My oldest son told me he feels kind of let down on Christmas day because it’s over so fast. “You know, like there’s all this build-up, and then…it’s just over.”
I told him I knew exactly how he felt. I had been listening to the radio station that plays all Christmas music and recalled how last year, on the day after Christmas, it was all just switched off. All of a sudden it was not the Christmas season anymore; it was just cold, dark, dreary winter. Maybe a month left of basketball and then barren days until baseball season starts. All of the hype and preparation over within 15 minutes as the gifts are opened and then…that’s it.
My son said, “Maybe we could open a present and then go do something else for a while, and then go back to opening presents, and then do something else. You know…space it out.”
“Sure, we could. We could have a Christmas movie marathon. You could start putting things in the Netflix queue now. I could make the coffee cake Grandma used to make. It’s basically Monkey Bread but she had a fancy name for it.” (I thought about how I could actually buy it at the supermarket; I’d seen it there before).
“You’ll have to get your brothers on board…”
I liked the idea. I mentioned it to one of my colleagues. She told me that she and her family stretch Christmas out for the whole day. Another friend at church told me that Christmas lasts for a whole week, technically.
I said, “Well, now that you bring that up – technically – aren’t there 12 days of Christmas?”
So, that is our plan. (Just one whole day, not 12.)
And my plan, aside from that, is to keep it really simple this Christmas season. I wrote about that in on Ten to Twenty Parenting: Celebrating doesn’t have to be about the fanciest decorations, the most gifts, excessive amounts of food, or too many social obligations.
My goal for the Thanksgiving-Christmas season this year is to be. Be grateful for all the blessings we have, be with my loved ones and remember the ones who have passed, and be mindful of the celebration of Jesus’ birth, which is the true reason for the season. And be in my pajamas watching “The Polar Express” if I feel like it.
I did not bake for nor attend two holiday fairs this past weekend. I did not feel guilty: I contributed financially to both schools and I am going tomorrow to volunteer in my youngest’s classroom with kids (doing literacy stuff). I think that is more important than selling raffle tickets or making cookies or buying more things.
This Christmas season, I will appreciate other people’s decorations and baked goods from the supermarket. Christmas is all around us: I just have to remember to look.