My husband will find it comical that I get to do the Christmas post. He calls me Scrooge. To his credit, I have done plenty to earn that nickname. I’m really not a Scrooge though. I just don’t get excited about the same things he does around this holiday. One example would be Santa Claus. I never believed in Santa.
And I do not feel deprived. My christmases always felt magical without the addition of a fat guy in a red coat breaking into my house. We lived in trailers. We didn’t have a fireplace until I was thirteen. But I digress. The point was that my husband did grow up believing in Santa, and it was a big part of his holiday magic. I didn’t want to bother with Santa, had no patience for waiting in long lines to see him or buying extra gifts I wouldn’t even get credit for giving. I was never one of those Santa equals Satan people. I’m pretty fond of Saint Nicolas, actually. He was an amazing and generous man, and I can totally get into celebrating his memory. However, I never quit feeling like I was telling my kids lies when I could be focusing on truth.
I eventually got over it and embraced his Santa love. I made cookies for Christmas Eve and helped my husband eat them after the boys were in bed. I let them believe those bikes came out of a bottomless bag carried by a bearded elf until they were nine and eleven. Then we spilled the beans on Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny all in one go.
My other major Scrooge points come from my lack of enthusiasm for Christmas decorating. Putting up the tree, stringing lights, hanging ornaments… None of it excites me. I love my Holy Family statue. I love it so much I sometimes leave it out all year. But I generally don’t do knick-knacks and other decorative items. I like pictures on my walls, and I love books visible all over, but I make enough clutter from just living life without adding special seasonal clutter to my stressed-out brain.
And, this year, we have kittens. One of them thinks it is fun to climb the tree, and both of them have knocked off more ornaments than I can count.
The result was my husband ready to drive both cats to the pound. So now my indoor cats are mostly outdoor cats. The first few days were hard. On me. The cats were thrilled. I was lonely. But, now that the novelty of the outdoors has worn off, my cuddly boy cat has returned to my lap for the majority of the time I am home and working. I have a blog about that experience brewing, but it will have to wait for January.
All that to say, yes, I earned the name Scrooge fair and square. But I am not a Scrooge. There are lots of things I love about this season.
First of all, I love giving gifts. I have had to scale way back to keep in a budget, but I look forward to certain presents every year. I make my mother scrapbook pages for her album, and I make a photo book of the year for my in-laws. My Dad always gets a calendar full of photos and sometimes I include really silly holidays. I work on my sister’s gift all year long, and I look forward to giving it to her. This year, I saved Jamberry money to buy a gift for my husband, and I am really excited about that.
I also love Advent. I love thinking about Mary carrying God in her womb. I love letting this season be a time of waiting and anticipating and being contemplative. I usually write a lot of poetry during Advent.
I adore the lights. I don’t enjoy putting them up or thinking about putting them up or taking them down… But I have fond memories of sitting in a dark room with colored lights at Christmas, sipping hot chocolate, and writing in my journal.
So, today, whichever parts of Christmas bring you joy, I pray you have them in abundance. I pray your holiday is a merry one.
*originally published on Middle Places