Is It Still Christmas?

Is it still Christmas?  The 25th has come and gone, along with Santa and all the hustle and bustle in the malls. The big dinner has been eaten, and most of the leftovers have probably disappeared as well. Family members are headed back to their respective homes, and the kids are moping around, knowing that school will resume in a few short days. Christmas is now officially over.

 

Wrong. Technically, it’s still Christmas.

Even though this is the LAST day of 2013 (good riddance in my book) Christmas isn’t over. In fact, we are really only halfway through the Christmas season today if you want to get picky. When my kids were little, I did Christmas the same way as most of you probably did. I started thinking about gifts by Halloween (or before) and I got my tree up by December 1st, soaking in every minute of the season. I love the decorations everywhere, and the spirit of goodwill toward man that is palpable in the air. Everyone (well mostly) is a little nicer, smiling more and  making that extra effort to be kind and in the spirit.

But this year, I was channeling Ebeneezer Scrooge early in the season.

In my own defense, its been a very tough year. Our “normal” preparations were thrown off, all the way back from Thanksgiving. Family was divided over the split from the divorce, everyone still shell shocked about my soon to be ex-husbands announcement. No one was really sure what the holidays would look like this year, and everything got kind of turned up on its ear.

My son was sick. Not just flu-sick, but systemic-flare-Juvenile-Arthritis-sick. He had missed almost two weeks of school going into the holiday season, and I was fighting insurance to get him approval for the drug the doctor prescribed (it took almost three weeks, and nearly put him in the hospital, but that’s another story)

Then we needed to make the week long trip to California for clinic right at the beginning of December, when I usually get into Christmas, full swing. The icing on the cake was that I couldn’t even GET to our Christmas decorations. After a big snow, not only was it hard to even physically get to the storage area in the back yard,  I found that I was going to have to call a carpenter and a locksmith to get in because the door had swollen shut and was improperly aligned after someone else had tried to enter forcibly (like that’s not disconcerting all on its own!) It was just one. thing. after. the. other. At this point I was pretty much like the picture below:

forget-christmas-and-bah-humbug

But then I had an epiphany. Just because everything had been cruddy up to here, didn’t mean we couldn’t have a great Christmas. After all, I was moving on from an unhealthy relationship, my son just got his medication approved (and we were told it was working very well) and my younger son’s disease was in control. Just because I started later than usual didn’t mean I had to scrap Christmas, if anything, all these challenges brought me back to the true meaning of the holiday.

We decided to celebrate Christmas the old fashioned way. I put up a very tiny artificial tree on Christmas Eve (thanks Bed Bath and Beyond, for not breaking the bank) and we only exchanged a few thoughtful gifts. I let the kids choose the Christmas menu, and made everything they asked for. We spent the time enjoying one another and reflecting on the true meaning of Christmas, and it didn’t stop there.

Technically, the 12 days of Christmas start on December 25, and end on January 6th, Three Kings Day (when the 3 wise men actually arrived to bring their gifts to baby Jesus) Since we were so slow to start, we decided to celebrate our Christmas with the 12 days of Christmas instead. Every day through January 6th, we are doing something else together to celebrate Christmas. Two days ago it was my driving 70 miles off route so that the boys could visit one of their friends on the way to Arizona. Last night it was going through the Christmas light displays in Glendale, AZ. Tonight I am picking up another one of their friends at the airport and we are going to a Coyotes Hockey Game. Tomorrow, they will attend the Fiesta Bowl with their dad. Every day is a little gift, doing something thoughtful and out of the ordinary to celebrate the season. Each day we are stretching out our Christmas until the “official” end  on January 6th.

So yes, it’s still Christmas. I hope you make the most of the last 7 days of it. Have a Happy New Year too.

 

 

 

 

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Comments:

  1. Hey Kim,

    Nice post. Had a pretty up and down year myself but still a lot to be grateful for. Like you
    i believe we should appreciate the 12 days of Christmas and not the shopping nightmare beforehand.
    Anyway, hope you have a wonderful 2014. Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    • Although it wasn’t the traditional American Christmas (and thank goodness my kids were old enough to be hip with it) I think we all enjoyed going back to the original traditions this year. It was meaningful, and more about the time we spent together. NOt sure if they will want to do the same thing this year, but overall everyone was happy with our choices, especially under the circumstances. Happy New Year to you and your family!

  2. I love Christmas but I don’t want to do 12 days LOL I am ready this year to be over. We had power outages due to ice stores…. it was an interesting year. I did manage to make it special for my kids but it took a lot out of me this year. But that is what we moms do isn’t it…. make the magic!

    • Well, when you consider I didn’t even START until Christmas eve, 12 days doesn’t seem so bad, right? Also we did focus on getting back to the “true” spirit, and spread out the few gifts and activities over the course of those 12 days. It is a nice change of pace, and I know it will be a holiday that we all remember!

  3. Merry Christmas Kim! We put up our tree on Christmas Eve too. You are doing a great job making this Christmas awesome for your kids.
    Herchel S recently posted…Sales Dad turns that Fail into a Daddy WinMy Profile

  4. It sounds like you are truly enjoying the 12 Days of Christmas! What a wonderful way to change your outlook during what could have been a most difficult Christmas season.
    TaMara recently posted…New Year’s Eve = Game NightMy Profile

    • I try to practice what I preach! One of the big things about living with JA is turning a negative into a positive if we want to thrive and not just survive living with the disease. This Christmas, I had to put my money where my mouth is, so to speak. I am rather proud of my self (yes, shamelessly patting my own back right now) that I managed to turn it around in the nick of time!

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