For years we didn’t celebrate Christmas; tired of the expectations, the commercialism, the whiny kids on sugar-highs, the over-extending of ones family for all the activities at the church where we once belonged. As fun as Bethlehem Walk was it was outright exhausting, particularly with a cart-load of little kids while hubby and teen kids were intimately involved in the activities. We baked a thousand cookies over weeks. Music practices never ceased.
For various reasons we caboshed the whole fanfare. We tired of the Christmas carols (except for a few of them, and Rita MacNeil is still probably one of my favs since her songs weren’t so worn out!). We stopped sending Christmas cards and sent out Thanksgiving Newsletters instead (which the feedback was absolutely positive, as so many people get tons at Christmas and nothing the rest of the year) which kept family and friends abreast of our almost-yearly addition of new family members at that time in our married life.
So years of quiet solitude, no tree, no lights, no gifts. It was refreshing. No squabbles over who got the nicest gift. No debt-incurred. A nice dinner, some games and family time. And usually some chocolate.
Over the past few years we’ve started to do something for each Christmas. Different each year, there are no expectations. No tradition. For some, that’s almost blasphemous. Christmas without tradition?!!! Can’t be.
But we’ve enjoyed it, I think…..kids included. One Christmas my eldest brother+ came to the Island and did a big scrumptious turkey dinner. Next Christmas we had an impromptu potluck at our palapa on a Baja beach, a mixture of stuffing and fresh skewered prawns, smashed potatoes and baked yams. Last year we found ourselves sharing fresh snapper with Matt the Frenchman and Pamela in a Mexican fishing village south of Puerto Vallarta where English was certainly the minority.
This year we are at Ajijic with people we met in the spring. Here in time for preparations……and some decorating! The kids volunteer to help decorate the Reception hall where we hold Movie Nights. This is enjoyable for them, these artistic kids. Their creative juices start, and plans are made for our own suites. But first, the Reception is complete.
Side note: I found it very interesting that as we sent out less and less Christmas cards the number we received diminished. Within four years we received virtually NONE. So much for the Spirit of Giving that everybody else purports, supposedly without any bearing on receiving. Really???