discovery #19

my true feelings about christmas

as i have said before in this blog, i am not religious. and according to several bumper stickers i have been seeing around town...i am apparently missing the REASON for the season. i have struggled in my adult life to reconcile the hypocrisy i feel when sitting down to christmas dinner-- or celebrating Easter--with my family, knowing we have completely abandoned the religious aspects of these holidays.

but i have to admit: i love christmas. and i have to be very specific here: i love the way I celebrate christmas. there are a few non-negotiable, absolutely, critically essential aspects to the holiday tradition that i have created for myself in adulthood. this list includes, but is not limited to, the following:
  • hot chocolate. as often as possible. and sometimes spiked with peppermint schnapps.
  • the advent calendar my mom and i sewed together. a re-creation of the one she's had since we were kids and would fight over who got to put up santa on christmas eve.
  • twinkly lights. particularly INSIDE the house. i am also partial to icicle lights on the outside of homes, which leads to...
  • at least one nighttime drive through (any) neighborhood to enjoy the lights.
  • holiday tunes. beginning on--and not before--dec. 1. (unless at my parent's house, which can generally begin on or immediately following thanksgiving.)
  • making cookies with my sister and remembering the dozen+ different types my grandma would bake/decorate each christmas eve.

now, the tricky part has been combining MY non-negotiables with my husband's tolerance of my secular celebration. being married comes with compromise, and on this issue there has been much struggle for common ground. but, like always, david never ceases to amaze me. the other night he broke out the twinkly lights and created the cozy holiday scene i crave every december. we are working toward an artistic "tree of life" that can incorporate some of my beloved ornaments, each a gift from grandma or handmade by my mom through the years, and the new tradition we are learning together.

throughout the past few weeks i have truly reflected on what's important to keep, and what can be modified for my new life with david. we both learned a lot about honoring each other's traditions and creating new ones just for us. and i have reconciled within myself that i can have a different type of connection to the holidays, and that's okay. so for now, i raise my mug of minty hot cocoa and say "happy holidays," for whatever you are celebrating this season...

may it be truly unique. (and perhaps a little more snow on christmas eve wouldn't hurt either)

(yes, this was last week's snow in houston!?!)

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