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Old 12-08-2015, 04:28 PM
 
4,349 posts, read 6,069,498 times
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I can't pass a display of those blue tins of Danish butter cookies without thinking of my Mom who was quite scripted when it came to holiday redundancy. My Dad was the king of angel hair and tinsel. All beautiful memories, some funny, none painful. We were the 'kings' back then. Our parents bent over backwards to please us, our children weren't yet demanding. We went from elaborate Christmas Eve spreads laid out at midnight to popping by with our brood on the way to somewhere else. I miss it all but life goes on. What I've learned through the years is that you have to hang loose. If you get mired in traditions and expectations, then you'll feel hurt instead of joy at the holidays.
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Old 12-08-2015, 04:46 PM
 
1,614 posts, read 1,221,423 times
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Do agree with you. Sounds like we may have come from the same generation.It was a wonderful time when I was a kid and still great when my kids were growing up.Seems that since we no longer have little ones (grandchildren) now grown the frantic part of Christmas is just over with. People have left the state and a crowd now amounts to no more than 7 people. We have cut back our spending and now get together have small dinner,listen to Christmas music,exchange small gifts and head for home.Christmas day belongs to each person's family. I love Christmas day and my quiet,to drink coffee have some sweets,watch a few Christmas movies then call it a night.
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Old 12-08-2015, 05:34 PM
 
5,432 posts, read 3,464,353 times
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I think way too much is made of Christmas. Christmas is blown way out of proportion in terms of expectations, and psychological impact.

Christmas can really be nothing much at all if one wants it to be, in terms of psychological impact and expectations.

I would say 'do not fall for all of the hype' if you do not wish to, and let it have very little to no psychological impact or expectations upon your being.

It really is perfectly permissible to have very little to no interest in Christmas and the build-up all around it in the weeks leading up to the holidays and the actual Christmas day.

Even if you have a very mild interest in Christmas, it is perfectly permissible to not dwell upon it much at all and to extract yourself from whatever parts do not suit you.

One does not have to fall for the hype and choices surrounding all kinds of things in life, and this does not exclude not falling for Christmas hype and some or many Christmas time pursuits.

Last edited by matisse12; 12-08-2015 at 05:47 PM..
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Old 12-08-2015, 05:37 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
21,967 posts, read 14,450,483 times
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I loved Christmas when I was a kid. I loved making Christmas for my own family, but I didn't love Christmas itself so much. I worked so hard to do so much. And it was over in a day. My parents loved doing Christmas, and for a few years we went to their house for much of the festivities. We finally had to develop our own traditions though.

I love seeing my kids at Christmas, and I love seeing my grands. I wouldn't take anything for any of this. I like buying them gifts, and we've managed to buy almost everything as of today. I won't be doing a big dinner this year, because I did one last year and I did Thanksgiving this year. I am not missing that, frankly. But I will spend time with my family during the season, and I am thankful and happy for that.

You know who loved Christmas? My grandmother. She loved it. She got excited like a child. I have a pic somewhere of my oldest as a baby on her lap. Grandmother looks positively delighted. It must have been Christmas morning. Memories are good, aren't they?
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Old 12-08-2015, 06:11 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,691 posts, read 40,062,283 times
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Christmas has always been my least favorite Holiday, but I always welcomed the extra pay for working any / every holiday. I loved working Christmas and Christmas day as people are usually very appreciative and since I was driving an 800 mile delivery route through the blizzards, it was often exciting and interesting to see the lights / church services / displays in many small towns on the prairie. Driving on Christmas and Easter nights was very peaceful and special (glistening snow covered fields)!

Memories are only good if I go WAY back to a very few Christmas' spent with grandparents.

Back at home (on the ranch)... the nice memory was taking the horses out and scouring the ravines to find the BIGGEST tumbleweed for a Christmas tree. (often 6' dia!!) https://www.google.com/search?q=tumb...6pD58Q_AUIBygC

We hung it from the ceiling and it got 'frosted' and glitter + white lights. 6ft still allowed plenty of room for presents! (which were quite few) which is / was fine.



