I have to admit, I’m not feeling “Christmassy” this year. As I sit and write, I’m listening to Christmas carols, hoping to get inspired to start baking. So far, it’s not working.
I don’t know what it is, but Christmas is starting to feel like an obligation. It’s something I *have* to do, rather than something I *want* to do. Thirty years ago, I was one of those people who put up their tree after Remembrance Day and left it up until after Ukrainian Christmas in January. This year, I struggled to find a reason to put it up at all.
But, it’s up. I ‘unfluffed’ the packed artificial tree on my own. I decorated it myself. I will bake treats for my family without their help. I do all the shopping and wrapping of gifts. It very much feels like the story of “The Little Red Hen” – everyone wants to enjoy the outcome, but no one wants to contribute to what makes it happen.
I’ve decided to change my mindset and see this year as an opportunity to start new traditions. We are all adults now; no small children and the magic they bring to Christmas. No early mornings to open gifts. There aren’t piles of presents anymore. As adults, we have enough “stuff.” I’ve bought a few gifts for my son and Dad. I’ll make the traditional foods we enjoy – lefse and krumkake being the two favourites.
One new tradition I started was getting a second Christmas tree and decorating it with all the rosettes my dogs have won over the years. The rosettes had been in a bin for years and I didn’t know what to do with them. A friend suggested I display them on a tree. I loved going through the bin and reliving the memories I shared with my various dogs. It brought me joy.
Another new – what I hope will become a tradition – is deciding to make an experience the gift my partner and I give each other. This year, we plan to find a remote cabin in mountains for a weekend getaway. We’d rather explore the world around us and make memories instead of worrying about what to buy each other.
I want to find other things to make into traditions. Maybe it’s getting a real tree each year instead of setting up the artificial tree. Maybe it’s finding new movies or games to enjoy with family and friends. Maybe it’s going on a trip and having Christmas in another country.
Whatever it is, it needs to be something I look forward to each year.
Do any readers have suggestions?