I didn’t grow up celebrating Christmas. I grew up in the Jewish tradition with Hanukah Candles, potatoe latkes and 8 nights of presents…. and then I met Ricky and the boys and we soon started planning our first family Christmas . Well, I thought, what could be more fun, joy filled and easy?
Now at this point you must know that everything I ever learned about Christmas I learned from Disney movies. As a young child on Sunday evenings, I was given the treat of sitting in front of the TV with my dinner and Walt Disney. So with those images in mind, I invited all my cousins and siblings the night before Christmas, sewed 14 stockings to hang by the fire, baked a ham, stuffed a turkey, made homemade chocolates in the shape of Santa and cutout 3 dozen gingerbread men waiting to be decorated. Those glorious nights before Christamas found me up till 4 in the morning wrapping presents and running the washing machine and dishwasher simultaniously.
It took me about 15 years to figure out that Walt Disney’s version of Christmas wasn’t actually fun for me. Good thing I’m cute. The plum pudding? I finally got smart and fed that to the dogs.
How much of your “holiday season” is spent mimicking what works for other people and not you? And how much of what they are doing is mimicking somebody else’s tradition? Do you spend too much, drink too much, eat too much; try to live up to other’s expectations or live down to people’s expectations so you won’t be judged? How light does any of that feel?
This holiday season would you be willing to create a space for you, whatever that means to you, even if it is for just 20 minutes each day. Go for a walk. Listen to your favourite music. Buy something especially for you. Would you be willing to gift you the gift you have been asking for? Making you a priority and including your preferences in the mix is gifting to you.
I have to tell you I really look forward to being with my family.
What changed? I finally let go of being the control freak of Christmas past present and future.
Thirty-five of us aged from 6 months to 85 years are getting together this year! For us it’s a choice and a pleasure, a time to share stories, songs and catch up.
Kelsey now decorates the tree, Gaelen suggested no presents so everyone puts in a stocking stuffer. Nicholas bought the indoor tree and set it up. Ricky organized the outdoor tree, the Garlands and the Booze. My Cousin Marion and my son Ricky send us extra goodies to feed the family like fruit , cakes and nuts. Ricky’s brother sends us pistachios and his sister sends us a wreath. Celina brings vegetarian chili and her famous marmelade and my brothers Mark and Barry bring in the oysters. And gilding the lilly is my cousin Rhoda supplying enough cookies, cakes and delicacies for an army, gluten and non gluten. And me? I will prepare the traditional Quebec ham glazed with mustard, maple syrup, cloves and brown sugar. True to form we will stuff the Turkey for Christmas day.
No doubt I will sneak out to yoga early every morning giving myself that nurturing time for me. Chances are there will be masses of snow with cross country skiing and the annual snowshoe and a walk en famille before turkey- how did I get so lucky?
I wish you all a truly joyful holiday season. Thank you for being a part of my life and such a wonderful contribution
With ease, joy and glorious abundance for the New Year