My Traditions Around Christmas
A few years ago, (when I was a child), stores did not start the Christmas Season in November. I remember getting excited about Christmas a couple of weeks before the Big Day. One memory I have of the Season is going to see the animated window display at Eaton’s on St-Catherine Street during the school break. It was magical – and I so wish some big retail store would re-start that tradition for the little ones Another good memory is visiting on my dad’s side of the family on Christmas Eve and staying up very late, eating tourtières and pies at the Réveillon, a very French Canadian tradition. This was quite a party for the only child that I was – dozens of cousins and piles of gifts under the tree.
When my children were young, I continued to wait until the week before Christmas to buy and decorate the tree – sometimes we decorated the tree on Christmas Eve. I also loved the atmosphere in stores on December 24th when I would buy the small gifts to fill their Christmas stockings. Christmas Eve was the time I chose to wrap my daughters’s gifts. I would wait until they were in bed, sit by the tree and wrap presents.
Today the girls are all grown up and there are now grandchildren. I still love the night before Christmas, quiet at home, yes wrapping presents, cooking, baking something sweet for the Christmas day family dinner and reminiscing about the year past.
What are your traditions for the night before Christmas, for Christmas day? Do you, like me, enjoy the quiet hours at the end of the day to finish wrapping gifts or to relax with a good book or a mushy Christmas movie and do the last preparations for the Christmas dinner? (I used to put the turkey in the oven, use the timer and wake up to the aroma on Christmas day). Or do you prefer to be with friends or family and have a Réveillon?
Or are you feeling lonely, dreading the day, especially if there is no planned Christmas family get together? If so, here are some ideas to help you through on that day as well as on Christmas day.
SOME TIPS IF YOU ARE ALONE AT CHRISTMAS
- Call your friends – invite them or invite yourself.
- Look for a place to volunteer serving Christmas dinner to the needy people in your city. Every big city in North America usually has many places serving a Christmas dinner
- If you are in recovery, check out AA and NA – they usually have a 24 hour open house and will welcome you with open arms
- Meetup – there are thousands of groups and many of single people who are also far from their family – members can organize a get together or join one
- Pamper yourself – you can give yourself a spa treatment at home, cook your favorite food or go to bed early to catch up on your sleep
- Take yourself on a nice day trip – to a small town or spend some time in nature
- Red Cross usually has blood donor clinics on December 26. It feels good to know you can save a life
- Cook a good meal and share it with a shut in neighbour
- Remember that all that shines is not necessarily gold. Many family get togethers are rifled with tension and unhappiness. As an only child, I always wanted siblings – then I saw how some siblings can be mean to one another. It helps to put things in perspective.
- If your finances allow, treat yourself to a trip you’ve always wanted to take
- Paint a wall – paint a room, finish a project. I remember the first Christmas after I was divorced and my kids were with their dad on Christmas day, I painted the living room. It worked. Got rid of some anxiety and loneliness and slept like a baby that night
Whatever you decide to do, be kind to yourself, be your own Santa and remember that Christmas has become a big commercial endeavour. And again, remember that all that glitters is not gold.
Let me know how you are spending your Holiday time and if you have other suggestions. If you enjoyed this post, please share with your friends and on social media to help me reach more people. Thank you
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