To Do List:
- Write Christmas cards
- Bake cookies
- Bake cakes
- Clean and tidy house
- Decorate house
- Decorate outside of house
- Change burned out light bulbs
- Spend way too much time trying to fix a set of lights
- Go Christmas shopping
- Mail the parcels
- Don’t forget to move the G.D. elf around the house
- Create a Christmas music playlist
- Assemble the gingerbread house
- Watch Christmas movies
- Drive around looking at Christmas lights
- Go to the liquor store
- get the Christmas groceries
…the list goes on and on and on.
I’m sure we have all experienced lists like this one and it can get very overwhelming sometimes. I wish I could go back to a simpler time where the biggest worry I had at Christmastime was trying to figure out what colour outfit I was going to put on the shepherds.
We put way too much pressure on ourselves this time of year, but why do we do that? Is it because Christmas has become too commercialized? Everywhere you look you’ll find Christmas sale signs noting 15% off entire purchase, or “Buy One Get One Free” ads. Many commercials advertise the “perfect Christmas” scenario with the family baking, a stylishly decorated home and expertly wrapped presents; images we think we have to live up to otherwise Christmas is a disappointment. The one that puts my anxiety on bust is the Christmas Countdown. I can literally run the car into a tree when I hear on the radio “It’s the VOCM Christmas countdown…you have 6 more weeks to shop.” I start to panic. I’ve been thinking back to when I was young and things were simpler, or so it seemed. Flipping through some old photographs got me thinking about this time of year and how different things were back then.
Here are a few snaps of that time. I take no credit for these pictures, obviously. But I did ask permission of the owners of the photographs and they were gracious enough to allow me to post them. Hope you enjoy this trip back in time.
I guess as little kids and young adults we often fail to recognize just how much effort our own parents put into making our Christmases as “perfect” as possible. I suppose that’s why Christmas seemed so much simpler back then. They had the same struggles then as we have now with regards to completing the “to do” list but their struggles were often concealed in order to give us kids a magical experience. We may not have gotten the latest gadget or toy but that means very little to us now as grown ups. When I reflect on Christmas as a child, I remember helping to put the decorations on the tree, especially these cute little pink teardrop-shaped ones. They were my favorite. Over the years they dwindled in number as they got broken but I did manage to get to keep one and every year it sits proudly on my own tree. I still feel the same excitement placing that on the tree as I did when I was 6 or 7. In the end that’s all that really matters.
Next week as we make our way around the bay to Riverhead to celebrate Christmas, I will be remembering all the things both past and present that make Christmas perfect in my eyes.
Here’s one of my all time favorite Christmas songs, although I may be biased. Barry Delaney and Erin’s Call do a magnificent job of capturing the essence of Christmas in the River. Have a listen as you reflect on your own childhood Christmas memories.
Until Next Time,
Merry Christmas from our home to yours!