Friday, December 02, 2005

Christmas All Season Long

”Can you not see it is clear folly to crowd Christmas into twelve very
full hours of one day and expect everyone to enjoy themselves?
Christmastide is, after all, not just a day but a season.
Let us make the most of it. By spreading out the gifts, parties,
and special treats over an extended period, parents quiet down
the choruses of ‘I can’t wait,’ as our little ones discover that
they can indeed learn to wait –
as long as they don’t have to wait very long.” ~

Mrs. Sharp's Traditions

A few Christmases ago, I decided that Christmas was becoming more of a burden than a good time. The day after Christmas, I was faced with a huge mess – wrapping paper scrunched up across the floor; a new toy already broken; greedy, grouchy and over-sugared children; leftovers to deal with; the tree’s needles scattered across the carpet; decorations to pack up; and a few store returns, the thought of which created a migraine. Yes, Christmas had become a burden.

Memory-making is terribly important to me. I determined to figure this holiday thing out before the kids had a childhood-full of grumpy Christmas memories.

I absolutely believe in what Mrs. Sharp is saying in the above quote. Can’t we see that it is crazy (she says folly) to celebrate all in one day? What great expectations we are putting on one little day! We think we are supposed to enjoy family, invite friends, sing carols, open perfectly chosen and perfectly wrapped gifts, enjoy a dinner as large as Thanksgiving, give at least a thought if not a basket of fruit to someone else, and have a tray of goodies to equal all the sweets eaten all year long, plus much more – all in one day.

Are we absolutely crazy??

Well, I was.

So with the reminder in my heart of the true meaning of Christmas, and with the help of Mrs. Sharp in the book above, I decided to change.

Over this next week, I will write you a series of articles about holiday traditions that we have observed in our home. Instead of celebrating Christmas all in one day, we celebrate a holiday season that stretches from Thanksgiving Day through February’s Mardi Gras celebrations. I will focus, in my articles, on December’s traditions.

I will share my ideas with you, but honestly, I’m as eager as you are for new ideas. So please feel free to share your family’s traditions in the comments.

Let’s extend the Christmas spirit throughout the month of December, starting today, December 1st !

Coming Articles (blog posts):

St. Nicholas Day
St. Lucia’s Day
Christmas Eve
Boxing Day
New Years
Twelfth Night

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