I'm of two minds regarding the whole Christmas thing. On the one hand, I'm a sentimental fool about all things Christmas. I love the decorating, choosing a special gift for my loved ones, sitting down to a wonderful meal with my family and enjoying lots of laughter and fun. I cry at the ads on television - particularly the Myers ad, which manages to get me every time.
On the other hand, the commercialization of Christmas is something I don't like. The stress of getting organized and the worry of making sure I've covered everything that needs to be covered. Trying to figure out the right gift for my beloved husband, and the Gang of Four who are both very diverse in their tastes and very unique in their desires. And not allowing the excitement and commercialization to overwhelm the basis of what Christmas should stand for. When the shops start putting trees out in October and have Fruit Mince Pies available in July - there is something seriously wrong.
What I do love about Christmas are the simple things. Watching the Gang of Four opening their gifts. Enjoying a piece of Christmas Cake with a cuppa. Nicking slices of fresh ham, faster than my husband can slice it - there's nothing better. He grumbles about me doing it every year, but it's another one of our Christmas traditions - he slices, I eat :)
We're not a religious family. I believe in a higher power and have been known to have conversations with that power, but we are not church-going people. Christmas for me is used to remember the important people in my life, to be thankful for what we have and to relish the opportunity to spend time in love and happiness with my family.
Funnily enough, when I think of Christmas, it's in scenes like the one above.
Why, I don't know, given that I was born and raised in Australia and we have never, ever had a white Christmas. Somehow though, snow and snowmen seems to go hand-in-hand with thinking about Christmas. Never mind that we'll no doubt be eating our (cold) Christmas dinner in the air-conditioning, while the temperature outside (generally) soars up around 30+ degrees. And that's celsius, not fahrenheit. Despite the heat, when I think of Christmas I think of snow, and sitting around a blazing fire and sled rides.
Speaking of Christmas, my friend Rebecca Raisin has created a wonderful Christmas story, "Christmas at the Gingerbread Cafe" - which is available now at Amazon - click on the cover to go to the page. It might be just enough to get you in the mood for Christmas.