While browsing around ravelry yesterday (what?  you don't do this at work? be honest, now!), I came across some threads about the holidays.  One was started by a woman who was trying to keep things a surprise for her family by switching names on presents and moving the tags, etc.  It sounded like a lot of work to me.  This has not been a problem for me.  I always keep the presents upstairs until Christmas Eve.  Once the tree is decorated and the mess cleaned up, then we bring the presents down.  (Then we ooooh and aaaahhhh at the sight).  I always tried to keep the presents a secret but I told the girls when they were young that I couldn't stop them from snooping but that they would be really disappointed Christmas morning when nothing was a surprise.  For some reason, this worked.  As far as I know, no one ever seriously snooped.  And if they did, I don't want to know about it(I'm looking at you Elanor, Emily and Katie!)

Bells said something yesterday and it was reiterated all across the threads I was reading.  She said:
Someone said to me recently, 'children make christmas' and that hurts. I am aware that this is probably true and I have cried knowing that once again we are facing a christmas where our little lost ones are not here. But I am spending Christmas with my nephew and a new niece and so it is not childless.
 For some reason, that made me sad.  I remembered my mother always said "christmas is for the children".  As a child, I didn't question that wisdom.  As an adult I deny it wholeheartedly.  I think children experience the holiday very differently than adults but that doesn't mean that it has no meaning if there are not children involved.

I remember the first couple of Christmases Pk and I spent together.  It was just the two of us and a few friends (bad feelings between us and my parents).  My memories of those holidays are that they were joyous and loving (and my book backs this memory up).  When the girls were born, it changed the way we celebrated but not the feelings involved.  The love was always there.  I think Christmas is for anyone who wants it.  No matter how old you are or whom you spend it with.  It's for me and you and all those we love and cherish.  I guess this sound a little naive and I have been accused many times of always looking for the bright spot. 

I will not deny that holidays bring out strong feelings both good and bad.  If you're longing for something or someone and they're not there, it hurts.  Of course it hurts.  And sometimes all you can do is get through it.  But even in the midst of the hurt, there is some little spark of tenderness that can grow into a bit of joy.  It's why we can laugh through our tears.

Anyway, that's what I think.  And so that I don't end on too philosphical a note, here's a video that Pk sent me yesterday.  He said "I thought you could post it on your blog for all your fibery friends". 



 
Enjoy!

Comments

Roxie said…
Oh PK, thank you, thank you! I laughed out loud. What brillianat work. Do you suppose those guys have too much free time? If so, I'm glad, and I look forward to more extreme sheepherding.
Bells said…
yes it's true that it doesn't have to be about children and probably if I didn't want them I wouldn't buy into the idea at all, but you're right, the longing does add something sad to this time of year. The worst have been the christmases directly following a miscarriage, sitting there with a small children or newborns present. But like I said, I'm trying to focus on the good things and am happy I'm getting to spend it this year with the family members I'm closest to for the first time in years.
Bells said…
i should also add that i know many of us have losses to remember at happy times, you especially this year and it's remembering that I'm not the only one that takes the edge off a little bit. So thanks for the reminder of that.
amy said…
I think if I were to say "Christmas is for the children" and do everything and anything to make it all about them, I would turn into a resentful martyr, and what fun is that for anyone? Oh, and they would be spoiled little brats, wouldn't they? It's got to be for all of us.

Bells, I'm sorry people are dumb enough to say that to you. Really. Do people think before they speak, ever?
Rose Red said…
I find it's very common for people to say Christmas is for the children, or it isn't as good if there aren't children around. But you are right, it's not just for children. And it is different when there aren't children, but that doesn't have to mean it's worse. There's nothing wrong with looking for the bright spot.
Olivia said…
I agree, Donna Lee. I've had many lovely christmases with my family as an adult, before the next generation started coming along. I kinda think people put too much emphasis on the magic of Christmas for children - I think it should be about reciprocal, caring, gifting acts between people, including children, not about magical Santa and what you're gonna 'get'. I don't actually understand why people are so set on their children believing in Santa - though some might think that makes me a big Grinch!
Bells said…
i don't really get the overt fascination with Santa either Olivia. I like what my sister does. Santa comes but he brings something small and it's done with. Any real gift giving is from the parents, not some fat bloke who shows up once a year and doesn't stick around long enough to be known. That's nicer, I think.
Jeanne said…
As my kids grew up into adults, our Christmas celebrations changed - its different than when they were little but still nice - just in a different way.

I read the same thing on Ravelry and thought it was way too much work too!
Galad said…
The last few years our family's biggest gift has been the time we spend together. Christmas has changed to something deeper and richer and I cherish the togetherness.
Amy Lane said…
OMG-- PK-- Donna Lee-- that was an AWESOME video! Thank you!

And Christmas is for adults--it truly is. But given all of the hype for kids (not all of it welcome, believe me) I can see how it would leave someone very lonely.

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