Thursday, November 29, 2007

Christmas at Our House

I have been reading many posts lately about people's Christmas traditions. It is very interesting to be let into other families' worlds. Ever read The World According to Garp? This a glimpse of The World According to Soutenus. For better or for worse.

  • We are Midnight Mass people. Even if little ones fall asleep in our arms (which they usually do).
  • We don't "Christmas shop". Everyone else that I know does. No problem - but we don't.
  • We try to give well thought out, hand made or needed things as gifts in our family. If I find something with special meaning for someone at anytime during the year I often save it to give at Christmas. (I'd tell you when and where I found my oldest child's gift -- but she may read this and then I would have ruined the surprise!)

  • We love Christmas carols - I sing them all year round. (so the musak doesn't bother me -- it also doesn't encourage me to "Christmas shop" either - as I am sure it is intended to do)
  • This is the first year that my husband and I are directing a children's Christmas play at school. I think it may become a tradition. AND! It has the possibility of being amazing. Right now it is "cute" but the kids are starting to see the possibilities and are really diving into their roles. (3 year olds through 7th grade!!)
  • This year we are playing down "Santa" but talking a lot about St Nicholas. We put that red costumed guy called Santa firmly into the category of being part of the spirit of giving. Basically I am trying to keep a Christian spin on the secularization of St. Nick. Can that be done in 2007? We will see!
My Mom explained the Santas everywhere to me as " the representation of the spirit of giving" - I clearly remember this from when I was as young as 5 years old. My Mom used real words with us -- we grew into them :-)
  • Real Christmas tree? You betcha. When I was little we grew our own. Now we go to a Christmas tree farm with acres and acres of trees. We avoid the gift shop that sprung up a couple of years ago.
  • I would love to have enough land to grow trees again. It would be wonderful to have friends over to cut trees down together. I remember when my dad first planted ours they looked so small and helpless. Withing 4 years they HAD to be thinned out! My Dad and Mom left a row of trees on the property line -- WIDELY spaced -- even for the huge size they were. My parents are with God now -- I have been back to the old place a few times and those trees are nothing short of majestic.
  • I say Merry Christmas to one and all unless I know for sure that they would be offended because I already know that they are Jewish or Muslim. My atheist, agnostic and pagan friends get a resounding and joy filled, "Merry Christmas!" They seem to be fine with it and often offer the same words in response!
  • I loved sending Christmas cards but, frankly, I can't afford it any more. Heck, I don't even know what stamps cost at this point. Friends get hand delivered cards, emails or phone calls. I really do miss sending Christmas cards.

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