Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas--Love It or Hate It?

I know we’ve got some Christmas haters out there. I’m not one of them! I love the Christmas season, with decorations lighting up houses inside and out, Christmas music on the radio, special holiday meals and traditions, and family! Lots of family. Love it!

When our girls were upper elementary ages we moved 650 miles away from family to Georgia. I was used to noisy, wild, crazy holidays at Mom and Dad’s with my seven siblings and their families. Holidays in Georgia were subdued, not at all the fun holidays I remembered. Somehow we muddled through that first tough year of sad holidays, and then I realized I was going to have to actually make friends! I started some new traditions with friends and neighbors, like Christmas caroling in the neighborhood and Christmas treats at my house afterward.

Fast-forward 20+ years. Now I’m host to my three daughters and their families for the holidays, and it’s more like my memories of Christmas. Bedlam! We plan a time for the little ones to decorate Christmas cookies, we eat traditional (to our family) meals, play games both Wii and board, take walks, go downtown or to a local park, do the drive-through Christmas light village and have the hot cocoa and marshmallows on a stick, and we watch movies. We’re creating traditions and memories with another generation.

If I didn’t have family, what would I do? Well, I’d do what I did in Georgia. Invite church friends and neighbors to go caroling, and come back to my house for treats. Branch out. Fun multiplies—the more fun you start, the more it comes back to you. I remember the day when my friend Jody’s family came Christmas caroling at our house—on a hot summer afternoon! (My neighbors remember it too. Not the reason we had to move, though. I promise.)

Christmas haters can hate Christmas, it’s okay with me; let bad memories taint today’s celebrations, refuse to let new traditions replace the missing ones. But me? I’ll be decorating Christmas cookies, cooking City Chicken (our family’s favorite), driving through the Christmas Village, and hanging out with family. And loving it.

How about you? Do you love Christmas? Hate what it's turned into? Does Christmas make you sad? Share your story.


  1. I love Christmas. My favorite Christmas memory from childhood? I was 5 years old, and the only local grandchild and niece -- so I got ALL the cool presents and attention. We were all at my Grandma's house out on Hwy 29 near what is now the Greer Wal-Mart. My aunt and uncle showed up late b/c it had started snowing. They came running in yelling about seeing Santa Claus. I flew outside and right there on Grandma's roof was a wrapped present...from Santa! It was absolutely magical!

  2. How great! One year we were going to leave for Florida in the middle of the night, right after Santa's visit. My youngest sister was still a believer, so my brothers came in with her new bike saying, "Thanks, Santa! Merry Christmas!" My sister tore right by the new bike, screaming, "Santa! Santa!" But she'd missed him. Broke her heart.

  3. I must be one of the the Christmas haters... but hopefully, that will change in about, hum, 10 years, when my children have children. Right now, it feels just like a big commercial expectation from everyone. But mind you, I do love to cook for everyone, so I'm not a lost cause!