Christmas Magic

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Photo taken by my sweetie.

It is no secret - at least to any of my friends - I do love the Winter Holiday Season!

Most of you must understand or you most likely wouldn't be here! But I also know some of my readers probably think I am nuts!

Earlier this year, my dear friend TeriC and I shared a conversation about the whole Christmas and Winter Holiday thing and I thought I would share some of my thoughts with you as well.

I just can't see what is to be gained by cramming all the beauty and joy and excitement and love that is a part of Christmas into a few busy frantic days. It simply does not make sense to me. And far too many people seem to see the holidays as something they must "just get through".

The winter holidays, with roots in so many cultures and traditions from very early times, are a richly colored tapestry that deserves to be savored and enjoyed and shared. It is these little traditions that can help keep us sane and give our children continuity in the face of challenges to and assaults on the structure of the family unit.

I realize that Christmas Day itself is an very important Christian celebration, but even within that single context there is so much to appreciate and preserve from all corners of the earth. I personally see the season as an opportunity to honor and delight in a treasury of traditions handed down from those who lived and celebrated before us.

With our eye on the ball so to speak, we here in the United States seem to be focused on one day - December 25th. However, people living in countries all over the world celebrate the "winter holidays" for much longer - some beginning in late November and others celebrating well past the first of the new year. And one thing I see as a thread of commonality among them all is time with family and friends. Not just one day but many!

I have eagerly adopted many of the special days celebrated in other cultures and in so doing have discovered that the winter holidays are just full of undiscovered surprises and magic.

My younger brother loved Christmas even more than me! Having survived many, many Christmases during which our well meaning Mom tried to do almost everything on Christmas Eve, he created a rule at his house. All preparations must be done by midnight December 23. If it wasn't done, it was left undone. The 24th and 25th were to be relished and enjoyed in the company of those he dearly loved.

I have actually moved the date back to December 21 - Solstice. If it isn't done by then, I let it go and focus on the magic of the season - the people I love, hot cocoa, decorations, twinkling lights on snowy lawns, Christmas cookies, feasts, gifts, cozy fires, trees filled with ornaments carrying memories of Christmas past, candlelight, smell of fresh cut evergreens, carols....

Running around at the last minute to buy and wrap a bunch of gifts, tearing them open and then tearing down the tree and decorations as soon as possible after doesn't leave room for magic.

And whether we know it or not, we all need magic.

I have small children and

I have small children and find they enjoy some of the other seasonal events more that Christmas as there is less stress and historical bagage related to them. SO for this year I am planning activities over two weeks to have time to enjoy a range of traditions and to have the time to enjoy spending together and less worry about getting everything perfect for one day.

Your blog has been a great inspiration in thinking about activities and other traditions. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with everyone.

First of all, I'm catching up

First of all, I'm catching up on about ten of your blog posts right now, and you, lady, are a force of nature! You've populated your home with an army of handmade elves and sparkly temari and I haven't blogged in over a month. GOOD GRIEF!

Secondly, I can I favorite this post? If it were a physical thing I would hug it. This exactly describes my feelings and approach to the holiday season. I always tell people that my favorite time of year is Thanksgiving to New Years - not specifically Christmas day, it's all of the stuff that happens in between that is really special to me. Well written!


I love to see so many people

I love to see so many people with similar views! Years ago I started worrying about gifts in July and making things myself. Personally, to make things reflects what the season is about, and getting things done early means I can just enjoy the season without all the stresses!

We have bah humbug-ing it for

We have bah humbug-ing it for the last couple of years. I told Hubby the other day that this year we are going to celebrate the season and enjoy it as a family. I like to put the tree up around the first of December and then I keep it up for 2 or 3 days after Christmas. I like to have a list of things to do either at home or around town to do throughout the month of December. I find that if I don't schedule something on a specific day then we won't feel stressed to do it. We can do things as the mood strikes us.

Amen, sister! I like your

Amen, sister!

I like your photograher credit.

:) !

:) !

I agree whole-heartedly!

I agree whole-heartedly! Though I do wait until the day after Thanksgiving to get out the Christmas decor. I enjoy following the schedule that my mom did. Instead of a mad Black Friday rush, we stayed home, enjoyed the leftovers and decked the house for Christmas. And then on the first weekend of Dec., we head out to the tree farm and do our trees that day. It's a lovely rhythm, and so fun to do year after year!

I've also started "Tree Downing Day" to make the depressing job of taking down the tree more fun. Depending on how the week/wkend and schedules fall, it's usually the 7th or the 8th, after Epiphany. Since everyone's back to school then, it's my time to enjoy whatever Christmas movie I didn't get to see yet. I also make sure to save some of my favorite baked goodies for that day. :)

Let's start the

Let's start the celebrations
Usually I start the preps in beginning November and everything is ready when I make the creches on the 1st December and all we need is to let the lights and fireplace smell give us the Christmas feelling (but I do not do any cooking as that is my mom's "job" and in spite of her age nobody makes things like her and my daughter has forbidden me to make anything).

That is such great advice. I

That is such great advice. I used to (as in last week!) think it was silly to decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving. Then a friend was saying that she likes to have it all done *by* Thanksgiving so she has a chance to enjoy the decorations for the season and isn't scrambling to put everything up. That sounds so smart to me! So this year I'm planning to put a Christmas wreath on my fireplace the same day I take down the skeleton one that's still there from Halloween. I think I'll wait until Thanksgiving weekend to get out the tree, but there's no reason I can't get started before that. It's easy to see how doing that will give me more time to relax and enjoy December - I'm looking forward to it!

Beautifully said Pam! Let the

Beautifully said Pam!

Let the celebrating begin'