Saturday, November 23, 2013

Flaming Christmas Wreath

Goodbye Festivus, hello holiday overdose. 

Despite the fact that I lack a DIY gene, I’ve decided that with only two winters left before the boys move away for university, I’d finally put some effort toward the holidays and “dress up” our home. This may be a total no-brainer for most, but for me the idea of succumbing to the holiday madness makes me break out in a cold sweat. Maybe it’s because my mother transformed our home into a Christmas fantasy every year and when I moved out on my own the idea of recreating it seemed not only impossible, but somewhat ridiculous. I didn’t mean to forgo the holiday pomp and circumstance for so long, but somewhere in between leaving my parents’ home and having kids of my own, whatever joy I may have found in the holiday season hardened into a lump of bah-humbug coal. My inner cynic got the best of me and rather than find pleasure in the festivities of the season, all I could see was the callous over consumption and bad holiday music that assaulted me by late October. I always felt holiday burn-out long before the holidays ever arrived. It was easier to be a Christmas grump rather than carve out traditions of our own.  Even after the boys were old enough to enjoy the holidays, I just couldn’t muster the energy or desire to do much. If anything I was the holiday Grinch, holding out for as long as possible before getting a tree (did you know you can get a tree for $5 if you wait until Dec. 24th!) or doing anything more than duct taping stockings somewhere near the fireplace.

This is now our second winter season in Canada and maybe because Thanksgiving here is celebrated in early October, there is no energy around the traditional Black Friday that always brings headlines of people being crushed in the stampede to buy that new HD television marked down at Wal-Mart. It seems like there is a slower lead-up to Christmas here. I have yet to hear any holiday music being played in any store, and only now am I starting to see Christmas decorations being put out in earnest. Don’t get me wrong, the consumption machine is slowly eating its way beyond the 49th parallel, but it has yet to arrive here in full-force. Mostly you read about the Canadians who are masochistic enough to travel across the border to be able to take part in all the Black Friday sales. Have these people put no value on their time? I mean, enduring the grinding crawl to cross the border so that they can then endure longer queues once they arrive at their big-box destination, can hardly pencil out!

Quinn and Logan have often felt short-changed when it comes to holiday decorating. Hell, they’ve often felt short-changed when it comes to anything related to the holidays. Probably in direct response to my foot-dragging over the years, they seem to favor my mother’s enthusiasm for this time of year. So I'm giving in and giving them the Christmas bonanza they’ve desired for so long.
I’m going from this: 

To this:

I have no agenda other than excess. A million blinking lights strung throughout the house? Sure. Reindeer cutouts hung on our windows? Sounds good.  A flaming wreath around my neck? Why not. If it’s holiday related, it’s fair game. And how am I doing with all this you ask? Surprisingly chill. In fact, I’m sort of excited. Maybe it’s because my friend Karen has a batch of boozed-up eggnog aging in her fridge, or maybe I’m finally relaxing about the whole holiday stupidity and am just succumbing to the madness. I figure I can do this for the boys for two years and then it’s back to Festivus for the Rest of us!


karen said...

If I haven't already told you, I'm in all the way on this one. I'll be over to give you a hand with the popcorn/cranberry strings for starters, and then making our own advent calendar and creche. (snort)

Lise Lingo said...

I cannot tell you how tickled I am to see the continuing cascade of benefits from introducing you two. :-))))))))

karen said...

Come here and say that, Lise.