Friday, January 1, 2010

Christmas-A Review

There is something about saying, "We always do this," which helps keep the years together. Time is such an elusive thing that if we keep on meaning to do something interesting, but never do it, year would follow year with no special thoughtfulness being expressed in making gifts, surprises, charming table settings, and familiar, favorite food. Tradition is a good gift intended to guard the best gifts. ~Edith Schaeffer

This year for our Christmas meal, Laurel and I decided that we were going to go non-traditional and make it easy on ourselves. Instead of the usual Christmas ham and all the fixings, we made two kinds of soups, three kinds of sandwiches, cranberry salad, foccacia bread, and cheesecake for dessert.

The reactions were hilarious. "What!?!" and "Soup?" were just a few. The family wasn't happy. It was a delicious meal though. I'm just not sure it was good for Christmas Day; especially after reading the above comment by Edith Schaeffer.

What led to this change was the combined attitudes of this mother (me) and her daughter (Laurel). We spent most of the holidays being angry at our menfolk. Comments like, "Why do we have to be the ones stuck in the kitchen while THEY get to go hunt or play?" Not our finest hour.

Not that we didn't have some legitimate gripes. I've never thought it was fair that the woman does ALL the holiday preparations while the man gets to sit and watch football all day. Uh oh, here I go again! And we have talked about it over the years all to no avail.

So, I decided long ago to just let it go. I know I can't change him by nagging only praying. I guess this year I forgot that part about praying.

So when during one phone conversation Laurel said something about how tired she was, it all came back..the unfairness and injustice of it all. I guess all the 'letting it go' wasn't really gone and had been suppressed for over thirty-four years. Yikes! It wasn't pretty. Thus our decision to make things simple so we wouldn't be so dadgum tired.

Well, it didn't work. All we were was still tired and ANGRY! I learned some things though.

1. I don't pray about these things enough.
2. Traditions are important to have.
3. Good planning and a cheerful attitude go a long way.
4. Working on my own attitude is more important than changing my husband's.
5. Soup and sandwiches just don't cut it for Christmas Day.

What do you think, Laurel? We KNOW what everyone else thinks!


Anonymous said...

While my man goes out to work to provide for us I'm more than happy to be the one who makes the home a nurturing and happy place for him to be when he's here. Isn't your husband out providing for you when he's out hunting?
When my husband has some free time to relax I don't get angry, there are times when I have free time too. It's not always all work.

Pom Pom said...

Hi Debbie! I like breaks from food preparation. I remember my mom would plan for "easy" and I didn't get it then. I thought she lacked creativity when she fixed ham, boxed potatoes, green bean casserole OR frozen lasagna, bagged salad, garlic bread. Now, I get it. Sometimes our kids complain when their favorite dish doesn't appear, but for the most part, they get it, too. I used to think it was sort of romantic to provide delicious food but now I think it's romantic to sit on the couch, close to a daughter, son, or two and rub their backs and listen. Now I know why my mom kept it simple - so she MIGHT have time to deliver a better kind of love.

debbie bailey said...

Bella-I'm very appreciative of the hard work my husband does for our family. He's a great provider. I guess what gets me riled up is that when he comes home, that's it for the day. But I keep on working until bedtime. That's what seems unfair to me. And holidays as that way as well. I just wish things were more equal that way. I have to work way too hard.

Valerie@travelingthrough2 said...

Hi Debbie,
Happy New Year! I say go on a cruise at Christmas and make your family traditions on 4th of July when everyone can pitch in. Sounds good to me!

Left-Handed Housewife said...

Hi, Debbie--As long as things feel balanced, I'm a happy camper. But during the holidays, I always feel like I'm the one who's doing most of the work--cooking, shopping, wrapping. My husband is very good about cleaning the kitchen, but the rest seems to fall to me. This year I tried to delegate more and simply ask for help, and that helped. But it's frustrating, and I always end up stressed and exhausted.


Anonymous said...

Debbie, I agree. I feel like I end up doing everything. However, two years ago, I changed my perspective. I had worked cleaning the house in preparation for my children and their families for Thanksgiving. I agonized over the menu for weeks, and worked for days preparing the "whole nine yards." Everything was made from scratch, except for the "Sister Shebert" rolls. After the meal, which everyone seemed to enjoy, I asked my children what was their favorite thing that I served. Three out of the four said, "The rolls." I learned then and there that in the future, I was not going to "knock myself out!"

Anonymous said...

Oh Debbie, I can relate to this post so much! I got so cranky this season that I was afraid to lie down and sleep for fear that I would be visited by a dead friend named Marley and three other ghosties!

What I did start doing was invitng him into the living room with me at night while I wrapped presents. He isn't much help in that department. I don't think his hands are well crafted for it or something. But he talked with me as I wrapped, and handed me the scissors and ribbon. And I showed him what we were giving to people. That's one step better than my own dad who never knew what "he" had given us until we tore the paper off on Christmas morniing.

Debbie B. (told you I would comment!)

debbie bailey said...

Yeah, Debbie B. for commenting! It wasn't too hard, was it? Thanks for reading. It was good seeing you in Lowe's the other day. Tell the family hey for me.

Anonymous said...

Debbie I am reading An Irish Country Village right now and it starts the day after The Irish Country Doctor!!