Tuesday, December 20, 2011

From Grinch to the Christmas Spirit

Christmas is tough for me... every year.

My dad died when I was 14 on December 26, 1992. So there's always that looming over the holiday. I don't let it ruin it, ever... but it's always there... in the back of my mind.

Christmas has become so commercial. It's all about gifts gifts gifts... buy buy buy... spend spend spend... It's a lot of pressure. I mean, I guess it was the same way when I was a kid. The tree was overflowing with presents and my parents spoiled us every year. Or at least I think they did. My sister's will probably have a completely different memory. My one sister used to snoop and find all her presents before Christmas and then come Christmas day, she'd tear through the presents already knowing what they were and then ask, "Is that it?" Oh, the childhood Christmas memories are flooding back.

The house I grew up in was two stories. There was the living room where we put the tree every year in the front windows so you could see it from the outside. Then the upstairs was like an open loft area that looked down into the living room. My dad's office was in the loft area. Anyway, I remember one year, I wanted a Nintendo SOOOOO bad. I would search under the tree for a package shaped like the Nintendo box every day. ALAS! I found it. I verrrryyyy quietly took the package out from under the tree. Staying close to the perimeter of the tree, I laid on my belly and hunkered up to that package. I found the part of the wrapping paper that had the tape on it and verrrryyyyy carefully began peeling it up. POP... I got it! At that very moment, I hear a boisterous, "HEY" that came from the upstairs. I am positive it scared me so bad that I caught air when I about jumped out of my skin. It was my dad. He had been upstairs quietly watching while I quietly snooped. I don't really remember what happened after that. I am sure I denied seeing anything and he threatened to take the present back, but looking back on it, it was a classic moment.

... a few days later ...

I started this blog last week. I was feeling sad and overwhelmed by Christmas and what it seems to have become. I still feel a little sad about that and believe we should all spend a little time making Christmas more than just the presents we get. But as I was typing the first part of this blog, I felt my heart warm a little at the memories that started to come back to me.

A few days later and it was the weekend. Saturday morning we spent a couple of hours promoting the American Cancer Society Relay for Life. Doing volunteer work for such a great cause always helps lighten my heart. I was feeling good. We headed to the swap meet for some easy and successful shopping and then headed home. When we got home, I was trolling through the guide on the TV and found Elf. Perfect, I will put that on as I start crafting all the gifts I am making this year.

I spent the next 6 hours with Christmas themed shows playing in the background while I made gifts from the heart. It was just what I needed to find my Christmas Spirit this year. I even found myself finally listening to the Christmas music channel in the car yesterday. Usually, I listen to that channel from the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas day, but this year, I just didn't have the spirit to do it.

This is what Christmas should feel like.Christmas is what YOU make it. I spent almost an entire day spinning in my head worried about what everyone else will think of our gifts and I was making myself miserable trying to please everyone else. Why am I letting what they may or may not think ruin my holiday? If we are truly buying for people we love and that love us equally, they will be grateful for any gift. I know I would be. It's not about the price, or the size, or how fancy it is... it is the thought that counts the most. You could give me the priceless gift of your time to me and I would cherish the memories we would make during that time and it wouldn't cost a thing!

So my goal for next year is to make Christmas more about love and appreciation and less about gifts and commercial retail!

"What if Chrstmas, he thought, doesnt come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little more." - Dr, Seuss's, The Grinch.


  1. I LOVE IT!!! I am really glad you were finally able to find your christmas spirit... lol for some reason it gave me a thought like it was peter pan trying to find his shadow...lol idek why! But I get like that a lot with christmas, it's a hard one for me to get into so quickly. maybe this isnt my year though because even halloween took awhile for me to get into!

    So was it the Nintendo inside that you got that year?! Such a funny story!

  2. I loved your childhood Christmas stories and I'm so glad you were able to find your Christmas spirit!!!

  3. Thanks, ladies! :o) Jenna -- It was a Nintendo! :o) And I hope you find your Christmas spirit soon. You still have a few days!

  4. Does this mean I'm not getting an iPhone 4S from you for Christmas?

  5. There will be no iPhone 4S from me this year. Perhaps next year when it's on clearance because they have come out with the iPhone 5Z.