Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Year Without a Santa Claus

On December 23rd I recieved an urgent dispatch from the North Pole. Santa was running short of time and gifts and he wanted to alert me to the fact that my kids had been bumped from the list this year. The youngest is fourteen so it was just a matter of time. He said they had all been good but there is that whole recession thing and he really thought he was going to get by here but it'd be better if I could just hook up the fourteen year old myself just in case.
Fortunately for Santa, the fourteen year old's gift had been purchased the Sunday before so I grabbed one or two things to add to that and called it good. When presents were put under the tree on Christmas Eve, the nineteen year old said, "Presents under the tree before Christmas morning? What happened?"
It never dawned on me that my family even paid attention to our routine. Santa has delivered everyone's presents and come to think of it I have never ever put presents under the tree before Santa arrived because for years and years when kids were smaller I didn't want them messing with the presents and it was just easier to rely on Santa to do the work. I didn't have to yell at anyone over the holidays for busting into presents and it was then that I realized that maybe that rule of mine that saved me a lot of grief took a lot of fun out of Christmas for my kids. There was no package shaking and rattling and guessing because mom and dad didn't buy gifts, Santa supplied them and my kids believed in the miracle of Santa much longer than most because my middle son or maybe it was the oldest pointed out that "of course Santa exists because we didn't have the money to buy so many gifts". Even now I'm reasonably sure they all still believe.
As my family has grown older I have noticed a shift in our traditions and things that were once looked forward to with excitement have been greeted with a rolling of the eyes and a comment along the lines of "seriously?" Solstice for one.
I have always embraced the idea of Solstice. It was something that no one else I knew did(we also believe as deeply in the Great Pumpkin as we do Santa Claus and not too many people choose that path and each of my boys have a cross stitched Halloween stocking but not a stitched Christmas stocking, I guess you can see where my priorities lay). Solstice was something for just my family and while it wasn't celebrated like Christmas it was just one more day that was special, sometimes with a fire and roasting marshmellows, sometimes just with a yellow cake to represent the sun and the longing for warm temperatures once again. It was never a big deal but it was just something a little extra. It was also an attempt to keep my kids in tune with nature, the cycles of the earth, but now it's just one more thing they can't be bothered with and it could be that I didn't make it a bigger deal over the years, and this year it just kind of slipped by me before I knew it Solstice had passed. This has been a strange holiday season for me. While I'm not a big time Christmas girl I usually fall in to the spirit of the season before Christmas Day, this year I don't know that I ever felt the joy, not once.
As the kids have grown up our family celebration has become smaller and quieter, and this year it even felt a bit empty and I don't know if that was me or the family or just that 2009 sucked from the very beginning.
It was sad to tell the fourteen year old that Santa sent a message that he wasn't hitting our house this Christmas Eve, so he left it up to me. The fourteen year old looked at me and said with resignation, "Let's hope you don't screw it up". He's a funny one that kid. He got what he wanted so all is well.
I'm planning to do New Year's Eve right, not with a drunken bash, but with a feeling of joy. Joy that 2009 is gone and that 2010 will be a better year for my family and everyone else too. I am going to toast 2009 and kiss it goodbye, I am then going to toast 2010 and welcome it with joy and a prayer that we start the year out right. I'm going to spend this coming week trying to figure out how to start the year out right, because right now it appears that 2010 is going to begin the way 2009 is going to end so I have a week to fix the mess and get some kind of balance back because life has been kind of out of whack the last three months. Somewhere things got off track and I need to get things sorted and organized and all flowing in the right direction because chaos is just not working for me.
Speaking of chaos, I need to sit and organize my stitching and various other projects. 2009 was the year of guilt free starts for me and now I need to figure out where I'm out on several projects and get my focus back. I have had no kind of plan for the last six months and I'd love to see some finishes this next year.
We also have Winter Olympic stitching to look forward to and I'll open up the Olympic stitching blog sometime in January *ok just set one up, here:
and we can all plan what we want to stitch while watching curling.
Hey my mood has perked up a bit just thinking about some Olympic stitching. I am thinking that Sonne Spotte might be a good Olympic project. Good thing I have some time to figure it out.
I hope everyone had a Blessed Yule, a Merry Christmas, a Happy Holiday, and that 2010 will arrive with a sack overflowing with blessings and joy for all your families.


Susan said...

I know what you mean about the feeling that "something is missing" this holiday season. It hit my house too-even my dd commented on it last night. Here's to a better 2010!

Melissa said...

There must be something in the air this Christmas season...I was just thinking that this has been our quietest Christmas ever in many different ways. But I also thought that is part of life that it changes and we have to adapt to the flow, sometimes we are dragged kicking and screaming, other times we happily jump along.

I enjoyed reading your post and hope that the new year will bring something brighter. I too have been in a griplock of chaos (!) since Sept so look forward to easing up and re-focusing!

Good luck and blessings!

Sharon said...

Great post, Melissa. I can't quite put my finger on it either but there was definitely something missing this year. I was thinking maybe that it was just that we are getting older but even younger ones felt it too. I will be toasting along with you, for a better 2010. Maybe God is trying to tell us all something that we need to go back to some basics. What do you think?

Meari said...

Glad you had a good Christmas, and Happy 2010 to you!

Siobhan said...

Oooh, I like the idea of the Olympic stitching! I need to figure out where the Olympics are being held this winter and how the time change will affect me. Yes, one of the down falls of turning off all news feeds on the computer (due to panic over the recession) has been a general cluelessness about world happenings.

As for Christmas, I felt odd this year. I think it's the change in things as the kids get older and there isn't that crazy 'omg, I have to get that toy for them' thing. Plus, the gifts get infinitely more expensive and minute, all at the same time. There's nothing like blowing your child's Christmas budget on one gift that is the size of an index card, whereas ten years ago that same allowance would have netted you stacks of gifts. I am hoping to stitch a bit more Christmas throughout the year in 2010 in the hopes of not feeling so curmudgeony next December. I know, here's hoping. LOL