I just (again) bought on eBay, one of my favorite Christmas gifts. A 1970's era Frostline goose down Vest (built from a kit). This one is identical, same color and size that I made in 4-H when I was a kid. I still use the original, and now I have a spare for my 'winter home'. Each will last me another 40 yrs, and then some... Very comfy! I will bet my recent one was much cheaper than the kit cost 40 yrs ago. (and I get to enjoy someone else's 'mistakes' ('autograph's) on the assembly). They actually did quite well! It should have got a blue ribbon at the fair!

BTW: I am 'on the hunt' for an old fashioned 'white gas' oven like my Grandma cooked the holiday rolls and pies in. They had a unique flavor and sheen (probably not too healthy... but we ate a LOT worse (dirt / diesel smoke from 12 - 14 hrs / day on the tractor)

Last edited by StealthRabbit; 12-08-2015 at 06:30 PM..
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Old 12-08-2015, 06:35 PM
 
6,857 posts, read 3,889,822 times
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Christmas is always when I miss my parents the most. We never had a lot of money, but they always provided lovely presents. Almost everything was homemade, or at least partially. My Dad made me a dollhouse complete with furniture, he made us a pingpong table, he made us a professional guitar, he set up a tetherball in the back, etc. My Mom made dolls, clothes for us and the dolls, quilts, etc. But it is all the homemade food that I really miss. Man, could she bake the most wonderful pies of all sorts, and they were 16" size! Sure wish I had payed more attention and learned how!
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Old 12-08-2015, 07:42 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,007,999 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seeriously View Post
I can't pass a display of those blue tins of Danish butter cookies without thinking of my Mom who was quite scripted when it came to holiday redundancy. My Dad was the king of angel hair and tinsel. All beautiful memories, some funny, none painful. We were the 'kings' back then. Our parents bent over backwards to please us, our children weren't yet demanding. We went from elaborate Christmas Eve spreads laid out at midnight to popping by with our brood on the way to somewhere else. I miss it all but life goes on. What I've learned through the years is that you have to hang loose. If you get mired in traditions and expectations, then you'll feel hurt instead of joy at the holidays.
I've always felt that Christmas is a specific holiday, a religious one. Since it has become even more secularized and materialistic, I am not enamored of it. I bought into it all when my kids were growing up, for their sake, and now am doing a little of that for the grandkids but not a lot. I like to go to midnight mass or a candlelight vespers.

About the dichotomy of "hurt" vs "joy." There's a wide spectrum of possibilities in between, and your word "expectations" is a clue to the dichotomy. One option is being quietly observant instead of feeling hurt or the absence of joy. Maybe marking the day with an experience outdoors with nature. Or building new traditions. I once asked a Jewish friend what she does on Christmas and she said "going to eat Chinese takeout and then to the movies." That's a tradition just like any other in the secular mode. One Christmas years ago we were alone and that's what we did, Chinese takeout and movie. Both are always open, and it worked for us. Walked outside in the snow afterward. Nice memories.

My grandkids are getting only one special gift from me. There is nothing I'd like more on Christmas day than to be out hiking with them in the fresh air of winter, finding a bird's nest or whatever. Instead, for them it will be a frenzied morning of opening presents, going on to the next and next, and eating too many sweets instead of dinner. I doubt we'll choose to be there for that. At any rate, I no longer assign any expectations, because in life they always fall short of what you really want to have happen.
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Old 12-08-2015, 07:45 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,007,999 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harpaint View Post
Christmas is always when I miss my parents the most. We never had a lot of money, but they always provided lovely presents. Almost everything was homemade, or at least partially. My Dad made me a dollhouse complete with furniture, he made us a pingpong table, he made us a professional guitar, he set up a tetherball in the back, etc. My Mom made dolls, clothes for us and the dolls, quilts, etc. But it is all the homemade food that I really miss. Man, could she bake the most wonderful pies of all sorts, and they were 16" size! Sure wish I had payed more attention and learned how!
Homemade is how it used to be, for centuries. Now it has to be from the mall. I love what your mom made, it sounds so loving. That kind of love is really special, I envy you for having parents like that.
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Old 12-08-2015, 09:24 PM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,529,524 times
Reputation: 29083
Quote:
Originally Posted by matisse12 View Post
I think way too much is made of Christmas. Christmas is blown way out of proportion in terms of expectations, and psychological impact.

