Confession time: I do not like Christmas.
I’m not sure if that makes me a good Goth or a bad one, but whatever. I don’t enjoy the holiday season; I find it irritating, exhausting, and depressing. I’m sure much of the antipathy I harbor is due to losing my mother five years ago – she absolutely adored Christmas, and it’s not the same without her – but I’ve always had a tendency to the holiday blues. It’s just more pronounced these days.
I do love winter, and I love snow, but not the holiday, so I doubt it’s the cold and the dark that I dislike. Perhaps it’s the over-commercialization or just that really cheerful people get on my nerves…something. I just don’t like it.
Caveat aside, there are aspects I dislike less than others.
I enjoy the Christmas tree. I despise putting it up and taking it down because it’s such a chore, but once it’s up and lit, I enjoy sitting in the room with it, my cat on my lap, a book and some cocoa.
Our tree is Victorian-themed, of course. Lots of dark reds and golds, ornate ornaments, velvet textures, branches, and berries threaded through the green limbs, and white lights. Instead of traditional garlands, I use long strands of gold beads because we have cats, and cats have been known to eat garland and/or ribbons, and then end up at the vet. So, yeah. The tree topper is a Victorian angel dressed in brocade, velvet, and (fake) fur. While assembling and decorating the tree each year, we will have A Nightmare Before Christmas going on the DVD player, so I can stop and watch when I start getting annoyed. It helps calm me down.
Since I have a Halloween village that I put up every year, you have probably (correctly) assumed that I also put out a Christmas village. Again, because of Der Mann’s obsession, it’s a Lego village, and it grows every year. There was a train last year, and this year the train depot. We also have a carousel, a little open air market, post office, Santa Claus cottage, Christmas tree vendors, etc.and so on, many little buildings and bits I can’t remember because I’m not at home looking at it as I type this. It’s cute and I enjoy it. Unfortunately, so does Boonzilla and Karmazuki. They have been known to wreak kaiju-worthy cat havoc on the Christmas village.
And the Halloween village.
And the city itself.
And the Christmas tree, as Boon likes to climb it. I’m pretty sure he has his eye on the angel at the top.
Presents…presents are okay. I’m one of the weirdos that kind of enjoys the wrapping part. I do not like the shopping and all, though I do get a thrill when I know I’ve found the perfect thing. Receiving presents doesn’t do much for me; I’d much rather give.
We do not put up Christmas stockings in our house, mostly due to cats pulling them down (when we lived in Atlanta) and lack of space (here in Michigan). We follow the German tradition of Der Mann’s family and put out boots. I have some glass Santa boots that we fill with candy and fruit and small silly knick-knacks for each other. One of these days, we might actually get around to painting them.
There’s been snow here (in Michigan) on Christmas. I love that. Snow on Christmas was one of the things I missed most the entire time I lived in Atlanta, so I still get terribly excited when it snows.
Now – to prove I’m not completely Grinchy – there is one thing I absolutely love about Christmas.
Christmas Eve, to be exact.
Der Mann and I have adopted the Scandinavian tradition of Christmas Eve books. We will give each other a list of three books we’d like to read.We’ll each buy the other a book from the list, along with a couple of chocolate oranges. On Christmas Eve, we retire to bed, where we unwrap the books and crack the oranges, and then spend a blissful evening reading our books – and reading the good bits aloud to each other – and eating chocolate while the cats cuddle and snooze.
That’s the best part of Christmas, to me.