SKIPPING CHRISTMAS


So I’m not doing Christmas this year.
Don’t think I’m Scrooge or the Grinch,
but the season has become too long and
commercial.  Craft stores have stuff in July.
By September the rest are decorating,
offering boxed gifts and pushing Christmas carols.
By Thanksgiving we’re weary,
without meaning or spirit.
The touch and feel are familiar, and
like protracted lovemaking, we risk
disappointment with the climax on the twenty-fifth!

So I’m not putting up a tree this year.
It will save me the distress
of decideing how to decorate it.
All red?  All gold?  A mixture?
Seashell theme?
Silly, sentimental ones?
Beads or no beads?  Colored or white lights?
Artificial trees are practical.
Real ones shed like a Persian.
And one year the cat ran up
the tree and pulled it down!

So I’m not decorating for Christmas this year.
I won’t drink coffee from cheery Santa cups
or sip egg nog from gilded goblets.
No holly wreath with lights hugging the door,
no red-nosed reindeer, no glittering cherubs,
no waiting stockings by the chimney,
no grinning nutcrackers standing tall,
no garland over every mirror.
Banish Santa towels, snowmen, elves,
bells, chimes, ho-ho-hos,
nativity scenes, poinsettias and hues of green and red!

So I’m not cooking for Christmas this year.
I’m tired of all that fuss and work for one meal
when they’d rather have pizza anyway!
Turkey, dressing, gravy, cranberries, fruit salad,
green beans, candied yams, hot rolls,
cookies, pies, candy,
fudge, more cookies, bread pudding,
nuts, snacks,
mulled cider, wine with Santa’s pink cheeks on the label
and fruitcake no one eats.
My kitchen is too small for all that cooking anyway!

…I’ll just leave
cookies
and
milk
for Santa.

December 2003

P.S.  It was the best Christmas ever because I DID put up a tree, decorate and cook after all!  MERRY CHRISTMAS!

51 thoughts on “SKIPPING CHRISTMAS

    • Actually, we seem to debate every year whether to put up a tree or not but usually give in and put it up. It is not as much fun without little ones to enjoy it. Our grandson will be 21 next month! Merry Christmas to you and Rita!

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      • Thanks, Jo Nell. I don’t do the tree thing anymore although Charlie nags me every year to do it. I’m not a holiday person … unlike Kelli who is big on traditional holidays! Dunno’ where she got that since Dean wasn’t a holiday person either. Some mysteries are never solved!
        Hey, I’m reading an account of recent discoveries about the indigenous peoples of the Americas that’s fascinating. 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann. I thought of you when I started reading it.

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      • Someone else recommended this book to me – I will have to put it on my reading list. I have many books on the pre-Columbian period but nothing about recent discoveries. Thanks for the suggestion! (I am sure Charlie will do just fine without a tree at your house since his mother likes to decorate for Christmas!)

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  1. We all have these thoughts. Sometimes it just becomes overwhelming. My Mother did a magnificent Christmas. I tried to do the same, then I realized. I was working in television with sometimes 16 hour days. She was at home. When I figured that out I went to Mexico City for Christmas. It was fabulous. A bouquet of five feet high poinsettias for a tree No decorating there. Now I am back to doing Christmas but I call it a slow Christmas. Virginia

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    • Yes, that’s what I do these days – a slow Christmas! How wonderful to be in Mexico City for Christmas! We spent Christmas in New Orleans one year and loved it! We will be home this year. I am sure you put on a magnificent Christmas!

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    • It is hard to give up! But why do all of that if you are not having people in? You can always enjoy your friends’ decorating and the are the malls and stores. Almost every house on our short street have lights and decorations but we gave that up years ago. Many times we have celebrated Christmas before the 25 or even after with family as it was special whenever we were able to get together! Merry Christmas!

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  2. I see your point, Jonel, I do . . . When I turn on the radio in November and find that Little Drummer Boy is already singing his song, I’m flummoxed; because, of course, we haven’t even celebrated Thanksgiving! However, in a world that is neither perfect nor Good, everything in it is subject to corruption and exploitation. We cannot let those who wish to taint that which was designed to bring joy and happiness ruin it for us all. I hope, no matter what you choose to do or not do, you remember what this season means to you!

    ~ Cara

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    • You are right! I will not let commercialization steal Christmas! In the past few years I have tried to keep it simple and am much happier. There are so many who do not even have the basics. I will cook for Christmas as our daughter and grandson will be here. Husband and I have decided not to exchange gifts this year. Merry Christmas to you and yours! Peace on earth.

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    • Exactly! I almost hate going into Hobby Lobby in July or August because I know they will have Christmas trees out and I begin to feel the pressure! Next year if I put up a tree and decoration I will do so closer to the 25th.

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  3. We also tire of the endless Christmas commercialization and by time the holiday is upon us, we are weary of red, green and jingles! However, that being said we always end up with the tree and the garland and all the other festivities and somehow find meaning in the holiday …………..again. Wishing you and Mr. Crone the very, very, very best for the season!

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    • So true! When the kids (now very mature adults) were small we would watch “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” every year. There is such a lesson there. May you and yours have a lovely Christmas with tree, garland, a feast and love spread all around!

