Monday, 29 September 2008
The "C" word.............
I enjoy Christmas - there, I've said it! I enjoy the season - the midwinter celebrations of whatever folks choose to celebrate at that time of year, whether Pagan, Christian, something in between or nothing, just having a good time! I enjoy it because I make the celebrations my own. I don't buy into others' ideas of how or why the season should be marked. For us, it's not just a one day thing; we love the anticipation of the discrete parts that go to spreading the feasting and celebrating over a couple of weeks. We have a gradual build-up, starting in October with the traditional puddings and cake to be made, plus mincemeat, and anything else that needs time. After that, it's time to start on gifts (although these are usually started earlier as I make most of them) and cards. The advent of Samhain/Hallowe'en and Bonfire Night in amongst it all gives a break from thinking too far ahead into midwinter, and ofcourse, gives another couple of excuses for feasting and fun. Long dark evenings give time for making and thinking ahead too, beside the fire with a glass of what you fancy, or a cup of hot chocolate or tea. As usual, there's a lot to do around the house and garden, so seasonal preparations are fitted in around these. December brings the winter solstice, then it's time to decorate the house for the three days I see as the centre of the celebrations - Christmas Eve, Day and Boxing Day. This is followed by a few days of seasonal normality, then, being of Scottish extraction, it's into the New Year's celebrations, more food and fun. After that, it's time to face a new year, new beginnings, resolutions made, good things for the coming year anticipated, reflections pondered upon for the year just gone.
Like most things, preparation is the key - if you celebrate Christmas or another festival/turning point of the year, there are always preparations to be made, things to make, food to organise. For me, it's half the fun, the anticipation of good times to come. Lack of preparation amkes for frazzled and ultimately unhappy times.
For some folks, especially those who are family oriented, it's the main event of the year - they enjoy the present buying, the cards on the mat, the sparkly liveliness of the towns and shops, the cheesy music, the rush to "get ready for Christmas". Not so for me, but who am I to detract from their enjoyment? I'm happy for them to celebrate in their own way, do their own thing, and enjoy time with those they love and like. OK, so maybe in an ideal world, we would all enjoy giving and receiving eco-friendly presents wrapped in recylced paper, or not sending too many Christmas cards, or not plugging in quite so many lights, or choosing a real tree from a sustainable source over a plastic one. We don't live in this ideal world, though; indeed, a lot of folks wouldn't see it as ideal for them themselves. A lot of people find the middle of winter hard enough to cope with, and having this to look forward to gives them a real fillip and genuine joy.
As I said, it's not for me, I have carved out a way for us to celebrate what we believe in, what , to us, is worth celebrating, and letting the rest go by. We don't buy into it all, we don't want to and don't need to. We do our own thing, like we do for the rest of the year.
As for me, I'm off to the larder to check up on the dried fruit situation in there.........
This post was prompted by a post on Creative Living this morning; I had intended to write one on winter celebrations shortly, but now it's done, I've one less thing to remember! I'd love to read others' thoughts on this, so feel free to comment below.
Posted by MrsL at 08:27