The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is or should be in full swing by now. Time to get the stockings hung and to trim the tree. So much to do and so much running around. Ready or not-in less than two weeks, Christians will celebrate Christmas in all it’s glory.
As I blog hop and read Facebook updates in the early morning with my cup of hot cawfee in hand, I enjoy reading stories of elaborate holiday preparations. Some are baking and decorating dozens and dozens of tasty cookies to share with family, friends, neighbors, teachers, the doorman, the mailman and practically everyone they pass on the street.
Others are painstakingly crafting handmade gifts for everyone on their list; or perhaps selecting the picture perfect matching outfits for their annual Christmas card.
Their menus are carefully planned weeks in advance and often include foods I’ve never even heard of. Canard à la Rouennaise? Just go ahead and Google that. The silver is polished and the crystal and heirloom china spot checked. The fine table linens have been laundered and pressed.
They tell tales of their family searching all day in the blustery cold at the UCutItYourself tree farm for that perfect tree that guests will ooh and ahh over.
Christmas shopping, cooking, baking, cocktail parties, three kids at three different schools all with musical programs on different nights. I don’t know how they do it all, it makes me dizzy just reading about it.
My Christmas celebrations have changed since the days of celebrating Wigilia- a traditional Polish Christmas Eve, in my childhood home. Through marriage, moves, death, divorce and alternating holidays I’ve created new traditions for my family.
I bake very little myself now, allowing instead for my daughter to build that tradition with her own two boys. My artificial, pre-lit tree is somewhere between a stunning Norman Rockwell tree and the lonely Charlie Brown one.
My family is small and easy to buy for, so my Christmas shopping list is fairly short. I take advantage of sales throughout the year and often forget where I’ve stored things. It’s not unusual for me to stumble upon a misplaced item in July and say, “Oops, I forgot this on Christmas.”
Finally, I’ll serve a simple meal for my immediate family on Christmas Day- on the sturdiest of paper plates. The traditional ham, some pasta to appease my Italian husband. Kapusta, kielbasa and pierogi to satisfy my Polish taste buds. An extra place setting is always available for an unexpected guest. Before we enjoy our meal, we share opłatki with one another and exchange wishes for the coming new year. No one leaves hungry and if they do it’s by choice.
It is what it is, my humble Christmas and the reduced stress leaves me the time to truly enjoy the peace of the season and to spend more time with those I love.