how did we used to do this?

I’ve said it before, and I will say it again. Christmas would be much easier if we did it every other year. At least, not at the end of the year. And not all at once. The other day I had the great idea to move to Australia, so we could celebrate in the summer, when we didn’t have end-of-year business issues, too. Yes, I am aware that’s not how it works, but for the fleeting moment it seemed like a good idea. And I do understand the real meaning of Christmas isn’t about convenience, but about Baby Jesus and all that…I really do. But this is my season of “I love this, I hate this,” and it’s such a familiar pattern tradition.

The cards have been sent, the shopping has been done, some gifts have been made, some have been wrapped, some plans have been confirmed. Pajamas purchased. You know, important stuff. And the truth is, I enjoy all of the activities. Just not piled on top of each other, like the leaning tower of holiday cheer. I enjoy writing cards, thinking about gifts, getting together with friends and family. I really like the parts we can do in pajamas.

Steve and I have been wondering how we used to do it with actual children in the home. Ones who were in the City of Davis Nutcracker (which isn’t a real ballet Nutcracker, but a Parks and Recreation 250 child-a-thon Nutcracker) every year. We had a home with a real visiting Santa (aka Grandpa Bill in the fancy Santa suit), sometimes with a visiting high school jazz band to entertain the neighborhood. Reindeer food makings, school parties, office parties, fancy adult parties, extended family parties, traveling to the mountains to cut down the tree (some years, post-party, racing to get the tree before dark), baking (I kind of suck at cookie making, but we rocked the peppermint bark here), handmade gifts for all grandparents, and most everyone else, church programs, decorating every corner of the house (angels in the living room, Santas in the family room). Oh, and someone, somewhere had bronchitis. Or was puking. Every year. Toby even had a Christmas collar and a reindeer headband.

Last year I was a little sad that was over. Now I look at that list, and I can’t believe we survived.

christmasdecor10A few days ago I saw a photo of a small tree, next to a fireplace. Since our fireplace now holds logs and LED lights and candles, it seemed so small and reasonable. And inviting. It barely came up to the mantle. No furniture would be rearranged. No boxes of ornaments would need to be unearthed from the garage. Steve was sitting across from me, but I was even afraid to ask him if he’d like a small tree. So I emailed the picture to him. (This was the photo, though I can’t find a credit for it.)

Two seconds later, he said, “This is awesome! Do you think we could get away with it?”

I texted Kate, “Are you attached to the tree, or how we arrange the furniture?”

“Nope”

Alex, same question.

“I don’t care what you do, just as long as you don’t get one of those dumbshit small trees.”

Ummmm yeah.

We’ll get the big tree. This might be the last time, though. Maybe. Then again, there’s the Australia option.

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