Probably like many of you, I’m running around half in panic mode thinking about all the things I have to accomplish in the next nineteen days (?) till the big holiday at the end of the month. As I plan menus and check my stock of wrapping paper and Christmas cards, I can’t help but compare my own family’s festivities to those that I hear and see everywhere I turn-technicolor fantasies played out in holiday movies, and described in literally every song on certain radio stations. While I certainly hope I could describe our celebrations without resorting to tired old clichés that everyone has heard before, it’s hard to ignore the appeal of the familiar icons.
Photo credit: Georgie Sharp via Foter.com / CC BY-NC
I’m dreaming of a white Christmas. Sure, snow is pretty to look at if you can stay at home, but it’s not very much fun to drive through in Cincinnati. Not that we have much of the white stuff for Christmas anyway. So far this month has actually been pretty gray and yucky here. On the other hand, the movie White Christmas is one of my all-time favorites, which I have to talk my family into watching with me.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Okay, this reference is pretty vague. Does this refer to the weather, or the fact that stores everywhere have had Christmas merchandise on display for a while, in some cases since before Halloween? Or does it refer to the decorations our neighbors have lately placed on their house fronts and properties, or some other clue of the season? I guess this is a pretty personal declaration, intended to mean something different to everyone who hears it.
You better watch out, etc. This one is something that I know I was as guilty of as every other parent-trying to curb my children’s behavior by threating them with a visit, or lack thereof, from Santa Claus. Not that they ever believed me, the smarty pants.
He’s making a list. Big deal. I’ve never worried very much about being on someone else’s imaginary list. I make lists all the time. It’s the only way I can remember to get everything done and avoid driving myself crazy trying to remember everything. There’s something therapeutic about crossing items off of a to-do list when Christmas shopping or planning a big family dinner.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. While this is certainly true for some, many others out there don’t share that opinion either because they do not celebrate the holiday, or because they lack the means to do so. This is an especially important time of year to remember those less fortunate, and to find in our hearts the motivation to help those around us who are less fortunate.
Deck the halls. I admit I have way too many Christmas decorations stored in our basement. We’ve added to the collection every year, and after twenty-six years of marriage, my husband and I have accumulated so many decorations that every year we simply pick and choose which of them to put out. Should we get rid of some of them? Maybe, but that’s not happening until we can pawn some of them off on the kids. After all, they have sentimental value.
Have yourselves a merry little Christmas. To me that says a happy, quiet holiday, preferably at home, surrounded by family. Again, this is probably something everyone has their own personal definition for, and many of us would rather think “bigger is better” and be set on topping last year’s celebrations. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course, but personally I would rather cut down on some of the hoopla and stress so I can actually enjoy the time with loved ones, rather than spending too much money or all my time in the kitchen.
However you choose to spend your holidays, make it personal, and spend it with those you cherish. I can’t resist leaving you with one last cliché, though, “to all a goodnight.”