The delightfully kooky Mrs.G. from Derfwad Manor posted a comment on yesterday's post asking, 'what is Christmas?'
What indeed. Those sneaky Christians chose to celebrate the birth of the sweet baby Jesus (not to be confused with 'sweet baby jeebus', whom I call on in moments of exasperation)on December 25, because it was close to the winter equinox, and that would make it easier to convert all the heathen Pagans over to their side. It's considered one of the holiest days on the Christian calendar. I think it should be the holiest, because let's face it, without Jesus being born, the Christians would just be Jewish. But I'm not a theologist, or a theologian or a religious expert of any sort, so let's move on.
Some two thousand years later, Christmas is big business. We all try to remember the real reason for the holiday, but it gets kind of hard when you're bombarded non-stop from November 1 til December 24 with sale ads from department stores, discount stores and hardware stores. And why is every weekend at Kohl's department store the "biggest sale of the year"? Every weekend? Really? Wait, where I was I? Oh yeah, Christmas.
OK, here at the Casa, Christmas means dragging all your Christmas decorations up from the basement, cursing the entire time. It means an hour sorting all the stupid branches for the tree, and then putting it up. This is followed by another three hours testing all the lights and then putting them on the tree. Chickenhead then helps put on all the ornaments, usually clumping them all together in one spot, which means I'll have to redecorate the tree when he's not around, because my twisted sense of perfection will not allow me to have a clump of ornaments on one spot in the tree.
Christmas usually means Christmas Eve dinner with all of the Husband's family, most of whom can't stand each other. My mother in law will come over, taking over my kitchen like some sort of hurricane of fake fingernails and hairspray. She'll drag 60 boxes of things into the house, all to make 4 food items and put some presents under the tree. My father in law and grandfather in law (I love Gramps dearly), will come over and promptly ignore both myself and Chickenhead the moment my brother in law and his family show up. Yeah, they're the favorites. The holiday meal is inhaled in about 10 minutes time, after 10 days of preparation. By then, Chickenhead and his cousins are practically standing on their heads to open their gifts. There's a blizzard of wrapping paper and gift bags, and just like that, the celebration is over. The old people leave, and the kids have no idea what they got. After everyone is gone, the Husband and I will assemble and install batteries.
Christmas day, it's much more low key. Chickenhead gets up early to see if Santa ate the cookies he sent out for him the night before. I keep telling Chickenhead that Santa really loves a good margarita, but he's not buying it. We look in the stocking hanging from the mantle to see what all Santa (a/k/a crazy MIL) put in there. We then go to the living room and open our presents. Again, the Husband and I spend the rest of the day assembling and installing batteries.
So you see, Christmas is much more than dragging all of your gaudy crap out of the basement and draping it all over your house. It's more than eating candy out of a sock you hung by your fireplace. It's about family and tradition, and most of all, it's about a baby, born a couple of thousand years ago. You know, I bet if Mary knew what her son was really destined for, she would have demanded Joseph find a nice hospital with a birthing suite and a dvd player.