The Christmas Talk

Two weeks. At this time in 14 days I’ll likely be passed out from a hurricane of activity and stomach filled with holiday goodness.

My little clan hasn’t celebrated Christmas with my family in a few years, and like clockwork we have dinner and open gifts between 1 and 3pm on The Day with The Other Adult’s family. This year we’re doing something a bit different.

We’re going to spend Christmas Eve night with my Mom while she house/cat-sits for my cousin and her husband. It’s a 150 mile-ish drive each way, and the roads will be littered with drivers who can’t drive. Nothing says “Merry Christmas!” like a bit of road rage, eh? There will be a ginormous dinner Christmas Eve, then presents and large breakfast in the morning. If all goes according to schedule, we’ll be back in time for the clockwork Christmas at the In-laws’.

Last year we started a new thing for Christmas Eve. Instead of watching the “typical” themed movies and shows, we watch a “regular” movie. Last year it was Blade: Trinity. Who knows what it will be this year. And when it comes to setting up the tree, The Teen and I listen to something other than the holiday themed music. One year it was Nickelback, last year she watched Saw while I decorated. Now, this wasn’t a forced change. We just got tired of all the perceived traditions.

There’s another new twist to Christmas this year: Lil Dude doesn’t believe in Santa, anymore. I was heartbroken to learn this, and even further saddened that he knows the Easter Bunny and Tooth Faerie aren’t real. This actually simplifies things a lot for us. No longer do I have to speed-wrap everything and wait until the eleventh hour to wrap “The Santa Gift”. Now I can wrap stuff and be done. There’s no more pretense of “Be good or Santa won’t bring you the extensive present.” No more slipping money undetected under his pillow. And no more egg hunts!

But I digress.

When the opportunity presents itself, I plan on explaining the origins of Santa, Christmas and, effectively, Yule. Sure I’ll be going against the “traditions” of the family I married into by doing this, but as The Teen and Lil Dude’s Mother, I have the right and obligation to teach them things (so long as they aren’t harmful, obviously). Each of us has the right to our opinions and beliefs. Mine just happen to differ greatly from those I’m surrounded by (a fictionalized post in the future, perhaps?) and I wish for my children to have their own, as well.

Yes, I realize I may sound hypocritical given the distress I felt over Lil Dude’s confession. But, as someone who grew up with that same belief in Santa, it’s the end of a certain innocence. Looking back at that moment when I discovered the truth for myself, my Mom was devastated. It was all thanks to my unending curiosity and one Peaches ‘n Cream Barbie. I was…maybe 7. Had I not gone into her closet, who knows when I’d have lost that innocence. She was sad and upset, and really unhappy when the “Santa asked me to pick it up because he was so busy” line didn’t work. (To parents with smaller children: You have to get creative with hiding spots. Seriously.)

When Winter has passed and Nature starts showing her colors in the Spring, I’ll be having The Christmas Talk with The Teen. She’ll be 16 end of March, so that’s a great time to start opening her eyes to other belief systems. Lil Dude will take a bit longer, though. He’s very comfortable in his current beliefs, and as he is on the Autism Spectrum I don’t want to disrupt his world too much too soon. To be real, he’s not all that religious to begin with.

As a side note, I’m hoping to make some boughs and wreaths from the trees out back of the house in the next week. I need at least one by Saturday – a girlfriend is throwing a Holiday Party and I don’t want to show up empty handed. And, since she’s Pagan I thought a wreath would be a nice touch. She’s also getting shower cakes and a refill on the rubby stuff I make for her.

Busy couple weeks ahead, to be sure. Launching Timing on the 19th, Christmas prep and private Yule rituals will take a lot out of me. Thankfully, the kids having vacation means I get vacation, too. Oh, I’ll still be writing but it won’t be on the same level as when they’re at school.

One last thing before I go…

Try to be patient and kind to one another all year, not just when society dictates we should. Shrug off the frustration of others and don’t let it enter your hearts. Hold open the door for the frustrated lady in the grocery store struggling with 3 kids. Help someone load their groceries. Do a good deed and spread the love. And most importantly: Love Yourself.

Questions/Comments are always welcome either here or via email.


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