I have a huge confession to make. Compared to Currier and Ives, I totally suck at Christmas celebrating.
And it’s not just Currier and Ives.
You know the ones. Those images that show up on everything from Christmas cards to beer advertisements and make the Holidays seem so warm and magical. I look at those each year and I tell myself that these images are real Christmas – that is how it’s supposed to be.
Sleigh rides through soft snow, crackling fires in a cozy (with emphasis on clean) family room while everyone sips perfectly done hot chocolate (not from a mix) and nibbles at beautifully decorated Christmas cookies.
The images of the hustle and bustle of city streets, and all of those stupid Folgers commercials that make you cry (only you don’t let anyone know that you are crying because who in the world cries at a commercial?). I refuse to drink Folgers coffee in retaliation for their emotional manipulation.
First of all, it does not snow in North Texas in December. Once in a while we might get a little and once we even had a dusting for Christmas but it isn’t that Currier and Ives snow at all. Then there is the city hustle and bustle.
Have you ever really seen downtown Dallas? Even in December it is nothing like the images the ad agencies craft with precision. Neither will I wake up to the aroma of coffee and find that one or both of my military sons is unexpectedly in my kitchen.
They are both in Asia so their magical Christmas will arrive in a box from me. If I get a chance to bake those dang cookies, that is.
Finally, although I could actually score a win on the hot chocolate and cookies, we have three fireplaces and not one of them is in the cozy den – which we also don’t have, come to think of it. The wood burning fireplace is in the kitchen/dining area.
Here’s the thing. I am the only one in my family that thinks that don’t measure up in the Christmas department. Everyone else pretty much thinks that I am doing just fine.
We all do it. We see images, watch movies, and engross ourselves in what the media tells us Christmas should be. You know what? That’s nothing new – look at Currier and Ives back in the 19th century. I doubt that Christmas really looked like that to the people that lived then. Those images aren’t real, they’re images from someone’s mind.
We keep thinking we need to do something to catch that feeling that those images evoke, but nothing seems to do it. Not more decorations, not sleigh rides, and not even snow.
Those feelings only come when we learn to accept our unique Christmas experiences, build on the warm memories we have, and create our own special magic whether there is snow on the ground or you are running the air conditioner – and if the weather stays like this we very well may be!
Do you put impossible demands on yourself during the holidays?