So far, this has been the best Christmas in years, and it isn’t even really Christmas yet.
I started celebrating early, since we’re going to spend a good two week chunk of time over Christmas and New Year in Nova Scotia, and there didn’t seem any point to decorating a week before we left. So I decorated in November.
We violated an old rule of ours and got an artificial tree so that when we went to Nova Scotia we wouldn’t be leaving behind a fire hazard. We aren’t proud of it, but it’s a pretty little tree and how else can you get a Christmas tree in November?
I also started our advent calendars early, counting down to departure instead of Christmas Eve. I took Owl to story time with Mrs Claus and a gingerbread house party.
Perfect Husband has shown frequent glimmers of his old self and has been helping me make lists of things to do, putting together Christmas music playlists, and generally being PRESENT in the household.
It makes a huge difference.
The last couple of Christmases have felt half-assed and lackluster. My miscarriage baby was due in December, so the Christmas that she (she was always a she in my thoughts) would have been due was particularly gloomy. All I managed that year was a single Charlie Brown Christmas Tree on the table.
I vaguely hoped that people would think I was taking the message of Charlie Brown Christmas at face value and refusing all other decorations out of principle. At least that sad little tree reminded me that Christmas was not about glitz.
Last Christmas was a little better – at least I was pregnant! – but due to stress/pregnancy/anxiety I couldn’t handle basically anything. It also felt horribly ironic because I had always wanted to be pregnant at Christmas – I had imagined lounging with my feet up while adoring relations laid footie pyjamas over my belly and complimented my glow – but instead I was overworked, sick, and we couldn’t afford to go home so it was just the three of us.
PH ended up pushing himself way too hard to help out and I partially blame that for his crash in January.
I sort of feel like the last year didn’t really happen. It’s hard to believe that it is Christmas time again, because we actually haven’t finished cleaning up after last Christmas.
You see, when PH crashed, a lot of things went on hold. One of those was putting away Christmas stuff. And by the time things were looking up again, that Christmas stuff had stopped looking like Christmas stuff, and just started looking like part of the normal background of our lives. It felt strange to put Christmas stuff away in July, so it just sort of stayed.
Like the Christmas village, which has been boxed, but sitting under the side table in the living room for a year now. We didn’t set it up this year because we’re going to be away so it seemed like too much effort.
Or Beloved Dog’s “12 Days of Dog Christmas” quilt, which has now basically just become a regular blankie that has sat on his memory foam dog bed for 12 months now. I wonder if he would get upset if I took it away, now? I mean, look how he snuggles with it.
Or this Christmas angel, which has sat on the shelf for the last year without anyone really noticing it.
Hey, I mean, it probably saved us valuable seconds in decorating for Christmas this year. The house came predecorated! Like how my parents just leave their Christmas lights up all year round and only start plugging them in again on December 1st each year.
It’s nice, really, to think that Christmas keeps coming around. And if one, or two, or eight don’t go as well as I would like, well, it’ll be back again before I even get around to putting away that dog-cuddling wooden angel thing.
And like I say, this Christmas is on the upswing. I think I’ll mark this year over-all a win. Especially since I finally have my Christmas baby.