Tuesday, December 24, 2013

So it's Christmas yet again...

Christmas is almost here.  The stockings have been hung and all that jazz.  Christmas always leaves me with mixed feelings.  I have never been a huge fan of Christmas.  My entire single adult life, I only but up a Christmas tree one year.  I put it up the first year I lived alone after college and decided it was a lot of work to rearrange furniture and lug that tree and my decorations out.  Then I had to look at that awful cheap tree and my crappy cheap ornaments.  Way to much work just so I could look at that ugly tree.    Since The Smooch and I got married, the tree comes out a little more often.  If you read my blog My Favorite Christmas Tradition is..... then you will know that I have come a long way with my holiday traditions.

But Christmas is more than the decorations.  It would be so much easier if it stopped there but it doesn't.  Family is often involved.  The Smooch and I are lucky.  We both have loving families, blah, blah, blah.  What I actually mean by lucky with families is that both of our parents are still married so we only have two families to worry about and no step or half families.  So only two Christmases each year.  And we are even luckier because our families live in two different states.  While it sucks that we can see both of our families for every holiday, it also means that we only have to be in one place each holiday.  We don't have to rush from my family to his, driving hundreds of miles in the middle of the day just to watch small children ripping apart wrapping paper to see what they got.  Then once all those gifts are open, the complaining starts.  I didn't get as many gifts as my sibling.  My siblings gifts are bigger.  Blah, Blah, Blah.

I am not sure where I am going with all of this.  The truth is that I am waiting for The Smooch to come home so we can go to a Christmas Eve party.  So I am bored and rambling and just trying to kill some time.  But I think my point is that I think we often forget the real meaning of Christmas.  It should be a time about giving. 

I think we need to stop and really think about Christmas.  This should be a time of getting along and caring for each other.  Do nice things for strangers.  They don't have to be big.  They can be simple gestures.  Give to charity.  Don't create drama.  Love your family for themselves and not because they gave you crap.

I think that this blog is more a reminder for me than an interesting read for you.  I often forget the spirit of Christmas and let the drama take over.  So I will take a big breath and be happy for what I have, for the time I will get to spend with my family and for the overall magic of the season.

Merry Christmas to you.

The Smooch just got home and is complaining about there being no wine.  I guess this evening will be longer than anticipated without that boozy haze.

Merry Christmas to you.  I hope that the holiday, whichever holiday you celebrate, brings you happiness and cheer.

The above was written on Christmas Eve 2013.  Today is the day after Christmas 2013.  And while I did try to feel the spirit of Christmas all day.  I was only successful part of the day.  I did find that spirit.  But I didn't find it in the constant debate over the Duck Dynasty guy.  He has the right to believe and say whatever he wants.  Just like you do.  If you don't like it, don't support him.  Stop watching his show.  I didn't find in in the on going debate about whether not we are allowed to say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays or whatever.  Say whatever you want.  But when people say something to you that you don't like, just remember the above.  We all have the right to believe in what we want.  And I certainly didn't find the Christmas spirit in all the bitching about UPS and FedEx.  For real people, give them a break.  They could not have predicted weather and other problems.  Those people work all night this time of year.  Do you?  Also, it is not UPS's fault that you waited to the last minute to order/ ship your gifts.  That was all you.  But I bet you are glad you finally have someone else to blame for a change of pass.

And the highlight of my non-spirit Christmas day was probably when a small child announced "This Sucks!" when he was told that instead of the regular feeding frenzy of everyone opening gifts at once, everyone would take turns opening gifts one at a time.  He declared "This Sucks, and is unfair for those of us who have to wait."

At that outcry, The Smooch and I smiled that knowing smile of a couple with no children and departed to our own house.  A house full of silence and where we could open gifts however we wanted.  That is where I found the Christmas spirit.  Alone with My Smooch.

I hope you found the Christmas spirit somewhere this holiday.

Friday, December 13, 2013

My Favorite Christmas Tradition is.....

While surfing the internet, I ran across the blog My Favorite Christmas Tradition Is.... from Janine's Confessions of a Mommyaholic.  Janine was challenging her readers to finish the sentence "My favorite holiday/ Christmas Tradition is...."  I am accepting that challenge.

What is my favorite Christmas Tradition??  That is a good question.  As far as traditions go, I am sort of in a transitional period.  The Smooch and I just hit our two year wedding anniversary in September.  We met in January before we got married so our first Christmas together was also our first Christmas together as a married couple.  This Christmas coming up will be our third together.  We are still looking for our Christmas traditions.  So far we haven't done anything consistently.  The Smooch's family is from New York so we spend every other year at their house for Christmas.  On those years (all 1 so far), we didn't even bother putting up a Christmas tree since we wouldn't be home to enjoy it.  On the years we stay home and go to my family's for Christmas, we do put up a tree but so far our tree is pretty sad.  I have some ornaments from my childhood.  My husband also has a few ornaments from his childhood but they all have his brother's name on them.  Apparantly an ex-girlfriend of The Smooch destroyed all of his childhood ornaments in some sort of crazed fit.  I think that might be about the coldest thing you could do to a person.  Somehow my husband ended up with some of his brother's ornaments.  So our tree is a mash up of ornaments from our childhood.

This brings me to my favorite Christmas tradition.  This may not be something we do at Christmas but it is something we do for Christmas.  The Smooch and I are trying to gather ornaments from "our" life.  When we travel, we try to buy ornaments that will remind us of these trips together.  We only have a few so far but my favorite thing is getting those ornaments out each year and remembering the trip we took.  Our Christmas tree is turning into a scrap book of our lives and that is probably my favorite holiday tradition.   

This is the ornament we recently bought on a trip to visit the in-laws.  It represents our trip to New York City we took last Christmas.  When we were in NY visiting his family, we went into the city to see the tree at Rockefeller Center.  When I get home, I will put last year's date on it and then I will hang it on the tree.  Whenever I see it, I will think of my first time to Rockefeller Center and even more importantly, the first Christmas I spent with my in-laws.

What are your favorite Christmas/ Holiday traditions?  I want to hear them!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Walking Dead Took Over My Life

So you may or may not have noticed that I have been absent for a while.  I have a good excuse... well maybe not a good excuse, maybe just an excuse.  I started watching The Walking Dead on AMC.  My sister introduced the show to me when I was visiting her and I was immediately hooked.  The Smooch and I had to start watching it.  The show had just started it's fourth season, so we had some catching up to do.  The Smooch and I spent three solid weeks but we watched all three previous seasons and got caught up on season 4.  It took many types of media to get there.  We borrowed seasons 1 and 2 from the library.  We signed up for a one month free trial from Netflix just so we could get season 3.  Then we had to download and pay for the remaining episodes of Season 4.  But we are now caught up.    We stayed up late trying to get in one last episode.    We spent an entire Saturday dedicated to nothing but The Walking Dead.  We didn't leave the couch, we didn't shower, we didn't move.  We had pizza delivered directly to our couch so we wouldn't miss a minute. 

I want to save you all that pain and suffering so I am going to give you the cliff notes version of what happened in the four seasons of The Walking Dead.  **Spoiler Alert**  You may want to skip this blog if you are really interested in watching The Walking Dead, which I totally recommend.  Just kidding, I don't think I give away too much but if you are worried about it, just look at the pretty pictures.