I am an ambivalent individual when it comes to Christmas. At this point in the life line, I can't say that I get terribly excited for the holiday and I don't despise it horridly either. There are certain traditions I like and others get one of the 'oh wells.'
I know folks that believe the sun rises and sets with Christmas with all their traditions. They have to have the right music, trees, food, etc. I know other folks that if they had a choice they would fast forward to January skipping all the falderal and whoop-tee-do.
Supposed I fall somewhere in the middle of those extremes. We put up a tree and have the ornaments etc. I never put up a "real" tree by choice. Quite honestly, I won't either. Having kids with allergies, there was no other choice but to go with the 'fake' tree.
The one we purchased last year, was unconventional. It was white and pre-lit. Unconventional yes, but the easy in putting it up and taking it down for storage, far outweighs any hard and fast 'tree' rule that might be breaking in the Christmas tree hand book.
It took me a great many years to understand why the tree ornaments were a big deal to some folks. I will say if there is one tradition I have stuck to in recent years, it is getting this year's ornament in a the kid's Hallmark series of choice. Yes, I will admit that I am the one in July who is buying Christmas ornaments. Now in self-defense, I did wait one year but had to send family members out ornament hunting in their local Hallmarks in early December. I consider myself pushing the limits, if I haven't purchased the ornaments by September at this point.
As for all the Christmas gift giving, I probably would fast forward around all of that. I know most of it is internal pressure but I don't like trying to buy the 'right' gift. Most years, I am as last minute as I can be because I usually get to the point that I have to do something and buying something is better than nothing.
The one Christmas tradition that I wish we could capture again was in our church in Chester. On Christmas Eve, the service was simply going to the church and receiving communion with the immediate family and the Pastor. There were set hours in the late afternoon and early evening. You could come as you were at a time that worked for your family. The church was quiet with instrumental Christmas music softly playing. The candles were lit and the sanctuary lights were on low. It was probably the occasion of the sacrament that was the most personal and the most meaningful to me. While I most likely won't have that experience again, I am grateful for those few Christmas Eves.
I have also told me kids that as they get older, they will have to make their own holiday traditions. While I would like to see them during the holidays, I also realize they have jobs and may only have one day off and that wouldn't allow them or us to travel for that matter. They have or will have their spouse's families they will need to see. I have told my kids sometimes the weather doesn't cooperate and I would not want them to ever put their lives in jeopardy for a holiday. We can certainly celebrate on another day.
Perhaps my choice of title was not accurate on this blog because maybe there are things I am not as ambivalent about as I thought I was. Those are trees, ornaments, gifts, communion or family gatherings.
Hmmm, I best get the dictionary back out.