The Most Wonderful Time

The only good thing about November is that it is immediately followed by December, which I think perhaps is one of my favourite months of the year.

I love the winter, and the snow, and the cold. It affords such quiet, introspective time, and finding interesting ways to keep your world filled with warmth and light always results in such lovely domestic moments with friends and family.

We hosted a beautiful party on Saturday night, and my favourite cook completely outdid himself. The night before was perhaps the most fun I’ve ever had shopping at an LCBO (there is only ONE wine expert in Barrie) or shopping for groceries. I credit my gorgeous shopping buddy for this. The party was a success. I was so proud. We were so organized. The house looked beautiful.

My first wish for the New Year is to organize this place together so it looks like this without having to hide stacks of boxes behind closed doors.

After such a fine, fine weekend, I’ve decided to see how long I can carry these feelings into the week ahead. The holidays should be an interesting experience in sharing and experiencing family dynamics. For the most part, I trust it will be pleasant, but I’ll admit to feeling nervous.

It’s funny how the expectations heaped on people at this time of year have really come to affect me. I’m in-between jobs, so Christmas shopping didn’t happen, and I’m feeling really strange about this. Next year, I’m giving everyone home-made gifts, and will be super organized about this. I love gift-giving. It’s a natural Leo trait, and it makes me so happy.

This morning starts with a meeting to put the finishing touches on plans for a Valentine’s Weekend blow out with the troupe. Then I come home to assist with child-care duties. I need to think up an activity that will amuse a three-year-old. Tonight will be quiet, with some baking, and a movie or two.

Looking at my life now, I think a lot about traditions and the little familiar rituals that surround these holidays. The cherished elements of my own childhood Christmas feel so far away now, but perhaps there is a way to re-visit them and re-invent them to fit within my new reality? It seems I am re-inventing everything to fit into my new reality, and I think perhaps this is the greatest thing I have ever done for myself.

As I break down everything that I was accustomed to, and everything I thought I knew, I realize I still have so much to learn, and that I’m surrounded by loving people who can only help me grow.

What are your favourite holiday traditions? Mine include:

The Charlie Brown Christmas Special
Baking
Making decorations
Christmas parties with my friends
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
The Grinch Who Stole Christmas
White Christmas
A Christmas Story
It’s A Wonderful Life (Kleenex required, ALWAYS)
Tourtiere (French Canadian meat pie)
Bertha’s butter tarts
Opening Christmas pajamas on Christmas Eve
My mother’s Christmas morning spread
Lazily watching new movies or listening to new music on Christmas day
The smell of my dad’s soap/cologne/aftershave as the house is filled with people getting ready for:
The big family Christmas Day party
Singing with my aunties
My cousins playing old Acadian folk music
Playing with my Grandmaman’s creche (My grandfather built the stable)
Drinking nog with my dad and listening to Bing Crosby
Wrapping presents
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (my mom used to read this to us every year on Christmas Eve.)

Tell me yours!