The holidays used to be so simple. The holiday wish I shouted to others was “Merry Christmas.” There was no notion of having a “Happy Holiday.”
And while there were several traditions including blaring the Canadian Brass’ Christmas album to hide our cursing while untangling the Christmas lights and finding the dead bulbs and then yelps from the scratches we received when wrapping the tree with those lights, I knew this holiday was about the celebration of the birth of Christ.
I knew this because on the presents it was clearly written whether the gift came from Santa or from Baby Jesus. So impressive how he could wrap presents with his little baby Jesus hands.
Christmas mornings were all so magical. The attention to detail was not overlooked by my mother although her handwriting could have been a little unkempt when writing as if she were a newborn. But my favorite, and probably since it so thoroughly convinced me in Santa Claus, was when she dipped my father’s boots in baby powder and made a trail from the chimney to the tree and back again. Hook, line and sinker.
At least, that was then.
I’ve gone all humbug about Christmas and have decided to skip it this year.
A large part can be attributed to my awareness of how commercialized Christmas has become. Entering stores provokes such anxiety now – must buy gifts for family, friends, acquaintances and foodstuffs and unnecessary, cheap decorations.
In addition to not buying a new Christmas decoration (one of my new traditions) or any presents, I’m struggling with the duality of wanting to celebrate the same traditions as a child, or when one becomes available, and the realization that when that time comes and even now — family will be “the reason for the season.”
Maybe that’s enough. Enough reason for me, at least, and why I will wish everyone a very “Happy Holiday!” And to those of you who send me e-cards saying that to do this is just getting us “lost in a sea of Political Correctness” — please don’t send me e-cards anymore.