After a whirlwind sub-24 hour holiday marathon where we went from one Triple F to Another (that’s a Forced Family Function, in case you’re wondering), Spouse and I had to ask ourselves what the holiday season is about. For us.
Since we’re Unitarians, sometimes it’s hard to explain to the kids where our beliefs fit into the mainstream picture.
On our way home last night, Trixie (5) had a series of questions:
- Is this Jesus’ Birthday? (Me: Well, a lot of people think so).
- Does Jesus get 100 presents for his birthday from Santa? (Me: Probably not).
- What is Jesus like? (Me: I think he would be one of the nicest people you could ever meet).
You get the idea.
At least I hope you do.
It seems like every year, we barely keep our heads above water and rush, rush, rush to meet External and Internal Obligations, usually with mixed success.
One of our best Christmases was a very simple one, and it was mostly the two of us.
My intern year – 2001 – I was on call Christmas Eve.
Spouse stopped by the hospital with a plate of homemade cookies; sugar cookies cut into pig and dog shapes because they were the only cookie cutters he could find at our apartment.
It took him hours to make those cookies. They were fabulous.
He also smuggled Frenchie, our toy poodle who was the love of my life back then, in for a visit inside a duffel bag.
Call was relatively un-eventful (a Christmas miracle in itself), and in the morning I headed home for a nap.
I woke mid-morning and we opened presents in our PJs.
In the afternoon, we gorged on a retro 70s recipe crab dip – so budget busting back then – with two of our friends and drank wine while watching “The Muppet Christmas Carol.”
I realized it even back then: we were happy. Christmas felt right.
I’ve tried to capture that ever since.
Which brings me back to the question: what would the ideal holiday season look like?
For me, venue is important, but I think it could take many forms. Most of all, we would be warm and comfortable.
People would be there, family and friends, but the key would be that everyone wanted to be right there, right then.
The food would be good. We’d probably even have crab dip.
There would definitely be wine.
We would laugh a lot.
There would be Muppets.