In 2 months and 2 days it will be Christmas, can you believe that? It used to be my favorite holiday. I went all out decorating every room of the house, making gifts and special treats for all my friends, family, and even co-workers. I just loved it - started playing Christmas carols the day after Thanksgiving. The last few years (7 to be exact) it hasn't been quite as joyous.
I married the Grinch! How did this happen, you might ask... well, we had dated less than a year when we married (4 months to be exact) so I had NO IDEA how he felt about Christmas until it approached. Wow, are we ever opposite in our feelings about it! He hated (hates) everything I loved (love).
I think it's fun to select just the right gift for each person... he thinks gifts are part of the commercialization of Christmas. I love decorating the house... he sees no point in it. Being with family is a special part of the holiday to me... he can't wait to get back home where it's quiet. I love going to a Christmas Eve service and remembering what Christmas is all about... he doesn't particularly believe in God. I love to cook special Christmas dishes... he'd rather go out to eat because it's easier (this comes into play more on Thanksgiving than Christmas since most restaurants are closed on Christmas!).
There have been some pretty miserable preambles to Christmas since we married. (Christmas itself is usually ok because I get to be with my other family members, the ones who like/love Christmas.)
I have been trying to come up with a solution - something that will allow me to be happily immersed in Christmas without sending DH into a fetal position or turning him into a grouchy (even hateful) Scrooge that I hardly recognize.
The first 5 years that we were married the Christmas season didn't work too well. (I take that back, it did one year because I had survived a potentially fatal illness that year & so he was just grateful to still have me & did just what I wanted for Christmas.) That was the only Christmas without major drama between 2000-2004.
In 2005 we had my son come up for Christmas, and that was very cool. We went to a Christmas Eve service (omg the music was just awful - I don't know what went wrong with the soloist but eeeeek!)
The next morning (Christmas) we opened gifts, had breakfast & then headed for a Pistons game. Definitely not a traditional way to spend Christmas afternoon, but loads of fun! It was a full house (DH had bought our tickets months in advance) & they had 2 spirit sticks in each seat waiting for us... they looked like giant plastic candy canes! You banged them together & they made a really loud, very satisfying noise whenever something especially good or bad happened! They had dancing Santas (a group of middle-aged men who did a really cute/funny dance) and lots of other Christmas-related activities between quarters. They even had fireworks (indoors)!!
DH & DS & I all totally enjoyed it; it was the first year that we were both totally happy about how the holiday went. I wasn't homesick for the rest of my family because I knew I'd be seeing all of them the next afternoon. DH wasn't stressed because he knew he didn't have to travel (he hates visiting his family). I headed south for several days while he stayed here and happily worked overtime making tons of money. Meanwhile, I was down reveling in family and hugs and kids and gifts and fun and totally surrounded by people who love Christmas the way I do. (how's that for a run-on sentence?)
The other Christmas that we both totally enjoyed was last year. DS & DIL invited us to come spend Christmas Eve with them. It was their first Christmas together, and their first Christmas in their new home, so we felt very special being invited to be a part of it! We had a wonderful time (DIL is a fabulous hostess) and our dogs had lots of fun with their new uncle, a poodle. :-)
The day after Christmas we all headed further south where we met 15 members of my side of the family for a big 2-day party. That was pretty wild, all of us packed into a penthouse along with our 2 fuzzy white dogs, DS's fuzzy black poodle, and my sister's big black dog. Definitely shoulder-to-shoulder, all talking at once, while our parents were unhappy because we were all talking and they couldn't hear any one person.
Our group has grown too large for that gathering really work in the format that we've been using. Something new will need to be planned for this year... I'm sure I'll be writing all about it later on.
So... now it's 2007 and 2 months and 2 days til Christmas. Time to start planning so that we can have another GREAT holiday rather than the screaming, crying, snot slinging times that we've sometimes had in the past! (psst.. there wasn't really screaming, we're all much too refined for that.)
Wish us luck! :-)