Thursday, December 11, 2008
I'm Depressed. I can't help it.
There's still no snow.
There's still no Christmas tree
or decorations..I've still not started
the Christmas cards; I've not hung a
I'm not able to sing with the choir
for the Christmas Cantata.
I'm trying. REALLY! I'm playing Christmas carols- over and over. I MADE myself write our annual Christmas letter today, but I haven't printed them off. I can procrastinate doing THAT for at least another week, can't I? I bought every one's gifts WAY early this year, knowing I'd have my knee surgery and not be able to do it afterwards. So there's no shopping and wrapping to do. It almost seems like Christmas happened months ago. And for me, it did! I purchased, wrapped and delivered all the gifts to my kids in Seattle, the first of October.And Huggs and I each purchased what we wanted for Christmas, while we were shopping together, so there's no need to wrap those gifts!
There's just something so, I don't know, sad, I guess, about growing old and losing hold of the traditions we've always shared as a family. Each year, something changes. Someone in the family can't be with us for one reason or another. Or we can't go "home" for Christmas and have to find a new place to share our Christmas. Huggs and I have the biggest house, and it always makes me so happy when the family wants to come here for the holidays. But nobody wants to come HERE for Christmas any more...We have the worst weather....the wildest winds...the deepest snow, the worst roads. And as our parents become aged, their days of driving on bad roads have come to an end. So it is our responsibility to travel to them. But then, we have to decide where to hold the gathering. Because all of the reasons that keep them from traveling to us are the same reasons that prevent them from being able to prepare a holiday meal and suffer through the un-nerving noise of so many kids and grand-kids stuffed into a too-small space for hours.
So again, another tradition is gone, as each year, we try to decide where we're going to meet, what we're going to eat, who's going to be able to be there, ...I just want it to be the way it ALWAYS was. At Gramma's house, with EVERYONE there. Where Santa always knew what you wanted for Christmas and he always brought it in the right color.
As a family, when I was growing up, we ALWAYS had Christmas Eve at our house and opened gifts after a simple meal of fragrant casserole and an endless array of salads and desserts made by Mom, Gramma and my Great Aunts. It was all about good spirits, drinking egg nog and Tom & Jerry's by a roaring fire that Dad always had burning in the fireplace, Christmas carols sung around the piano as Dad played, and we'd open gifts and spend the whole afternoon and evening together. Then, Christmas Day was ALWAYS spent at Grandma and Grandpa's house, where we all dressed in our Sunday best, or at least in the newest clothes we'd received as gifts the night before. And we'd eat a full sit-down turkey dinner, with the ENTIRE family together. I grew up surrounded by a loving, supporting cast of Grandparents, and Great Aunts and Uncles. There was never any excuse about having to be somewhere else. The only reason someone wouldn't be there, is if they'd passed away that year!! Back then, we didn't have divorces and have to share our kids with the non-custodial parent. And back then, people didn't travel long distances from home - either to live or to travel, especially during the winter in the northwest United States, where winter blizzards have historically kept us thankfully huddled around the fire. Back when I was a girl, everyone lived close by, and we were always together. When I was a girl, our Christmas was "Martha Stewart perfect" .
Now, the members of our family live hours apart, and subsequently, we have to make more of an effort to get together. And I realize how much effort our family made, to make our holidays perfect.
Just because I'm middle aged now, it doesn't mean I want to grow up. I don't like change. Not when it's about family traditions. I'm not ready for people to grow old, especially me. I still want everyone to be together at Gramma's house for Christmas; I still want Huggs and Santa to know exactly what I want for Christmas, and exactly what color.
...in the meantime....back at the ranch...........