Christmas has long been a rather conflicting and conflicted time of year for me. See, we’re Sikhs, and Christmas isn’t part of our tradition. But yes, while hubs and I are both converted to Sikhism, my kids were born Sikhs (not my older son, but the younger two). Guess who just LOVE Christmas 🙂
We lived for awhile in Texas, near hubs’ family who live there. His Catholic family. So, Christmas was a very big deal, starting with the slooowww opening of stockings, then a long breakfast, then the return to the tree for the gift opening. Actually, it was fun, and reminded me in a lot of ways of my childhood in a Protestant home which had similar traditions (although we didn’t make as much of the stockings). And because we love hubs’ family, and wanted to be nice, we went along. It was easy, and didn’t hurt us.
Later on, after the kids came along, and people would ask me if we “celebrate Christmas”, I’d always answer, we celebrate the gift-giving aspect, yes. I’m thinking now that sounds kind of …materialistic? stupid? Well, but it was true. We had a tree nearly every year; the kids got tons of relative gifts – so much so that one year, when DD was very little, even *she*, my original Material Girl, got burnt out on how many there were to open. I got anxious about what to get for relatives, worried over sending cards, had panic attacks over the money… Was it all worth it? What was the true meaning here?
Now DD’s grown up and recently made “the Big Move” to Oregon (that is, probably will be there for several years while finishing college and on); DS is back at school in India, and it’s just hubs and me at home. No tree, no decorating, no angst over gifts – so relaxing! Yes, there are still lots of relatives, but a number of years ago everyone mutually agreed on a complex gift-giving schedule where we’re only responsible each year for giving to one other sister or brother, and one of them to us. It rotates through all the sibs and over time each one gets a nice, higher-quality or more desirable gift from each other one. It works out quite well. And my family? Meh. Don’t even ask. One sis who doesn’t talk to me, and two bros who live far away and don’t care about gifts, from me at least. Or to me, for that matter. A post for another time.
Anyway, why all this thinking about Christmas? Well, HerBadMother, one of the blogs I particularly enjoy, posted this the other day. I have *always* loved Charlie Brown, and the Charlie Brown Christmas Special. So, spend the couple of minutes on this little video HBM shared, and the little bit longer reading her post, if you want to know what Christmas is really all about. And, guess what, it’s about the same thing, no matter who you are or what you believe. Adopt it, ignore it, don’t care about it, dance around it. It’s still what it is.
Merry Christmas, all!