1. The Mexico trip and graduation sort of obscured everything else.
2. We have a complex relationship with the holiday. One that brings us to think and pray things through every year.
In the interest of being straightforward, I'll try to explain it like this. We don't do certain things that are commonly accepted as Christmas traditions in our culture. For example, our family doesn't have a tree, since the Professor and I have issues with the pagan origins of that tradition. We don't do Santa either (although my four year old is a Santa fan, and that is something that falls squarely into the category of Not Worth Making an Issue About as far as I'm concerned. Childhood is the time for childish things. We grow. We move on. We discover silver hairs, far sooner than we would like). We try to fend off the predatory vultures of commercialism that love to hover at this time of year (don't we all!).
Let me be clear: I have no problem with what YOU do or what is important to YOU. Really! Life's too short for legalism of any kind. In fact, I'm only sharing where we are in our journey since it seemed sort of glaring NOT to address it. Shall we consider the issue addressed?
Here's what we DO do.
We do family traditions, taking advantage of the many ideas and opportunities for making special memories together (gosh, that sounded so sappy I just can't bring myself to reread what I just wrote).
We do send out cards and eagerly check the mail every day for those hand-addressed missives from relatives and friends. Thanks, guys!
We do gifts, among ourselves and some relatives.
We do look for ways to reach out to people around us.
We do listen to, and sing, carols. Not so much "Santa Baby" (ew!) as "Hark the Herald Angels" or perhaps my favorite, "O Holy Night." (What's yours?)
And of course, we do Jesus. (Always.)
For our family, we do a combination of bought and made gifts. This year, Ian is making learn-to-embroider kits for his sisters. He'll decorate mini canvas totes with fabric markers, and then fill them with goodies as inspired by maya*made here.
He has been wanting to make a wildlife album for a while, as place to collect his photos of various animals we run across. So I'm giving him a blank album, a pile of photos, and some cards made in Photoshop:
Some time in the next two days, I need to help the girls tie-dye socks for him without his knowledge. Good luck, self!