Hooligan Zoo

Two Zookeepers… many Hooligans… It's always feeding time at this zoo!

It has been demanded of me that I blog, so blog I will…

on December 29, 2005

I received an email from my Great Aunt Joyce today demanding that I keep on blogging…  it's funny, actually, I've been kind of planning some articles in my head, and yet it's just so much easier not to write them.  It's easier to just sit around and let the holidays wash over me with all the myriad of feelings that go along with it.

But, Aunt Joyce, you have forced my hand!  Or, at least my fingers!  I could blog about the neat felted bag that I just made, post pictures of the Christmas presents, talk about how we have three get togethers down, and two more to go…

There's something about Christmas that turns me into this raving insane lunatic.  I get super annoyed super easily, nothing ever seems to go “right”, and really, the whole meaning of Christmas gets lost in the rushing, and the presents, and the buying, and the travelling, and the trying to make everyone happy.

This year we had Christmas day at our house.  It was great.  Keyzia spent the entire day in her pyjamas, and she was ecstatic.  My parents and my sister Glenna came up and we had turkey, played games, and generally stuffed ourselves silly.  Christmas Eve was a little more hectic.  Lots of yummy food, get together with all the sisters, and presents coming out the wazoo.

Boxing day saw us at the yearly gathering of Wolters' in Brighton.  It was chaos personified.  We did not have a good time at all what with the trying to help in the kitchen and the chasing of the children, and the thirty or fourty relatives who were present…

New Year's day will see us with Ja's immediate family, his brothers, his sister, parents and significant others. 

Some people glory in this hustle and bustle.  They love stressing about what to get for who, don't worry about going into debt to buy things that are going to last such a short time.  These people adore decorating and wrapping and all the jazz that seems to go with the season now.

Me?  Not only did I not want to put up the Christmas tree, but I wanted to take it down Christmas Night.

I love giving gifts to people, but I hate that I'm forced to do it by the consumerist way that Christmas has become.  I hate that people look at me funny in stores when I say Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays or Season's Greetings.  I hate that God hasn't been invited to Christmas Celebrations that were conceived to celebrate his birth on earth for a long long time.  ((Don't worry, I totally understand that the odds of Jesus' birthday actually being on December 25th are… well, about 1 in 365, but I see nothing wrong with a day that is to remind us of such a gift…))

What's the solution?  How do we keep Christ in Christmas in our home?  We did put candles in a cake and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus.  We read the story of Christmas as a family on Christmas Eve from the bible.  At every moment we tried to instill in our children that we give gifts to each other to celebrate the greatest gift that was given to us. 

And yet… and yet… something was still lacking.

I think it might be me.  I got some great presents.  I love being with my family…  even though they're all nuts…  Why do I feel like I have to stress out about everyone getting the exact perfect present?  Why do I feel like we need to see everyone, do everything, be everywhere for everyone?  What is it about the way Christmas has become that makes me dread the countdown with every part of my being?

The biggest question is how do we simplify this whole season?  And how do we keep the focus on Christ and off of the consumerism that is forced on us at every turn?

I don't know.  I don't know what the solution is, but I have 360 days to figure it out for next year.

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