Thinking on Christmas

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[Note: The pictures in my blog today are from the Atlanta Botanical Gardens and were mostly taken by my daughter’s boyfriend.  He graciously shared them with me as I didn’t take my camera with the night we went to see the lights.]

My daughter and her boyfriend.

My daughter and her boyfriend.

Pam, over at Sterling Sop, recently posted “10 Things. . . I Love About Christmas“.  Of course, that got me to thinking and making my own list of what I love about Christmas.  I thought it would cheer me up as I’m not getting much into the spirit of Christmas for the usual reasons – too tired, too busy, can’t just relax and enjoy it.  It’s one more thing that needs to be done.

So I made my list, looked at it, and realized that most of what was on there were things I used to like about Christmas.  That made me even crabbier yet.

So I put it away as I contemplated the illogic of not letting go of things that no longer made the holidays pleasurable.  I mean come on, I couldn’t replace it with something else?  Tradition is a great thing until it no longer is.  As life has changed, so have the traditions.

The day eventually came when we no longer went to Grandma & Grandpa’s for the holidays.  In time, we no longer went to my Mom’s or in-laws for the holidays.  Now we go to our daughter’s house for the holidays.  Those are changes in the natural course of growing up, starting our own family, and becoming empty nesters.

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I no longer put up a tree, but a few simple decorations.  My daughter though, my daughter puts up a beautiful tree and decorations, which I get to enjoy each and every year at her house.

I don’t make cookies any more either.  Too many calories.  Christmas music?  Yawn.  It’s been a long time since any good new Christmas songs have out.  All I hear is mostly reruns of the same songs.

The lights blinked and changed colors in tempo with the music.

The lights blinked and changed colors in tempo with the music.

A few days later, I pulled out the list and looked at it again.  Ya’ know, it didn’t look so bad.  Maybe it was getting a few nights sleep.  Maybe it was the realization that I did the holiday night lights at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, followed by the holiday decorations at Colonial Williamsburg, and lastly, the night lights at my own local botanical gardens.  Hellooooo there. . . how much do you think you need to do to get in the holiday spirit?  I think there’s a little too much moping and not enough gratitude for the here and now.

Our daughter, my favorite boy toy and me.

So my mood is much improved.  I’m enjoying the Christmas music I’m listening to as I wear my ear buds at work and stare at all the numbers on a spreadsheet, analyzing data needed for year end close in a few weeks.  The department next to ours put a plate of homemade oatmeal cookies – yum, yum.  I don’t need a bag of them in the freezer – it was nice to have one and leave it at that.

So what else was on my list that I still enjoy?  The magic of Christmas Eve, when everything slows down and we turn to each other.  Advent, Advent calendars, and Bible devotions around Jesus birth.  Family and laughter, giving gifts that people want, and receiving newsletters from family and old friends.  There’s plenty there for me that’s within the limits of my time and energy.  I’m enjoying December now and am happy for that.

See Atlanta's skyline in the back?

See Atlanta’s skyline in the back?

Here’s a video for you to enjoy as this group of young men, Straight No Chaser, do their rendition of the Twleve Days of Christmas.  It’s funny and not at all boring, no matter how it looks the first few seconds.  Someone mixed up their music for sure!

They also did a Christmas can-can, giving a hilarious commentary on Christmas commercialism, Christmas decorations and songs starting in October and other such things.  It’s also worth a watch!

They also sing regular Christmas songs and their beautiful voices are wonderful listening.