This might be shocking to some, but everyone celebrates Christmas differently. Some people spend months planning, shopping, wrapping, decorating and this is totally great. Well, some people just don’t do that.
My brother and I were never the kids who could barely sleep the night before Christmas or waking our parents up at 5am because we were just dying of excitement (maybe when we were VERY young, but not that we remember!). The way my parents treated it, Christmas was fun but nothing to get overly worked up about. Getting presents was great but it wasn’t going to kill you to wait. We also never really had a lot of money growing up, so most of our presents were small or we got just one large present, and that’s it. But presents aren’t really what Christmas is all about, right?
It wasn’t until I got older that I realized all of the politics that surrounded this particular holiday and how it just made people greedy, rude, ungrateful and crazy! My attitude towards the whole day slowly soured until I was at the point of volunteering to work on Christmas, not just for the amazing $$$ but just as an excuse to avoid how awkward it had become for me.
My family and friends have been pretty understanding towards how I feel, maybe just teasing me but being respectful none the less. However, there have been a 1 or 2 people over the past few years who make a point to make me feel like shit every single year about how I’ve chosen to do things, simply because that is “not the way it’s done.” This is a sadly common thing in many peoples’ Christmas. It’s too often I hear from friends that their “loved ones” tirelessly rail on them for opening gifts on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas, or for not pretending that Santa is a real person, or for choosing only to celebrate the story of Jesus’s birth while forgoing the other parts of Christmas. Even Josh was once told “Christmas is about the giver feeling good about giving!” Um…what!?!
Frankly I’m tired of the guilt trips and the animosity from people who claim to know what Christmas is all about. Since when did the birth of Jesus and the story of Santa become shoving traditions in people’s face as if they were the law? I guess I missed that part of both stories!
Honestly, I am thankful for the way my brother and I were brought up to celebrate Christmas. Yeah, we mostly got things like pajamas or board games (to share! *gasp*) and our stockings were filled with penny candy and cheapo toys. I had to go back to school and listen to all of the kids who got Nintendos or Air Jordans or piles of brand new clothes, which could sometimes sting, but now I am so glad it gave me the attitude towards gift giving and gift recieving that I have today. I wouldn’t change it ever. My dad always told us you should be just as willing to give to someone on any day of the year, not just Christmas. Both of my parents were willing to give anyone the shirts off of their backs and the food off their plates 365 days a year. My whole family has that attitude! (What I find sad is that many people do not have this attitude the other 364 days a year!) For us, Christmas is just a fun thing. It’s not a serious thing that everyone should stress about and have a heart attack over. We eat a lot of food and hang out together. I like that. Maybe some consider that “incorrect”…but hey, screw you 🙂
Plus, if I had the choice between being an adult who was kind of “meh” about the whole thing, or an adult who walked around with the expectation of being showered with gifts…well, if you know me at all you know which I would choose!
To all of my friends and family who love Christmas and get super into it: Thank you for always including me and making me feel super welcomed. I know I can be stubborn and defiant, but thanks for loving me anyway.
To anyone that falls into the category of “giving people shit”: Grow up.
This year we’re in Chicago…our family is far away. We went and saw Zoolights. We did not go and see Santa (I don’t really find the “sobbing child on Santa’s lap” picture worth paying for). Our friends have all gone to be with their families…even most of our neighbors are gone! Our Christmas tree is in storage. We did get some lights and made “Christmas windows”. We ordered a pizza. Elliot is napping after playing with new toys all morning.
So maybe our Christmas isn’t as cool or Christmas-y as some, but we like it just fine!
Happy Holidays to you and yours, however you choose to celebrate.
Emily, Josh & Elliot
P.S.- Here is a picture of our dog Indie who is living with Mike and Dairne until we can bring her out this spring…we miss her so much!