the things i miss about christmas are the little things. shopping with mom for my outfit. making each christmas card by hand. passing out the gifts to all the guests. pretending we’re drunk on apple cider. scooting around in my pajamas-with-feet the following morning.
francesca said we need to enjoy the traditions while we still have them. yes, i thought, because then you grow up and your brothers use christmas as an excuse to travel and your grandmother is a million miles away and the families with whom you used to sing carols around the piano are singing carols at somebody else’s house– their family’s in-law’s family’s house– and all that’s left is you and your parents, showing up at your aunt’s doorstep like mary and joseph in bethlehem.
i guess that’s why i’ve started my own traditions. wrapping gifts on the hardwood floors until my butt is asleep. setting up santa’s workshop in the dining room. supporting local merchants and avoiding the mall. exchanging presents with friends over steak and eggs and several cups of coffee.
people talk about the christmas spirit like it’s the flu — either you catch it or it catches you — but i don’t believe that. it’s up to us to make merry.