Well, I was just reading Bonnie’s lament that she is in charge of all the Christmas decorating at her house, and dozens of commenters agreed. We don’t decorate for Christmas. Firstly, we are not Christian, so it’s not our holiday. There are Jewish holidays that people decorate, some, for, but nothing like what the Christians seem to do. In anycase, I don’t decorate for any of the Jewish holidays that I could decorate for.
I don’t think that this is because I don’t enjoy holidays, because I do. But, decoration doesn’t seem to add meaning for me. I keep the stuff the kids make, and try to remember to stick it to the walls during the appropriate season, but that is about it. I will have to check in with the kids in twenty years and see if they found their mother’s lazy- faire ( snort) approach to be somehow lacking. I do like cooking or buying seasonal foods, like latkes and hamentacshen. I don’t like even the idea of having boxes of stuff that I have to keep track of and haul in and out during the year.
I think much of this comes from a very conscious decision I made as a young adult, and that was to Not Freak Out About Every Little Thing. Those of you who know Me in real life know that I have a ways to go on this goal. But basically, I saw a lot of women in and out of my family spend a lot of emotion on making things just so. I see it with brides, I see it with young mothers, I see it ( a lot) with my own mother, and you know, it doesn’t make the people around them happy. I would rather that my kids remember that we had lots of art supplies ( that they are allowed to use ) than that my house was clean enough to do emergency surgery in. I would rather my friends never worried about shoes on or shoes off when they come by, just so they come by. ( I am a nut about the use of coasters, but I married into that.) I hope that every day I improve in that regard.
I know that my exposure to death and suffering as a nurse has made me very aware that Stuff is not important. Stuff can be fun, entertaining, useful, or comforting, but at the end of the day it is you and your deity , and the people around you. Rich or poor, we all come here with the same thing and we all leave empty handed.
But Christmas cookies? That I am completely on board for. One hundred and ten percent for the seasonal baked goods. Pass the milk.