Having just wrapped up Christmas, my sweetheart announced that December 26th is the saddest day of the year. His reasoning is that there’s all the pre-Christmas buildup, then Christmas Eve, then Christmas Day. After that? Nothing. At least not in the United States. It’s kind of a letdown if you look at it that way, so I choose to see it in a different light.
To me, December 26th is the day that all sorts of pressure is lifted. Didn’t get the cards mailed? Doesn’t matter now. Didn’t make a gingerbread house? Doesn’t matter now. Didn’t get all the decorations put out? Doesn’t matter now. Didn’t catch your favorite Christmas movie? Doesn’t matter now. Maybe next year. December 26th is when you can take a step back, evaluate all the things that you enjoyed about your Christmas celebration, and start to relax. Of course it’s easy for me to say that, since December 26th falls smack in the middle of my winter break.
If you’re very fortunate, on December 26th there may be new bikes to ride, new lego sets to build, new gadgets to set up, new books to read, or new clothes to wear. The decorations are all still there, the sweets and treats are still around, and you probably have enough leftovers to make cooking unnecessary. December 26th is a day to take a walk around the neighborhood, take a deep breath, and enjoy what’s left of the holiday season, without all the pressure of the actual holiday itself. December 26th isn’t sad, it’s not sad at all.
Shopping is done. Wrapping is in progress. Dinner is made. Baking is partially done.
It’s December 12, what’s going on? Well, Christmas is coming early to our house. This year our schedules are a little wonky, with some out of town stuff going on and three people with three different schedules trying to work together. I’m okay with it.
Maybe it would bother me if Christmas were about faith for me, but it’s not. I’m a secular Christmas celebrator, so the actual date is far less important to me than the people and traditions involved.
The decorations are in place, the eggnog is chilling, and the Christmas music is playing. I think we’re just about ready, even if we are early. Somehow it seems like it will make the season last just a bit longer, but I’m not sure.
This is kind of new territory for me, so we’ll see how it goes. Whatever happens, I’m pretty sure Santa will be stopping by later tonight, or at least sending someone from his team. I’m pretty sure it will be as magical as always, and I’m pretty sure Christmas isn’t defined by a twenty-four hour period, but more by a feeling. Merry Christmas to all of you, whether you celebrate on December 25, or some other day, or not at all.
My fiance calls it “cruise director” mode. This is when he researches entertainment options and organizes activities for us to enjoy. He’s excellent at it, but frankly he is something of a home body and would be very happy staying in most of the time.
I’m pretty much a home body too. That’s why it’s especially nice that he is so great at switching into cruise director mode. I fear we wouldn’t ever go out if he didn’t. Home is nice. Home is comfortable. But there is so much to experience just by getting out there!
This holiday season he has outdone himself. On Thursday we enjoyed a fantastic Christmas jazz concert as a family. Then on Friday the two of us toured the Chihuly exhibit at our Botanical Garden as part of La Noche de las Luminarias. There were musicians throughout the venue sharing several types of music, from Native American flute to traditional Christmas Carols to Irish folk music. It was a fantastic evening. Then last night we attended a small theater production of A Christmas Carol. It was in a great little venue I had never visited before, and the performance was wonderful. The front row seats were nice, too.
I loved all the activities and I feel special and incredibly spoiled. Now I’m ready to hang out at home for a few days and watch Christmas movies and bake cookies. Yes, I know. I shouldn’t. But I am. Merry Christmas to me, and Merry Christmas to you too.