We always present a beautiful facade.
Our front yard is decorated:
The stockings are hung by the fireplace with care:
The presents are purchased and wrapped… and the “children” quite happy:
The aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews all receive a little something, too:
You would never know the truth. The truth about Christmas. The truth about Christmas is… I am Scrooge.
I would be ecstatic if we could just skip Christmas and go straight from Thanksgiving to New Years. Skip the hype, the drama, the expectations, the anxiety. Skip the “Merry Christmas” v. “Happy Holidays” debate.
Here’s the thing: I don’t know why I’m Scrooge. Unhappy childhood, blah, blah, blah. I don’t remember most of our Christmases growing up so why does it matter how unhappy I was? I remember several that were fine, really. I guess two bad Christmases stick out in memory, though.
First: The year Mom gave us pictures of what she would have liked to have given us for Christmas. They were “promises” of gifts to follow. She cut out the pictures from magazines and ads and glued them onto note cards — the kind you print recipes on and such. Uh, yeah, we never got those gifts.
Second: The year Dad went crazy shopping in the local corner drugstore, buying every doll, every toy, every lotion, every perfume imaginable for his high school daughter (me) and his twin boys. Yep, that was a great Christmas. Until I was teased at school by the son of the drugstore owner… because my father had “purchased” all of that on store credit… and never paid the bill.
So, my childhood family set up the cycle of Christmas is about gifts, but how do you buy gifts with no money? For many years Prince Charming and I continued that cycle… with his larger family. Every year the stress of his wanting to be generous, and me saying we can’t afford to be generous. The credit card bills. The arguments. Until I said, stop. I can’t do it. I became Scrooge.
Now, I know the Holidays are about family, and gratitude, and giving. But I love my family — every day. I appreciate everything I have — every day. I give whenever I can — every day.
So, I usually just skip Christmas. If I’m scheduled to work, I don’t try really hard to get the night(s) off — and in fact will work overtime so others can be with their families. It’s easier that way on everyone. But still there was the tug of finances v. exchanging gifts. Until a few years ago, when we found a solution. Prince Charming started refereeing, and all of that money goes to the Holidays. And then we took it a step further.
Here’s the truth about Christmas in our home: Prince Charming does it all.
ALL OF IT.
I’m not exaggerating; I mean, he does ALL of it: He uses his money from refereeing and does all of the shopping, the decorating, and the giving — which all makes me joyous! If it weren’t for the Prince, it is likely there would be very little Holiday Cheer in our otherwise happy little home. I have been removed from the process, and I couldn’t be happier about it.
Which is just another reason to appreciate him…
He’s gonna hate that I published that picture. Good thing he loves me, too.