Growing up Jewish in a time when Hanukkah decorations were non-existent (or at least nothing like they are today), a part of me always wished I celebrated Christmas. It wasn't the religious aspect of the holiday that attracted me, or even the presents under the tree, but there's something so special about that "Christmas Spirit!" The joy that came from driving past a house fully lit up with those elegant candles in the windows, not to mention going to my friends house and seeing their enormous beautiful tree; it really was amazing! I mean c'mon, who doesn’t love the giant Christmas tree like the one in Rockefeller center?
Anyway, fast forward fifteen years and you can imagine how happy I was when I moved in with my boyfriend (now husband) who wasn’t Jewish and was preparing to spend his first Christmas away from home. While he was away on a soccer road trip I went into full holiday mode and did everything I could think of to replicate a traditional Christmas. Everything was perfect! We started our own family tradition of collecting Christmas ornaments to pay homage to the things we'd done that year; whether it was a Mickey Mouse decoration from Disney World, or a decorative wedding cake the year we got married, we established quite a collection. Than one day it all changed.
It was probably a combination of factors: we both got busy with work, we started a family, we misplaced some of our ornaments, etcetera, etcetera; until suddenly we were just doing the bare minimum. We still had a tree, stockings, and a few other basic Christmas items, but a lot of the magic and tradition that was previously there was now absent.
Well, I'm happy to say, not anymore!!!! For this week's act of self care I have gone "full holiday mode" and am loving every second of it. I bought a new tree (one that nearly touches the ceiling), versus the standard 5 foot tree we've had since college; I bought garland, a wreath, a couple of Poinsettias, and even personalized family stockings! Plus, in all my rummaging around, I found a box in the basement containing many of our old ornaments, which now have pride of place on our magnificent tree.
Prior to my Christmas explosion, my mind was full of all the usual excuses: garland is messy, I won’t have time to water the Poinsettias, it’s too expensive, yada, yada, yada. However, I'm pleased to say I supressed all this negativity and "bah humbug" spirit in order to create something very special.
Each night I find myself pausing for a moment to look at the scene in our front room; taking in all the peace and joy of the Holiday Season. Whatever Holiday(s) you celebrate, think about the beauty behind it and take a minute to step back and fully enjoy it. If you haven’t done so already, go to the store (or online) and buy yourself some new decorations and put them out. Trust me, you'll be glad you did!