Christmas can really be nothing much at all if one wants it to be, in terms of psychological impact and expectations.

I would say 'do not fall for all of the hype' if you do not wish to, and let it have very little to no psychological impact or expectations upon your being.

It really is perfectly permissible to have very little to no interest in Christmas and the build-up all around it in the weeks leading up to the holidays and the actual Christmas day.

Even if you have a very mild interest in Christmas, it is perfectly permissible to not dwell upon it much at all and to extract yourself from whatever parts do not suit you.

One does not have to fall for the hype and choices surrounding all kinds of things in life, and this does not exclude not falling for Christmas hype and some or many Christmas time pursuits.
For those of us who believe in what it's really about and have fond memories of Christmases past, hype has nothing to do with it and any "psychological impact" is pleasant
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Old 12-09-2015, 06:22 AM
 
12,784 posts, read 14,120,124 times
Reputation: 34992
Quote:
Originally Posted by matisse12 View Post
I think way too much is made of Christmas. Christmas is blown way out of proportion in terms of expectations, and psychological impact.

Christmas can really be nothing much at all if one wants it to be, in terms of psychological impact and expectations. I would say 'do not fall for all of the hype' if you do not wish to, and let it have very little to no psychological impact or expectations upon your being. It really is perfectly permissible to have very little to no interest in Christmas and the build-up all around it in the weeks leading up to the holidays and the actual Christmas day.Even if you have a very mild interest in Christmas, it is perfectly permissible to not dwell upon it much at all and to extract yourself from whatever parts do not suit you. One does not have to fall for the hype and choices surrounding all kinds of things in life, and this does not exclude not falling for Christmas hype and some or many Christmas time pursuits.
I loved Christmas as a kid - going to get a tree in the country, decorating, shopping with my mother and aunt, and then the stocking and the presents. And it was definitely a religious holiday too in our family. Somewhere in my teens, maybe around sixteen, it wore thin...I changed. I wanted to be with my girlfriend and my friends more than I wanted to be with my family. And something happened that really killed it. As my presents started becoming more expensive items and not toys, my mother began leaving the prices on the boxes. When I got a watch as my present the price was right in the box with the watch. I said nothing I was so embarrassed, and my mother snapped, "I hope you saw how much it cost. Now take good care of it!" (Totally unnecessary, I was Mr. Neat and Careful with all my stuff.) And my father, who was now home for Christmas Day and not working, was excruciatingly uncomfortable with gifts and sentimentality, and his obvious discomfort made me uncomfortable. It was a day that needed to be toned down and changed, and my mother wasn't letting that happen.

Post-college I started beginning to make up excuses not to spend time going back to my parents - for the awkward get together of three people, two of whom wanted to be anywhere else, and I had Christmas with friends. Or spent the day doing what I wanted with it. I had disengaged from my family religion, and having the day as simply secular fun day gave it a new twist. And I really began to love it again, but on my terms.

After a couple of decades it then became a special alone day: I listened to music I picked out beforehand, re-read from some old books, and my sights were really set on the days up till New Year for parties, etc. Then late in middle age the parties dropped off of my agenda, and I was involved in a non-Christian religion which used the Christian holiday season for its own purposes. And at this point it had become a string of days off from work.

And in old age is has no personal meaning now - though I do enjoy pleasant memories of the past, I do not miss those days. I go downtown to hear a bit of music and see the decorations, but I am a tourist watching someone else's holiday. And because where I live now we are not saturated in endless hoopla for weeks before the holiday, it actually seems a bit "exotic."
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