I used to love Christmas when I was a kid. The anticipation building up to the day of, particularly opening a new door every day on the chocolate Advent calendar. The guessing about what gifts we’d find under the tree on Christmas morning. The Christmas rituals: getting up early on Christmas Day to start a fire in the fireplace and wait for the rest of the family to get up. The croissants for breakfast. And finally opening presents and playing with them all day. Christmas as a kid was pretty good.
These days I find Christmas more difficult. It usually falls when I’m having a low, so it’s hard to get motivated to do all the Christmas chores. What really helps is that we make a little schedule – nothing serious, just a few notes to note when we want to hang the outdoor lights, when we want to get the tree and decorate it, when we want to decorate the inside of the house, etc. Having it down on paper makes it a lot more manageable – it reminds me that we don’t have to do everything at once.
We’re also putting more emphasis on celebrating the Solstice. It’s a seasonal holiday that’s driven by the calendar, not by Hallmark (given all the cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies that are on TV this time of year). It’s nice to celebrate the shortest day and the return of the light after a long winter. I was going to say a long, “wet” winter but we haven’t gotten as much rain as we usually do this winter so are hoping for more in the New Year. This year for Solstice we made the French Canadian meat pie, tourtière, a bit of an experiment to see what we thought of it and if we wanted to do it again next year. The jury is still out on that – any suggestions for Solstice dinner are welcomed in the comments!
This year my favourite thing about Christmas was that we got to harvest our own tree, which we haven’t been able to do since we lived in Prince George. We went out on the logging roads and found a tree within the legal distance from the road (3m), and even if it is a Charlie Brown tree I have to say I like it much better than the perfectly coiffed ones.
So merry Christmas and happy holidays to everyone, whether or not you celebrate it. A belated happy Solstice (just a few days late!). I’ll be back next week on New Year’s Eve with a post for the New Year.