Sunday, December 29, 2013

Holidays Schmolidays

The only way to be happy in life, in my opinion, is to have low expectations.  The lower the better.  In that light, Christmas is always going to lose.

I mean, how can one day possibly live up to the mantle "It's the most wonderful time of the year!"?

In all fairness, we had a really great Christmas.

Twas the night before Christmas when all the gifts finally got wrapped!

Our friends and family overwhelmed us with love and cheer in the form of piles of awesome presents for the kids and these--my new favorite ornaments:

One of the sweetest, most thoughtful and most treasured presents we've ever gotten.

Everything about this picture says we are blessed beyond measure.

Got to love Judah's perfunctory smile--let's get this over with so I can open gifts!

And yet...

And yet, Christmas was a let down.  It just couldn't, once again, live up to its own hype.  I don't really know what I was expecting...unicorns pooping out rainbows (or maybe more appropriately, flying reindeer pooping out candy canes)?

It's just that Christmas promises so much warmth, so much cheer, so much...magic.  But in the end, it was really just a regular day.  Actually, worse than a regular day--no stores or restaurants were open to offer us some easy diversion.

As for the kids, Judah had fun opening about 3 gifts before his eyes glazed over from over-stimulation.  We actually had to save the rest for another day since it was clear he was way too overwhelmed to appreciate any more.

Judah, before his eyes glazed over from too much awesome.

Noah, on the other hand, decided to continue his napping-strike.  The whole day was soured by his grumpiness and the 45+ minutes of soul-shattering wailing he emitted while being nap-trained.  The dude is just too alert now to be surreptitiously put down in his crib.  Argh.

Hey Santa Baby, why don't you give yourself the gift of sleep, huh?

All I can say is thank the newborn baby Jesus that we live in sunny California where we can always go outside, even in the dead of winter.  And that is just what we did.

Christmas in July?  Nope, just Christmas in paradise, i.e., California.

On our hike we met quite a few other people who must have been just as desperate to get out of the house, but man were they cranky.  I said hello to a few passersby and every single one of them gave me a frown.  So much for that Christmas cheer.

And the whole day I couldn't for the life of me find my ipod charger to play some Christmas music.

A day without music, without kindness from strangers, and without naps.  Bah humbug!

At the very least, I thought the spouse and I would have some meaningful conversations after we put the kids to bed.  Talking about Christmas, about the paradox of an incarnate deity, about family traditions...  But nope, we were both so completely wiped out, we just popped in a DVD about the corrupt underhanded politics of Washington (House of Cards).

Maybe I should just tell myself to lower my expectations for next year.  But I know I can't and I won't.  I've told myself to do just that every year for at least a decade.  And here's proof.  But come the first of December my hopes can't help but rise.  And then come the twenty-fifth of December, they can't help but be dashed.

At least next year I'm going to find that darn ipod charger ahead of time and watch my hopes go up in smoke with awesome Christmas music in the background!

Take that, Scrooge!


CP said...

So sorry- I totally (100%) know how you feel. I live with people who don't even make an effort to make Christmas anything other than a regular day :(

Love your family picture though! Super cute!

Alice in Wonderland said...

Yeah, totally resonated with your post on Christmas too. Funny though, the spouse actually felt guilty after reading this post and said he'd try harder next year to be in the Christmas spirit. Who knew blogs were such a helpful marital communication device?