Take back Christmas

Bentley beside my holiday urn

I watched Bad Mom’s Christmas last week. There’s a line in the movie when Moms Amy, Kiki and Carla rebel against the pressure of trying to create the perfect Christmas for their families and declare they are “taking back Christmas”.

I’m not sure at what point Christmas became a thing we needed to take back. If I had to pinpoint a timeframe, I’d say somewhere in the early 2000s, when gifts spiralled into electronics costing hundreds and thousands of dollars, pre-lit trees made an appearance, and suddenly decorating your yard became a Griswold-like affair.

Wise man Dave especially hates how commercialized Christmas has become. I’m still a lover of the holiday season, but admit I sometimes feel the pressure of finding the perfect gift, and especially this year, finding time to decorate, bake, send out cards and all the trappings and wrappings of Christmas.

So this year, I’m pledging to Marie-Kondo-the-flock-of-sheep out of Christmas by only doing things that bring me joy.

This is what brings me joy over the holidays:

  • Collecting pine boughs and decorating festive urns (what doesn’t bring me joy? When Bentley eats all the twigs with the red berries I picked)
  • Watching a small town Santa Claus parade—highlights this year were the unicycle club from the local high school, seeing our friend Jay ride the beat up Zamboni they use to clear Sydenham Lake rink, and of course the jolly old elf himself—even Dave was singing Christmas carols
  • Going to a church cantata or concert and listening to holiday music
  • Watching Christmas movies eating homemade caramel corn in front of a crackling fire and festive tree
  • Getting together with the neighbours and of course, spending time with family

You’ll note shopping and wrapping didn’t make my nice list, so I think I’ll cut back this year.

So who’s with me? This week’s #HappyAct is to take back Christmas or Hannukah, or whatever you celebrate. Seek joy and peace this holiday season and avoid the trappings.

Santa Claus float in parade
Old Zamboni in parade

4 thoughts on “Take back Christmas

  1. Never seen bad mom’s Christmas. Hope you enjoyed it. These suggestions are really good as they remind us all that there is more to joy than how much money is invested in trying to achieve it

  2. I am with you all the way. We started to loose the Christmas spirit when we started wishing everyone « Happy Holidays » instead of Merry Christmas, just to be politically correct.
    I want to go out, I want to visit friends and family, share with them good times and memories, I want to tell them how I care and how strongly I love them.
    I want to see my 4 children come home and be amazed by the Christmas decorations. I want them to remember how they felt on Christmas morning and how much fun Christmas dinner was with everyone sitting around. That’s just to get things started

    1. To my dear friend Henri Julien and all of you who left a comment on this post, your words brought tears to my eyes. That’s to me definitely what Christmas is all about. Merry Christmas, friends!

  3. Laurie, I love your blog and read it each week, without fail. This post resonates with me because we’ve done this the past few years – stopped trying to check all the Christmas boxes and instead do the things that bring us joy. Cheesy decorations in the same spot they’ve traditionally been – check. Five different advent calendars, ranging from ancient to odd, check. Gifts all wrapped in newspaper which I’ve started hoarding now, check. I agree it’s become a production when it was always best as a gentle end to the year marked with family and cozy. Happy times to you and yours!

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