Another Christmas Eve

It doesn’t matter how many firsts we will be experiencing this year as husband and wife, Christmas really isn’t feeling very special this year. Then again, it really hasn’t felt very special since I was 13, and I began realizing that all the man-made traditions were just a ploy to get people to buy things for each other so stores could make it into the black by the end of the year. I hate the commercialism. I hate feeling obligated to buy people stuff. Especially when I have no idea what they want or need.

I mentioned a few posts ago that I made gifts this year. Which I still hope goes over okay. Still, I feel like the only member of the family that seems to do anything custom, and it feels silly most of the time, because I feel like the child who made some finger paint art that I want them to slap on their refrigerator. Not an artist who has custom made wood cuts I want them to mount on the walls of their homes and galleries. I feel like the family child who always wants to present the family with lovely and beautiful things, but they just smile, nod approval, and proceed to trash it after I leave. So, I often wonder, whats the point of putting fourth the effort?

Part of me wishes that I could get away with not having to do gifts at all. Just feed my family and get together to watch movies or sit and talk stupid together. Listen to Christmas music. Go to bed and enjoy the time off of work. I didn’t even go to Church for Christmas Eve service. My husband and I just sat at home and watched a sermon online together. Then played Year Walk on my iPad and drank tea as the snow fell slowly outside. Now he’s playing a simulation of the titanic sinking and I’m writing this to the loud explosions caused by the damage he’s invoking to the virtual ship.

I remember when I couldn’t wait for Christmas. Christmas was fun as a child. There was no Santa for me growing up, just parents who worked hard and got us gifts because they loved us. Sometimes big and sometimes small. We would go to the Christmas Eve service all dressed up in brand new Christmas outfits my dad’s parents would have gotten us or made us. We’d go over to my grandma’s house (mom’s side) and watch TV, open gifts, and eat a lot. Our older cousins would often bring their Nintendo and we would play game after game with them. We’d stay there well past bed time and fall asleep in the car on the way home while mom and dad sang Christmas hymns to us.

Christmas Day we would get up early and groan that our parents weren’t up before 10 am. Then we’d eat a huge breakfast that mom and dad would make and complain about how long it took. Then we’d hardly eat it from being stuffed the night before and also too excited to eat because there were presents to open. Then we would read the Bible story of Jesus’ birth and talk about it impatiently. Then we would open gifts, and joyfully play with them for a bit before going over to my dad’s parents house. We would eat and open gifts there too. Then we would fall asleep after hours of fun and food in front of the TV with grandpa. Who would snore loudly, but in an endearing way and we’d snuggle up to him on the floor curled up in handmade quilts my grandmother made and kept around for days like this. Most of the time we would wake up at home and not remember how we got there. Some kind of Christmas miracle.

Now that I’m an adult, it’s just obligation after obligation. I suppose spending money is the key. As a child Christmas didn’t cost me a thing. It just felt like a fun time to see family, eat food, and get gifts. Now, my extended family avoids each other for Christmas, ever since my mom’s mom passed away. My dad’s parents go to FL every Christmas so we haven’t spent a single Christmas with them for years. Even now that I’m married, and I’m so glad to have my husband around and to get to spend our first Christmas together, it just isn’t like all the years before.

I miss those years, and hope to make better memories soon while I’m also praying my checking account doesn’t end up in the negative.

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