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  4. Ah, for a moment I thought I had found a kindred Christmas spirit! last year, we sat down and decided to do away with Christmas. We had a simple meal on Christmas Day with my daughter – Shepherd’s Pie at her request and gave her a box with a few special things in it like an octopus mug. No tree, no decorating. And I realized how little stress we had as I went about my life hearing people talk about the shopping and the wrapping and the going to this party and the other. This year we are having friends over for fondue on Christmas Day and we are going to put the tree up on the 21st with just lights and garlands. So a touch of cheer for winter but none of the craziness. I can’t believe how much energy we save by simply stepping away from all of this. My friends tell me “wait till you have grandchildren, then you’ll HAVE to have Christmas” but I say I will be Crazy Nana who doesn’t do Christmas.

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    • Well, I admire your courage to do away with Christmas! A cousin of mine simply says, “I don’t do Christmas!” Our only grandchild will be 21 next month and we were blessed to have had him here for most Christmases when he was small.

      As I grow older I seem to care less and less for the craziness of the season and decorate less and less. Perhaps I will give it up altogether one of these days. Husband just wants to celebrate the Winter Solstice. I say celebrate whenever you can get loved ones together. Merry Christmas to you and your new holiday freedom!

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      • I take time out for Winter Solstice as this is a celebration that makes sense to me. Christmas has just become to crazy and to consumer driven. Merry Christmas to you and yours and a quiet thank you that we can celebrate how , if and when we desire!

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  5. You know I read that book when I was so stressed out about Christmas. I laughed so hard that I felt better and got on with it. The simplicity of Christmas is best – reflection and expression of love.

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    • I loved the book too and then saw the movie – even better! I am trying to keep it simple and focus on love and peace, not the style of decorations or cost of gifts. Thanks for the visit and comment. Merry Christmas to you!

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  6. I do think we need to be more thoughtful about Christmas. I think it’s over done and becomes a frenzied season, rather than a peaceful one. The craziness should go. We can do Christmas differently, more simply and still have it be simple, special and sane.

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    • I agree completely – simple, special and sane! We don’t have to follow the crowd or try to outdo our neighbors. And it is a difficult time for those who are struggling financially or for those who are alone. Where will you be for the holidays? Peace and joy to you!

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  7. Great post, Costalcrone! I see so many people writing about the commercialism of the season and l agree – it stinks! I love being with my family on Christmas, though…my husband and I cook a major feast and the minute they start arriving it’s a loud and boisterous affair..we spend the day laughing and talking and I’m totally exhausted by the end, but it’s a ‘nice’ exhaustion. haha. I’m lucky to have the Christmas break, too – having time to prepare, wrap presents, and cook and then having a week more to rest and not feel rushed/stressed – does make a big difference!
    Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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    • Yes, having time to prepare really helps but so many women work and have only a day or two off so they feel the pressure. I agree that being with family is the real spirit of Christmas and do enjoy the traditional cooking and baking. Merry Christmas and best wishes for the new year 2013! Thanks for visiting during the busy holiday season.

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  8. Ho! Ho! Ho! Jolly good post ! 🙂 Christmas shouldn’t be a race/competition, it is a reflective time of sharing that does not have to be restricted to following religious or commercial formalities & conventions. Cookies and milk for Santa is always a safe bet though. 😀

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    • Thank you! I like the way you put it – “does not have to be restricted to following religious or commercial formalities.” Thanks for stopping by to share some holiday cheer! Enjoy the season and best wishes for 2013.

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  9. I’m glad that in spite of all your intentions, that you did do all those things and had a wonderful Christmas after all! Some of your intentions sound pretty good to me right now though. 🙂

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    • Well, that was a good Christmas, but I am trying to make the holidays simpler these days. One year I made reservations and we all went out for Christmas lunch. That was easy and we may do that again. This year I will cook but I will try to keep it simple. I am even going to order a dutch apple cheesecake! May you enjoy your Christmas however you choose to celebrate!

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  10. With our girls still living at home, we go all out with the fresh cut tree and decorations. Even though it starts earlier and earlier every year, Christmas day always comes too soon for me. Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

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    • We used to do that too when our children were home and then when our grandson was small. Now he is almost 21. I sometimes miss those days but now I do less decorating and have a simpler meal. Occasionally we will eat out Christmas day. Enjoy having your girls home! May you have a beautiful Christmas filled with love!

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  11. I haven’t done Christmas since my sons were teenagers and explained they didn’t like having to put everything away afterward. My Christmas gets up and runs away due to the lack of true spirit, with the commercialism as you have so aptly identified, Christmas with your All Hallows Eve anyone.

    Fortunately, we run about other peoples homes at Christmas time; they still decorate!

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    • We always have music and eggnog when we put the tree up but I too hate the chore of taking everything down and putting it away. I do less and less each year as it seems to have lost meaning. Yes, even if one does not want to participate there are always those who do and we can enjoy their efforts. Cheers and best wishes for 2013!

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    • I really do enjoy Christmas and even appreciate the retail decorations – and the after-Christmas sales. I am glad that you were able to enjoy the spirit of Christmas in your home. All the best to you in 2013!

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    • I suspect that I would miss Christmas even in Bangladesh but thanks for the suggestion. I enjoyed visiting your blog and traveled with you via your great pictures. Thanks for stopping by to comment. The very best to you in 2013!

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  12. Hi You really had me fooled there for a while. Thought you were actually intending to skip x/mas lol btw. i popped over from Ruth’s, just in case you were thinking who i was 🙂
    best wishes.
    Kenny !!!

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