It’s Christmas time, but it doesn’t feel like Christmas time.
Maybe it’s because we’re in the second year of a global pandemic. Maybe it’s the fact that I finally made the decision to stop going home for the holidays because I always leave feeling emotionally bruised and fragile. Maybe it’s because I don’t have a baby to dress up in a Santa onesie. Or maybe it’s just because the older I get, the less Christmas feels like it did growing up. Not to mention that my husband is one of those people who really, truly feels like Christmas is just about spending time with family and the rest of it is unnecessary frills. I mean, I’m all about family too but if you don’t put up some lights and hang a wreath, it’s just another day!
At any rate, I’m making a concerted effort to get into the holiday spirit. It’s time to start blasting my holiday playlist and wearing holiday pajamas. The tree and decorations are going up this weekend and I plan to grab a Starbucks holiday drink to sip on, and watch a Christmas movie while I do so. Next weekend, I’m making husbae take me downtown to look at the lights and listen to the Houston Grand Opera sing carols at the park. And where possible, I’m wrapping and mailing my family’s gifts myself instead of just having everything sent to their doorstep.
Finally, in the spirit of observing the full holiday season, I’ll be hosting my in laws for New Year’s dinner. It’s the only holiday unclaimed by the aunts, I’ve yet to use my wedding china and we haven’t had anything at the house since before the pandemic. It’s a good holiday to test drive because the traditional foods are mostly sides, so there’s nothing complicated to mess up. I’m thinking about making smothered chicken as an entree but I’ll probably just take the easy way out and buy a honey baked ham to streamline things. Plus, I made a last minute decision to fly my mom in for that weekend. I’ll be glad to have a bit of my family here to kick off a new tradition.