Saturday, December 07, 2013

Building Traditions

For the last decade, at least, as a family, Les and I haven't celebrated the holidays. This isn't as bleak as it sounds, as we've certainly exchanged gifts (when there was money to do so) and enjoyed the season. But we stopped bothering to put up a tree quite a while back, because we were always traveling around Christmas, and besides, the old apartment was small and such an epic clutter pile, it had no room for any extra decoration.

We traveled, usually to his folks' house, and spent a couple of days doing Christmas there. Nothing wrong with that, certainly, and we're both agnostics, so we don't feel any religious obligation to deck our personal halls. But I miss it, and in the face of traveling to a house that feels less like a home now (thanks to the family drama that lives in it), I determined that this year needs to be a time of building our own traditions.

We bought a new artificial tree, which we will decorate tonight. I'm also going gathering for pine branches to hang around the house. We're not sure if Les is allergic to pine, so this will be a way to test him out without going whole-hog with a real tree.

We're spoiling each other a bit with gifts, for once. I'm having us open our gifts on Yule, rather than drag stuff down to his folks' house. I'll make us a nice meal. Maybe we'll watch a movie together, or go catch the new Hobbit flick. I'll refresh my memory about winter solstice. We'll light candles around the house, and ponder the turning-inward momentum of this time of year. Tonight we light the 2nd candle of my version of Yule advent: courage.

We'll still travel to both our folks' homes, but we're keeping the trip short, both for my work sanity and our personal sanities. Having the holiday land smack in the middle of the week this year is going to be grueling for me, as my work week runs Sunday to Saturday. Laptops are marvelous portable devices, but no amount of distraction known to man could get me to concentrate in his folks' house, where my 7-year-old niece resides, and besides, I want to be available for her. She's the real reason we're making the trip.


My friend Diana is out of ICU and on the mend. Lil Sis's friend Kendra remains in a medically induced twilight. All prayers appreciated.

Image from here.

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