I am a procrastinator when it comes to Christmas. Every year, I hide the idea of Christmas away in a closet and refuse to listen to its protestations. Next thing you know, it breaks down the door and then runs me over like a steam roller. And I end up looking like this little guy by the time Boxing Day rolls around.
Every year in about October, I rebel against the materialism that surrounds the holiday by refusing to think about it, shop for it or plan for it in any way. It used to be that Remembrance Day was observed first and Christmas preparations followed. When the shift in commercialism came on strong about 10 years ago, I also shifted.
Nowadays, it can easily be Dec 20th before I start considering putting up a tree or thinking about maybe playing one or two Christmas songs (and even then only certain classics are permitted). When school is let out for the break, I suddenly become overwhelmed with panic. What gifts will I get for family and friends? How will Canada Post ever get these packages to distant family in time? (they never do, btw) Didn’t I resolve to send out timely Christmas cards last year?
And, as if by surprise, the big day arrives and I have managed to get the bare necessities done in the half-ass slap-dash job that has sadly become my new tradition.
This year was no different, except in that FM and I left our recently holiday-decorated rural home, complete with forest-found Christmas tree, and spent the five days surrounding Christmas back in the big city we had so recently fled. We shuttled ourselves from friend to friend to family to family, trying to see everyone and sleeping in a different bed most nights. As we drove like madmen back and forth across the multiple cities which make up MetroVancouver, I felt completely over-stimulated by lights, noise and traffic. By the end of it, when Boxing Day rolled around, I was numb.
On our return to the island, as we approached the Queendom, we were greeted with about a foot of new snow and the house, despite being only 16 C inside, was pleasingly lit up with amber Christmas lights (on a timer, don’t ya know?). Once we got the woodstove going and settled down on the couch with a home-crafted brew, we focussed on reacquainting our brains to the sound of silence and adjusting to the lack of pressure to be somewhere soon.
The funny part of this whole situation is that driving all over the city to be with our families over Christmas is nothing new. We have been doing this same Christmas routine for almost 20 years. The change this year is only in ourselves. It is almost as if moving to the Queendom has slowed down our metabolism and heightened our senses.
Our family traditions of this holiday season will not be changing for many, many years. So we will learn to embrace the frenzy of the season with our dear friends and families and know that Peace and Joy will be waiting for us at the Queendom for the 360 other days of the year!
Happy New Year to you and thank you for visiting!