“It’s Christmas time, there’s no need to be afraid… At Christmas time we let in light and we banish shade…” or some other bullshit like that. At least I think that’s how that “Feed the World,” Christmas song goes.
Now if I was writing a Christmas song, it would probably go something like “At Christmas time, my stomach hurts and my family fights. At Christmas time, I hate buying presents and I also drink too much.” Not as catchy, but I still think it has “hit,” written all over it.
I’ll admit, I often feel overwhelmed during the festive season. I’ll leave the holly jolly to Bossy and stick with my list of slight less conventional Holiday Traditions.
1. Less Gift Giving
I know, I know. “BOOOO!” Stop being a Grinch. It’s the season of giving and all that malarkey. But really? When did the season of giving turn into amassing extra debt and children expecting high priced tech equipment? I’m out. For the past few years we have ratcheted the giving way down and given some money to a local animal refuge instead. And to my surprise my girls are into it. Turns out we all hate shopping…except my husband. He pouts, but then hits the online Boxing Day sales and buys something insane like a drone or a chainsaw and feels better.
2. NO Extended Family
Again with the “Booing.” Really? Well nuts to all of you. This decision was one of the best I’ve ever made about the holidays. In years past I’d felt compelled to host several family gatherings and ensure we made contact with all of my relatives regardless of how annoying or how drunk they got. Well no more. Now we spend the holidays with just ourselves. NO commitment. NO pressure. NO family.
3. Booze Please
Let me just start by saying I am not advocating for alcohol abuse. But I do feel like Christmas day is the one of the few days in the year that you can justify pouring a little bubbly into your morning OJ and following it up with a coffee laced Baileys and a glass or two or three of some nice wine at dinner.
4. Throwing Out Eggnog
We’re idiots. Every year we buy it, every year we hate it and every year we end up throwing it out. I have no idea why we continue with this charade, but Christmas just isn’t Christmas without “lait de poulet.” (Why the French version is chicken milk is beyond me.)
By December 27th we’re ready to kill each other. Too much togetherness doesn’t suit our family well. Seriously, three teenage girls, two of whom are major drama queens, an “A-type,”dad, and an introvert mother, do not mix for lengthy periods of together time. But it isn’t Christmas unless there’s been a major blowout, so we just accept it and move on. We all do some shouting, some doors are slammed and then we all can go on our merry f’ing way.
My husband takes great pride in how he has instilled a love for the sci-fi and fantasy genre in our girls. Me not so much. But the one thing we can all agree on is a love of Tolken, specifically The Hobbit. Peter Jackson’s film trilogy has me packing my bags and planning to escape to New Zealand to live in a Hobbit hole every darn time. “Is it scrumptious?” Oh Golem, you loveable scamp.
7. Freezing Our Asses Off to See Christmas Lights
We live in Canada, the cold part. So any outdoor activity at this time of year involves potential frostbite. But the pull of over a million Christmas Lights at a Pioneer Village is just too much to resist. (Yes even my Grinchy heart grows three sizes when I see them.) We even do the horse and buggy ride and sing Christmas carols in the old church. It’s like going back in time. (And then we eat poutine, which makes me want to go back in time and not eat the poutine.)
8. The Festive Meal Deal
So there’s this magical place in Canada that serves roast chicken with this magical sauce and it’s like crack cocaine. Seriously, people can’t get enough of it. And at Christmas they have the “Festive Meal Deal,” which is not only the chicken and magic sauce, but stuffing, cranberries and a little box of Lindt Chocolates. (I’m literally drooling on my keyboard while I type this.) We go under the guise of having family time, but no one talks, we just eat and slather ourselves in the sauce.
9. Christmas Pickle
It’s exactly what it sounds like. Okay well maybe not exactly. We have this little Christmas tree decoration that’s a small, shiny pickle and I hide it on the Christmas tree every year for the girls to find. (I got it ages ago, and think it may be a German Christmas tradition, which is weird because I’m not German.) Anyway, whoever finds it is supposed to get a present. But as I’m kind of against the too many present thing it’s more about the finding the pickle before anyone else does and lording that over everyone for the rest of the day. Competition and gloating, now that’s Christmas spirit.
10. Walk in the Snow
This has become my favourite tradition by far. After the presents have been opened and the turkey is cooking in the oven, we all get dressed up warm, grab the dog and go for a lovely walk in the snow. And more often then not, we are the only ones out and about in our tiny village. Just us, our dog and the snow. It’s wonderful.