Twenty years ago I celebrated my first Christmas. A New York City Christmas. A Rockefeller Center, ice skating in Central Park, dinner in Greenwich Village Christmas. What a foreign concept for a Nice Jewish Girl from the suburbs.
In general, Christmas has continued to feel foreign to me. I can’t get used to having a tree in my house, I don’t know what to think about Santa, I can’t figure out the flow of all the little traditions and treats that come with the Christmas holiday.
Chanukah was early this year. We got through all eight days with little fanfare or drama. We lit the candles and gave out presents and had some latkes. The kids figured it all out. Smart enough to take advantage of the early advent of the holiday. “Mom, we’d like Skylanders for Chanukah this year. We can get other stuff for Christmas.” By the time Christmas came around, Chanukah was a distant memory.
So Christmas came along with no stress this year. I was free to just go with the flow. It was my opportunity to just role with it. I have no expectations for Christmas, no plan for how it’s “supposed” to go. Ed schedules the tree shopping and decorating, I prepare for it. Ed plans the menu, I execute it. Ed picks the presents, I get them under the tree. It’s all for him and the boys. I don’t need anything from Christmas. I can just appreciate their joy.
And Ed decides how it all goes down. What message we give about Santa. When we open the presents. How we spend the day. And I just get to enjoy it. And I love the day. The sleeping late (my husband’s no fool), the french toast and bacon for breakfast, the watching movies and building lego all day, the slow cooked chicken in the oven, the putting the boys to bed early and sharing a drink and listening to music.
It’s all lovely, and relaxing, and calm and just how we like it to be. And I can be a willing participant without the stress and expectations that come with Christmas. All I need is the joy of my boys and the warmth of our home and the love of my family.