Earlier in the month, I was feeling pretty whiney about how we no longer have big Christmas family celebrations. Due to circumstance, situations or something else, our families holidays no longer consist of gatherings for 20 or more people, and over the course of 2 or 3 days. This year Christmas Dinner will consist of 7 of us. I guess for some people this isn’t a big deal, but for us….it is frankly weird and not what we are used to.
Now though, a few days before Christmas, I am enjoying the low stress Christmas we are having…. I still miss the excitement of travelling, or getting ready for company to arrive, and preparing tons of food… but here, a few days before Christmas I have all my gifts wrapped, the house is clean, the food for 7 ( with lots of leftovers) is all bought, and I have time to sew some Angel Dresses and write up a blog post, and start making my lists for how awesome 2017 is going to be.
So to ward off the feelings of missing out on the big family day, we plan to really enjoy Christmas day and make it special and memorable, especially for the grandkids. The fun will start Christmas Eve, early in afternoon, with a bon fire at my daughters house. We will all sleep there after eating some delicious food, and wake up way to early to see what Santa brought. We will have breakfast there, with coffee and Baileys. Then we will head to our house to start cooking! We will put extra effort into the meal… there is a big difference in cooking for 7 instead of 20, so we will take the time and do the little extras, like mashed potatoes with butter, cream cheese and whipped cream! We always have birthday cake to celebrate my grandson… our best Christmas gift ever. But instead of making several other desserts, I will limit it to maybe 2 kinds of pie. Which yeah I know… is still going to be too much!
I plan to set the table really pretty with the ‘fancy’ dishes. No paper or mismatched plates with only 7 people! Instead we use the dishes that must be hand washed, which is no big deal because we do not have a dishwasher anyway…. but the china that chips if you are not careful. We will also use the serving bowls and platters that belonged to the gramma’s and great gramma’s. All matching glassware too…no red solo cups with your name written with a jiffy marker. I will make a fancy punch in the punchbowl and serve it in some crystal wineglasses for the kids.
I think maybe it is ok to have a low key Christmas, with the people who really want to spend the holidays with you, instead of the huge family Christmas that everyone complains about, but you do it out of obligation. No one enjoys it and everyone leaves angry. Some families even get into actual fights…on the holidays. This is certainly not what the holiday of peace and love is all about. So feel free to start new traditions so that the holidays become meaningful and special to you again.
When I think back to the Christmas’s of childhood… as a child they were magical and fun. But as an adult I understand there was a lot of drama going on behind the scenes. But I look at the pictures, even from before I was born, the pictures of Christmas parties in the 50’s and early 60’s, there is just an essence to those nostalgic photos that just isn’t happening in the Christmas’s of today. I miss it, even though I wasn’t even there. I will try and find those photos…and edit them into this post if I get time.
However you are celebrating this year, I wish you peace and happiness. If it is a tough time of year for you I hope you get through it ok. If you have a big family gathering, have fun and enjoy the quirkiness of your family members. If you are like us and navigating new traditions I hope you remember that just being with the people who want to be with you is all that matters, and is the reason for the season.
Merry Christmas to you all! May your holiday be safe and stress free. And remember no matter how rough it gets…. Do Not Drink and Drive. Someone somewhere is counting on you.