Thursday, November 29, 2018

Merry, Merry. Sorta.

20 Christmases ago! They haven't changed a bit!
Lots of Christmas traditions have been jettisoned around here. First, I quit writing the gift tags in the shaky, spidery handwriting that indicated these came from Santa. As I used the exact same kind of tags for presents from Mom and Dad, only the youngest Seyfrieds were ever fooled. Next, we dropped St. Nicholas Day (Dec. 6th, when stockings were filled by Steve and me, then dumped out by our eager kiddies). Then we stopped purchasing a tree ornament for each of the children to keep and take with them when they moved out (disorganization! I tried to keep track of whose angel or reindeer was whose, but basically gave up. At this point I think only Christmas-crazy Patrick still knows for sure which ones are his.) After that, we stopped sending Christmas cards, which was sad because I got a kick out of adding “clever” comments (“Alex—a.k.a. Sher— age 11, still loves playing the violin, and wishes you a very tuneful 1995.”)

In recent years, I have not set foot in a bricks-and-mortar store for a single Yuletide gift (between online options and Julie, my personal holiday shopper, there has been neither need nor desire to battle crowds). We still draw names for Secret Santa on Thanksgiving night, but it has become a slapdash event, with most of us quickly losing the slips of paper with our chosen names on them. Steve has taken it upon himself to record everyone’s choices, in case we forget who we picked, and most of us have to ask him for reminders (some of us, more than once). I’ve never been a big holiday house decorator, because all I can think of is how lengthy and painful un-decorating will be after New Year’s, but nowadays I am more of a minimalist than ever.

This sorry state of affairs is ironic, because the whole reason all of this began was my disappointment with the lack of prep that occurred in the Cunningham house when I was growing up. Mom up in Heaven is probably having a little chuckle about this turn by her hyper-critical daughter. Yeah, yeah, have your laugh, Joanie! But at least I tried to create Holiday Magic! For YEARS! That’s gotta count for something!

Which brings us to Christmas 2018, with Aiden and Peter in the mix, both of whom are now aware of things like Mr. Claus and other holly jolly accoutrements. We took some super cute pix of the boys recently, any one of which would look great on a card. There is also plenty of time (a whole week!) to resurrect stockings and St. Nicholas Day for my precious little guys.

I think, if I can just catch my second wind, a lot of this can yet be pulled off! I just need to find my (outdated I’m sure) address book and some stamps, and buy some candy and toy cars and little books etc. for the stockings, and get the kids ornaments and….

Or maybe not.

Typical Cunningham Christmas (faulty tree stand, tree was leaning against wall so it wouldn't fall)

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