I am no Scrooge. Christmas is my favorite holiday. It’s also the only time of year I find snowfall acceptable, then I’m bah humbugging with the best of them.
Besides weather, the common Christmas complaints surround commercialism. This includes how early displays show up in stores and how shoppers trample over the true meaning of the day to get the best deals on the most stuff. Growing up, I loved waking on Christmas morning to find gifts under the tree that weren’t there the night before, regardless of what I believed about jolly old St. Nick. After all, what child doesn’t like presents?
But even then I loved traditions that were less about getting. Special moments were singing “Silent Night” at candlelit church services, decorating the mantel with the ceramic Nativity set made by my grandma, and buying gifts for children Mom called our “Christmas Babies.” We chose names of children usually under two years old from the Salvation Army’s tree at the mall and went shopping for clothes, toys, and books. We usually picked three or four names, but many times we would choose an extra — a baby yet to be born, in honor of the birth of Jesus.
I also earned the responsibility of tree decorator, which was risky, considering I was the child who broke two glass ball ornaments within five minutes one year. Fortunately, they were not from Hallmark, or I may not be here to tell about it. (My siblings and I have been told more than once that Mom’s vast collection of Hallmark ornaments will be our inheritance.)
I had a strict method for tree decorating: Christ-centered ornaments in the front, Santa themes on the sides, pop culture in the back (e.g., Barbie and Star Wars). No one told me to do it this way, but I suppose my logic was since celebrating Jesus came before Santa, it applied to decorations.
Childhood memories will no doubt be incorporated into the holiday traditions my husband and I share together now, and later with our children. So far this year, decorations are mostly up (I handled indoors, Handy Hubby strung up the outdoor lights), shopping is almost done, and the aroma of fresh-baked cookies has wafted from the kitchen. I expect someone is wondering, so yes, I did drop a couple ornaments, but that was only to test out the “shatterproof” promise on the box. (The manufacturers did not lie.) As we start to pull out our favorite Christmas films for their annual viewing, I’ll leave you with a clip from one of my favorites. May this be a merry Christmas!