I have the worst time getting into the Holiday spirit. If it wasn't for the little one, I may fore go all the decor. I say that every year but eventually I get the tree up and the mantel decorated. It might be a week before Christmas that it gets done but I do it.
I'm sure there are a lot of people right now that are not looking forward to the coming holiday. Maybe it's time to get back to basics. To put a halt to all the commercialism of the season. I believe this will be the year. Too many people unemployed; to many shrunken retirement savings; and too much uncertainty about the future.
I still think the best Christmases I can remember were the ones of my childhood. Not much money to spare in the house with seven children and a father that worked a seasonal job. During his break from that job, he had the farms to tend to. Flock of sheep, herd of cattle, and lumber duties kept us all busy most of the year. By the time the holidays rolled around money was scarce. Trees were plentiful. We would go to the woods and cut and drag it home. Our decorations were simple. We strung the popcorn and the cranberries. We cut out snow flakes by multi-folding white paper. Old ornaments that had seen better days but were saved from year to year were used. Very little was thrown out; we had very little. We were land rich though. Three farms and a lot of work.
The anticipation of Christmas morning which seemed to take forever to arrive; the one gift per child beneath the tree. Sometimes a doll on a good year, a baton (1.00), or pajamas in a meager year but it didn't matter. We never made a wish list as the kids do today. We didn't miss it and it never occurred to us that there even could be such a list.
All seven would scrape pennies, nickels and dimes and buy a simple something for mom in a good year. I never once heard any of my siblings complain about what they received. I never once noted any disappointments on Christmas morning. The anticipation is what I remember the most.
I used to observe how frantic shoppers these days are. How they were so stressed with the gift giving obligations. The charge cards were something they worried about after the season and worry they must. I think it would be a wonderful thing if we went back to homemade cookies or cakes for friends, sensible money spending for family and concentrated on the season and stayed out of the stores. Yep, this may just be the year but how sad that it couldn't have been by choice.