Bah humbug … ho, ho, hoLike Ebenezer Scrooge, I’m lost in limbo this holiday season, caught between Christmas Past and Present with a glimmer of the Future on the horizon.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
Like Ebenezer Scrooge, I’m lost in limbo this holiday season, caught between Christmas Past and Present with a glimmer of the Future on the horizon.
It’s easy to wallow in the “good old days,” back when we had a real tree. Back when the children practically popped with excitement waiting for us to summon them downstairs with holiday music Christmas morn. Back when we could barely squeeze the family into a minivan for the trip to grandmother’s house. Back when feet pattered down the stairs instead of clomped.
Our tree, now made of plastic, is hung with the spoils of Christmas Past — ornaments decorated with pictures of gap-toothed grins, colorful artwork or both. They came wrapped in homemade paper with cards saying “I luv you.” Times, however, have changed.
Now, six of our seven children can take themselves to NC-17 movies, or beyond. Three, maybe four of them won’t even be home to see the presents under the admittedly fake tree. Another kid is set to jet out days later to spend New Year’s with others. Talk about your empty tree syndrome.
I found myself channeling Santa for a rare moment. Lip out in a pout, I almost cancelled Christmas. Then “Rudolph” appeared. Ours is bipedal, about four feet tall, with long brown hair and a daredevil grin. At 4 years old, our “caboose” daughter is ready to glow with Christmas cheer, no matter how many people are around to share it with her. She has the energy — and sometimes the personality — of the Abominable Snowman and she’s got a list piling up for Santa. The child will not let me wallow.
Since Christmas is back on at my house, I decided to make a list of all the pros about having only half the brood home for the holidays.
Less food to prepare. And, consequently, less money spent on groceries.
A cleaner house.
A shorter wrapping session on Christmas Eve. Seriously, we used to spend hours wrapping and wrapping and wrapping …
We can sleep in Christmas morning. Yeah, right.
If the kids far from home don’t like my presents, I won’t hear them moaning or complaining about it. That gives me incentive to send the far-flung ones “festive” (i.e. hideous) holiday sweaters, gag gifts or just boxes filled with packing peanuts.
They also won’t complain that “so and so” got more presents to open than they did. Most will never know how the exact number of packages the others are getting.
If I want any “new” traditions, now is the time to start them. Like chicken pot pie instead of ham for Christmas dinner or caroling down the block on Christmas Eve — a practice my kids were too mortified to take part in after they hit that certain age. Or adding a “mom gets a cut of all your chocolate candy” clause to stocking loot.
I might get included in the “reindeer games” — Risk, Munchkin, cribbage, quarto and others – instead of baking, cooking and washing dishes constantly.
And we get to see the wonder of the Christmas story, once again, from a 4-year-old perspective. So, Happy Birthday Jesus — cake it is at our house this year.
As I enjoy sharing the season with my youngest daughter, I realize that she’s a hint of Christmas Future, when my kids become parents themselves. I can wait for the honor of being called a “grandma.” But yes, I will welcome it and the many new traditions it will bring. I may even get a few more ornaments for the tree. Ho ho ho.