It’s that time of year when people start dreading the holidays and the gift giving and start bitching about all the stress they’re under and how we’ve all forgotten the meaning of Christmas anyway, so if they express a Grinch-like attitude, who can blame them?
Though I am not religious, I love Christmas. I don’t dread any part of it. I love the idea that it’s a time for us to show our friends and families that we love them. I like putting up the tree, even the part where I can’t get the lights on right and Jess has to remind me not to swear like that in front of her. I like sending out Christmas cards. Now that Jess helps, it takes longer but is more fun. I like to make treats with Jess and I don’t mind having to make three batches of toffee to get it to come out right, and then I like giving it all away to our friends.
I like giving presents to the handful of people I exchange gifts with. I like helping Jessica pick out something for her father and his family. I like that she and I spend Christmas Eve and Christmas morning together, and then her father picks her up and she goes to share her smiles with his family.
I like spending the afternoon drinking hot chocolate, with a fire in the fireplace, and writing in a journal what I want the new year to look like.
I like to make a budget, but I don’t always like to stick to it, which is why I also like to make a backup budget.
The snow and the crowds and the annoying ads and the invitations I don’t get to parties that people I know are throwing—who cares? None of that is the point.
Here’s the secret to why I love Christmas: I get to have one more with Jessica. Every year, that is the gift I celebrate.
I hope, in the middle of all the noise and unrealistic expectations and pressure to hate the season, that you find a gift to celebrate and forget about the rest.