I know...it's starting to get frightening.
The exception? Thanksgiving!!!! And thank God for that because Thanksgiving with my family was a FEAST. An absolute feast. There was turkey, turkey soup, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, scalloped potatoes, acorn squash, butternut squash, corn, green beans, corn pudding, baked yams with maple syrup, candied sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, cranberry chutney, fruit salad, italian salad, lasagne, ziti, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cake, pecan pie, apple pie, cherry pie, coffee cake, candied orange peels, candied lemon peels, rum balls, peanut butter sesame balls, ginger bread men, spiced cider, egg nog, grape juice, coffee, and wine. Made from scratch (except the juice, cider, and nog of course).
So while most people start dreading the exhaustion, stress, and consumer mania of the holiday season right about now, I start daydreaming about those happy memories from my childhood...
...staying home from school with mom to help cook and bake and taste and scrape the bowl and lick the beaters...all the while singing, humming, and generally just being happy to creating such a feast that everyone will love.
Since Thanksgiving and Christmas have sort of bled together into the general "Holiday Season", my enthusiasm for Thanksgiving moves right on over to Christmas as well. Everyone knows I'm broke...I mean everyone. If I haven't borrowed money from you, then I probably mooched off of you at some point and you already know I'm not going to go shopping for a gift for you. It's going to be either second-hand or something handmade by me (or someone else) and it's going to be simple, personal, useful, and meaningful. So no stress there.
The only family living near enough to visit are my mom, step-dad, brother and fiancee, and my mother-in-law and boyfriend. If we all got together in one room, it might be a little awkward with a chance of disagreement (opposing value systems) but thankfully, I think we're all wise enough to avoid that situation. It's the Italian Jewish Thanksgiving and then the Irish German Christmas. But it's not so much about the exact holiday day for me, as it is about the energy of the season. Baking goodies, making handmade gifts, being cozy at the end of the day with soft blankets and socks, a good movie, and hot cup of tea.
And I still have not given up on that crazy thing they call "The Holiday Spirit". I see no reason to. It's a key ingredient in my love of the season and I make a point to look for it. If I don't find it, I make it.
Maybe I'm different because I haven't been poisoned with Christmas-priority-warp from a young age. Who knows? But I will confess one irrelevant thing. I really don't like Santa Claus. He creeps me out, ever more increasingly every year. Maybe that's because I never believed he was real. And I guess I do kinda have a moral objection to mass deception, especially in regard to children. My own mother never trusted her mother again after she found out Santa Claus was a fraud. For real. Never trusted her. But anyway...
Getting back on track, I really do love the holidays. So many have mixed feelings on the subject...so many get so stressed.
Remember the poor guy that got TRAMPLED by a ferocious mob of crazed shoppers in a Wal-Mart over a big screen tv last year?
It really is just a choice to arrange the puzzle pieces you've been given to suit you. Or to arrange them according to popular opinion. It doesn't have to be hard. Anyone have any good holiday stories? I'd love to hear.