I woke up this morning with John Lennon’s Christmas Song in my head. “So this is Christmas and what have you done? Another year over, a new one just begun.”
It’s hard to wake up on December 25th and not think of all the Christmas’ spent when the ex and I were married, as we were raising our kids and every Christmas was a blur of crumpled wrapping paper, kids squealing in delight, yelling, laughing, occasionally crying and the ex and I always sitting by watching, glancing at each other, smiling at what memories we were making, that our kids were healthy and happy and that we were all together. I can’t think of a Christmas with him that wasn’t that way in the first hours of the day. Me trying to get my first cup of coffee and attempting to mitigate the mess with a trash bag at the ready for boxes and paper. Did we remember to buy batteries? What’s open today? Then we would make a big breakfast and watch TV, hang out together as the kids played with whatever Santa brought them and then we’d head over to family’s houses for more celebrating and gifts.
The last three Christmas’ have been so very, very different. It’s just my daughter and me. She’s an adult now and we’ve discovered that buying for ourselves in the days leading up to Christmas is much more our speed than buying for each other separately. We did get each other a little something this year, I got her a Joe on The Go Coffee cup that brews an individual cup of coffee in a travel mug. She got me a very sweet bracelet that says Mom, you fill my heart with love. (ahhh! getting verklempt just looking at it on my wrist.)
We didn’t even put up a Christmas tree this year. My larger expanded family, sister, parents, nieces, have agreed to do a giftless Christmas this year. The kids are grown, we’re all self sufficient adults and we all have way too much crap as it is. So this year we decided to allow our time together and the memories we make be our gifts to one another. I hope this is a trend because I enjoy the memories we make much more than any gifts I could receive. So with no gifts to put under the tree, why put a tree up at all? My daughter and I both work, spending more time there than at home so it just seemed like something we could skip this year.
My daughter and I found the cutest shop in our neighborhood that is our new favorite place. It’s a metaphysical, hippy-dippy, witchy shop that sells incense, tarot cards, crystals, stones, pendulums, jewelry and oils among many other things. So we went there last Saturday and bought ourselves presents. My favorite is a locket necklace I can carry a black tourmaline stone in to absorb negative energy. Yes – I believe in that stuff, don’t come at me, Bro.
I think as we get older and wiser, the memories we make each Christmas are more valuable than any gift we could ever give or receive. My daughter and I went to my parents house for dinner last night – a Christmas Eve tradition of sorts – and my parents are getting up in age. My dad will be 80 this year and my mother is about to celebrate 79 years young next month. Who can say how much longer we have with them? I couldn’t stop snapchatting them – which I’m sure annoyed the heck out of the people who follow my snap stories but I didn’t record the snaps for them, I recorded them to save them for me. My dad was telling us about some of the amazing antiques he’s got for sale on his eBay store and he really has some amazing treasures and he gets so excited and passionate sharing their history with us. I treasure every memory I can make with him and my mom.
So this morning when we’re both up, my daughter and I will have a cup of coffee together, talk about what we’ll do today and set off to my sisters house for a day of laughter and shenanigans, probably too much alcohol and definitely too much food. I made a tiramisu for desert and I’ll take a special bottle of hooch for us to toast with. My daughter – not quite yet 21 is my designated driver so fun memories are about to be made. My sister and I get extra silly when we’re a little tipsy together. We keep talking about starting a YouTube channel just for our tipsy humor. We think we’re hilarious. Of course, we’re drunk…..so everything is hilarious when you’re with your best friend, aka your Editor, aka your Sister.
So today I wish you many wonderful memories. Make them, add to them, gift them to others. Make today important not by what gifts you gave or received, but by how you made a lasting impression on someone’s heart. I’m so grateful for my family and the opportunity to live close to them (most of them) and see them on special holidays like today. That is a gift in itself. I wish you the same.