The Christmas Fairy
Date: December 08, 2017 12:16AM
I'm a Christmas fanatic! Don't get me started! Yes, I'm "That" person who leaves the lights up through January. January is so bleak and gray, that we NEED lights everywhere. We have an artificial tree, so we can keep it up longer. The real ones die too soon. We have several large pines in our front yard, and we light them, as well, and they can be seen up and down the street, from each corner. Plus, we have traditional wreaths on our doors and in our windows, and on outdoor railings, and under our carriage lamps. My daughter helps me, and every year our ladder has to be longer and longer, as the trees grow. My children force me to wait until after Thanksgiving, but I put up lighted garlands in my own bedroom.
We have too many traditions to write about, such as sending Christmas cards, baking Swedish cookies, having a gingerbread house making party, going to the Nutcracker in SLC, Zoo Lights at Hogle Zoo, doing Sub For Santa with my business colleagues, Toys For Tots (When we shop for that, we keep an eye out for what the little grandchildren want. They love buying for other kids.) My grandchildren have a piano recital of Christmas music, and they are going to perform in their school Christmas program. When we decorate my tree, the grandchildren get new pajamas, and sleep overnight under the tree. We make ice cream snowballs, with a candle in the middle.
We look forward to our favorite Christmas movies. A Christmas Story, Christmas Vacation, The Holiday, The Santa Clause, The Grinch cartoon, Grinch with Jim Carrey, Scrooge musical, Scrooge with Alistair Simm, Little Women, Just Friends, Better Off Dead, and tonight we watched Frozen. I enjoy some of the Hallmark Christmas movies.
There's always some good Christmas movies at the theaters. I saw "The Man Who Invented Christmas" with some friends, who are also Dickens fans. The kids are excited for the new Star Wars movie. There's always a Christmas opera.
Both sides of my family have family Christmas parties, which are a lot of fun. One side is mostly ex-Mormon now! They are musical, and we sing and play instruments. The other side is still very Mormon, but the kids enjoy playing with the cousins. Some business friends have a Mele Kamiki Maca (spelling?) Hawaiian Christmas party in their back yard. They have sand hauled in, and space heaters, and fake palm trees, lights and tiki torches, and we drink little drinks with umbrellas in them, and barbecued ribs.
Christmas was almost ruined, sometimes, by the demands that the Mormon church put on me, as ward and stake organist, and accompanist to the ward choir. Too many rehearsals--ugh! I had to go to the dreaded Ward Christmas party, the RS party, the Primary party and the High Priest party, to play Christmas songs on the piano, for caroling, etc. That was too much time away from home, because my kids did not participate in those.
Christmas today is a change from some of the lonely Christmases I had, when my children were with my ex-husband, or away at school for most of the vacation time. I sort of know how Christmas can depress some people. I often think of my high school/college boyfriend, who was atheist, and how we enjoyed Christmases together, skiing, and going into San Francisco. He proposed at Christmas time, in a romantic setting, but my parents had warned me that I had better marry a Mormon RM in the temple, or else my family would be lost to me forever.
Christmas can remind you of your lost loves, or your missed opportunities, or the way things might have been....
This is off the subject of the war on Christmas, which has more to do with overspending. I used to sell in a department store during the holidays and in the summers, when I was home from BYU, and the customers at Christmas seemed very happy, and were much nicer, than the summer customers. There was definitely a "Christmas Spirit" at play, when people were buying gifts for OTHERS.
Christmas brings people together--even in misery. A friend of mine was left at the altar, three days before Christmas. She and two of her would-be bridesmaids get together for lunch on the anniversary of that day, for a "bah-humbug" lunch. It's how she needs to handle it. I used to avoid couples' evening parties, especially church couples parties.