When the kids were small, Christmas was a big deal. Presents, tree, decorating, wrapping, ho ho ho. Everyone knows how it goes. So how does it go when you move away from your family? How do you find your holiday spirit when you are so busy at work trying to help others meet their holiday needs? Well, mostly, you just don’t. And if you try to pull a “Christmas With the Kranks”, you end up having to explain yourself to everyone. Do you know how many times I have to answer this question? “What do you mean you aren’t putting up a Christmas tree?” Is there some kind of law that says I *must* put up a Christmas tree?
I simply decided to keep the best parts of the holiday, and got rid of the rest. Dragging endless boxes of stuff up from the basement? Not the best part. Crowding my living space with a fake tree? Also not the best part. So what did I save? Well, the shopping is high on my list. Wait a minute, you are probably saying. That is the worst part, the commercial part. Well, it’s also the part where I get to pick out special things for those I love. I know how to play the game, shop early enough to avoid the crowds. Or shop on weekdays when the rest of the world is at the office. That’s how I maintain my sanity.
What else did I keep? The singing. That might not be a part of everyone’s holiday, but I sing in several different choirs so it’s a huge part of mine. Trust me, if you are looking for Christmas like I am, go sing Christmas carols at a nursing home. That is a guaranteed way to start getting all warm and fuzzy inside. Then go sing beautiful Christmas music at your beloved church, with all your church family gathered around to hear it. You’ll know you are doing it right if you get too choked up to finish singing.
But mostly I kept the best part of all, the family time. I may have moved away, but we still live close enough to see them. In the past, my job only allowed me the briefest window of time to visit them. But not anymore! This year I am taking Christmas back from the corporate greedies, and spending the holiday with my family gathered around me. That’s how I got my Christmas back. Look no more.