best gifts: I have blogged before about my favorite gift surprise (a stereo my dad hid and I had to find after all of the other gifts had been opened). The truth is that each year, there are 1 or 2 things I would like to have, but since I was a kid, there is not usually anything I can’t buy myself. My wishes are simpler these days. I love giving gifts (a year a infinitely more stressful if I am worried about how to pay for Christmas) and while I do love receiving them, it is hard to surprise me anymore. The best gifts tend to be the ones I was not aware that the other person knew I wanted and managed to find for me. My family does lists – and trust me it is essential for us to do so. But when someone surprises me (not necessarily with a big thing), it represents so much more.
Planning: I have had years where I was so busy at Christmas that I could barely breathe. And I have had years like last year where I was recovering from surgery, where barely anything happened. The truth is, like it or not, the month has to be planned. Too many happenings going on to NOT plan. Here are some of my favorite things each year:
- Family Christmas party at my cousins on my mom’s side of the family. It is the one time of the year we all gather (or at least most of us) and we jsut spend the afternoon together. Low stress, catch up, eat and go home.
- Christmas Eve services. No matter where I am, it is one of my favorite things each year. I miss singing each year in some capacity. I miss doing O Holy Night (which I hope to do again some day). But overall, it is just about being in a beautiful church, at night, with candles and remembering the celebration that happened in Heaven a couple thousand years ago.
- See traveling friends. It doesn’t happen every year, but invariably, I have a friend or two from out of town who travels in for Christmas and I get a few precious moments with them. Last year it was Penny. This year it is Sara. I will take the 10 or 15 minutes I can to see them any day.
- Christmas concert. This has not been as consistent in the last few years, but I always love singing in a good Christmas concert. This year I get to be a part of the one at CBC and I am excited. It has been too long.
- Visit to the office. As crazy as the company supplier party schedule can be, it is one day when I know that almost all of the people I work with – including the telecommuters like me, will be together again in the office. Its chaotic and I never feel like I get much done, but I do love seeing everyone.
Christmas Cards: Oh the bane of my existence at Christmas. I love getting Christmas cards. I hang them up in the hallway and I often leave them up until late the following year. I love the picture ones and the store bought and the homemade. I love the greetings and the simple signatures and the well wishes. But what I do not love, is sending them. I put way too much pressure on myself to make them, get them perfect, and have them ready in time that by the time I get to where I am happy with them, they never get sent. I apologize to my friends and family who are so good about sending them. I love to get them. I am terrible at sending them.
More musings to come as the month wears on.