For an atheist I am very much into Christmas. I blame this on my childhood (what else can one do?), which was very, very religious, but without any of the festivities such as Christmas, Easter or Birthdays (as weird as that sounds, it is true for Jehovas Wittnesses).
There are three major treats for me, when it comes to Christmas:
First is the dressing of the tree. I usually go completely over board with all the tinsel and flitter I put up. Just yesterday I got another box of red decoration to join all the silver glitter I already have. I would not do it, I suppose, if I had to take it all down after Christmas, detangle and store everything. But my sweetheart’s mom does all of this. The tree is traditionally chosen, bought and put up Christmas Eve afternoon by my sweetheart at his mom’s house. While my sweetheart is cooking Christmas dinner, I decorate the tree, with his mom (87) and aunt (90 something) watching and commenting through it. I quite like their admiration for my work. I suspect, they only like it out of sympathy, because I am enjoying it so much.
Second, I like gifting. I is not so much about what I am getting (apart from the fact, that I really want something small from my sweetheart, to whom it is a nightmare to Christmas shop, so he usually delays it to last minute stressful sprees into town), but I love to have many parcels and packages for everyone to give to. This year was harder than usual, as I was a bit stuck for good ideas. Usually, over the course of a year I just happen upon things, that make great presents. I get and hoard them in order to wrap all of it up come Christmas Eve. But I was very busy this year and had no storage built up. But noone will go short on little boxes from me tonight, no need to worry.
The third treat around Christmas time is the Christmas letter from circumstance. She writes a summary of her and her family events and fares of the year, along with nice pictures, and sends it to family and friends scattered all over the world. Being an expatriate makes one want to share, I think. For many years now, this letter has been a special treat for me. It used to come via snail mail, nowadays the email inbox is checked regularly around this time of year, to see, if it has arrived already. It has, right on time, this year. Great treat, great read, once again! Just the thing to start off this year’s Christmas in a great mood.
Reminds me of writing up my own, end of the year review letter. I have stolen her idea a couple of years ago and now wrap up my own year to be sent off to all and sundry who might (or might not) be interested around New Year.
But first comes Christmas. Hope, you all have a very merry one.