You know, I've decided that Christmas is kind of a big deal for me. If you would have asked me 6 months ago, I would have told you the opposite. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy Christmas... I'm not anti-Christmas, like some I've known... I just didn't think I was very emotionally tied to the holiday. But since I've been paying attention, I realize that there are some things that are REALLY important to me regarding this holiday. They are the traditions I have... the rituals I participate in. A few weeks back I wrote about the Holiday Barbie... and I guess that was when I first started to notice my emotional connection. I always purchase and give away chocolate Advent calendars too... and that's been done. Today... I worked on another ritual/tradition... our annual photo Christmas card. The cards are always a big deal for me. We've been sending photo cards for 20 years...(before they became popular) and we send out a lot... last year close to 300 cards. Since I like to be early, I mail them out on the first Monday after the first Sunday of Advent. In a typical year, I would have our cards designed and printed by mid November... but we all know this year has been anything but typical. I did manage today to get them designed and approved by the family. Now all I need to do is order the stamps (another tradition... I insist on using the current Madonna and Child stamp from USPS) print the labels and put them together. (I'll get it done while Sierra is home from college to help.) They may not go out on Monday, but I'm closer to my goal than I thought I would be.
It seems odd to me that these seemingly little things (like the timing, Advent calendars, stamps, etc.) have such significance to me, but they really do. Maybe it's part of my control issues... but whatever it is, it's me and it's how I celebrate. It is the traditions that we hold dear in our memories, not the stress or the gifts.