Not Decking

the halls. I feel guilty for not spending any time celebrating Christmas or even the slightest bit of advertising. No lights. No tree.

Sylvia strung a rope and attached Christmas cards that folded in the appropriate way to droop over the rope around the kitchen garden window. All of the houseplants didn’t mind sharing the lime light.

Over the years, our traditions have morphed. For a few years we decked the halls. My rather large collection of Christmas and Winter scenery candles occupied every inch of balcony and window sill spots. Counters hosted Santas and deer and trees. Newspaper boxes of individually wrapped candles. A holiday candle was a sure-fire successful gift. I often bought them for myself. If I were able to find four of the same, I’d send them to my sisters. I don’t know if they still collect them or if they ever did.

Our favorite Christmases involved people coming over for stockings. We loved filling people’s stockings full of practical as well as impractical gifts. Some had to be off the wall. Typically everyone got a game. I was always amazed at what we would find at dollar stores. Perfect when the crowds got bigger.

Moving into the dome inspired the party idea; invite those who’s family isn’t in the picture for all sorts of reasons.

I got tired of the work.We got tired of the work. I wish I could develop a case of clean freakiness; it’s not happened in the first fifty-five years, I seriously doubt I will catch it.

Soon the tradition moved to having Christmas on the Coast. Rent something that allows dogs. A few nights  away from home. A chance to walk along the beach and let the dogs swim. I think Ricky’s only been to the coast once since he’s become a member of the tribe.

Going Coastal cuts down the number of choices of things to do. There was always football to watch; that’s a given regardless of where I am or what kind of event I’m hosting or not. A jigsaw puzzle was brought out, especially when we went to the coast; the puzzle had to be small enough that it didn’t require an all-nighter to finish, though that’s happened, but it had to be large enough to be challenge. Number of pieces in the puzzle.

The puzzle we started today has a lot of blue. Small pieces and a thousand of them. After a certain point, my eyes tend to go cross-eye working on jigsaw puzzles, but I love them. I get to the point where I don’t want to do anything else. I’ll bribe myself that I just have to put five pieces together and then I could go do something important like feed the dogs or myself. Football comes and goes on the television in the background, but I get so mesmerized in puzzling that I forget to unmute the game after the annoying commercials.

I do feel guilty for progressing to the point where I don’t make a big deal out of Christmas. I barely acknowledge it. It’s not that I don’t like the Christmas story and the spirit. I find the spirit renewing and uplifting.

I feel guilty for not be willing to run around like a chicken with my head cut off. Or Turkey. What people are willing to do. And wanting to do. To me the holidays are encrusted with too much work.Setting up. Taking down. The pressure of buying that perfect gift and sometimes to people that I didn’t really know very well.

Somewhere along the way, the gifts that I got sometimes represented how well the gift buyer really knows me and visa versa.  How much of that person not knowing me is of my own doing? I’d wager a high percentage. That only causes me to ask why, giving myself some journaling ideas.

This time of the year is prime season and reason for journaling. There’s always something to review and analyze in my life. Now that I have shifted gears and do absolutely no Christmas Merry Making, I wonder if this is advancing the cause, the cause being my life, or doing some unforeseen damage to my personality and future development. I am an eternal optimist.

I don’t really mind a do nothing Christmas, but it’s the guilt that I feel I could do without. The guilt for not buying any gifts. For not writing any Christmas cards. Not a one. I thought about them, but that’s as far as that enterprise went.

I’m writing about the intended Christmas; the Christmas plans that went head over heels. Murphy’s Law took a spill. Not quite a face-plant, but sort of.

Plans of doing nothing, not going to the coast, not buying any gifts were discussed. I had figured the trip to Europe had taken up the budgets for future Christmas gift buying for unforeseen years. Neither of us like to shop, so this wasn’t a hard conclusion.

When the invite to attend a feast at someone else’s house, agreement came quickly. Bring a pie and some brownies and we’d be good to go. This is when Murphy stepped in. Imagine getting a couple a dozen tennis balls served at you simultaneously while getting drenched with cold ice water. Plans that took my breath away.

Maybe this Christmas was a chance to close a cycle. Hosting people to come over to the dome was an easy thing to say yes to. Cooking lasagna was natural. I don’t know how many times I thought of my grandmother, though she rarely let people in the kitchen while she cooked. Next time I will make my own sauce.

Motivation to share my home, a place that I have a hard time parting from, was able to slam dunk away motivation to be lazy and not do anything.I still found time to curl up around a book or watch a movie, but the adrenalin of short notice got things done. It’s nice to have a clean house, and I’m definitely ahead of my New Year’s resolution surge.

I feel as though I have rambled on a bit about random things, but it will have to suffice for now.

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One Comment

  1. We’ve whittled Christmas down to hardly anything also. We buy calendars from Yorkshire, England, and maybe a book or two for Paul, and call it a holiday. Lasagna was also made here with lots leftover in the fridge. That’s enough. Especially considering I don’t considered us “Christians” in the first place.

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