As the Christmas noose begins to tighten…

I seem to have not written anything here since September, for which I’m going to blame the classes I just finished taking along with my tendency toward procrastination and absentmindedness. I thought about several posts I meant to write here, but unfortunately, blogging is one area where the thought really doesn’t count.

But I wanted to put something up now because it’s almost Christmas. I love Christmas! Even though it annoys me when people try to start it in October! And despite the fact that there are quite a few Christmas songs that make me want to punch things! And even with all the stress and craziness that Christmas tends to bring! It has all that stacked against it and it’s still an excellent holiday.

There are a lot of potential blog posts I could write about Christmas. Cherished family traditions. All the things I’ve been baking. How much I hate the Christmas Shoes song (is there anyone who actually LIKES that song? No, don’t tell me, I don’t want to know). My opinions on decoration (of which I have MANY). How much I don’t want to hear about how I’m declaring war on Christmas by celebrating it in a secular fashion. Why one of my favorite Christmas movies is The Lion in Winter, which is a “Christmas movie” in kind of the same way Die Hard is, albeit with fewer explosions but also with 100% more Katharine Hepburn and Peter O’Toole.

But since I can’t decide which of those things I want to blog about most, I’m just going to ramble about my Christmas plans, which actually will probably end up incorporating one or more of the above.

Christmas in my family has always had a certain formula that we’ve stuck to pretty well, with some variations over the years. Opening presents on Christmas morning has always just been my parents, my brother, and I. We do presents with my mom and dad’s side of the family separately, sometimes on Christmas Eve and sometimes on Christmas day, and then Christmas night both sides come to my parents house for a party. It’s an nicely diplomatic arrangement, ensuring that the gift-giving on both sides is self-contained (so that, say, my mom’s parents don’t feel any pressure to get my dad’s sister’s kids anything, or friends of the family can show up at the Christmas night party and aren’t expected to have gifts for anyone), but everyone still gets a chance to hang out, which is nice because the two sides of my family have always gotten along pretty well.

One variation that I’ve added since reaching adulthood is having a small gathering at my apartment. It’s not big enough for a family party (and I would get way too stressed if I tried to have the whole family there, even if I had the space), but I still like getting my own chance to play hostess and show off my decorations, so last year I had my parents and brother over for breakfast on Christmas Eve and this year I’m planning on doing the same. The new thing this year is that my brother’s girlfriend will be joining us, which will make it the first time either of us has brought a significant other home for Christmas. I am simultaneously excited and hoping we don’t scare her off (Thanksgiving went okay, but a lot of the family was out of town then).

Christmas with my family will probably be at least somewhat stressful and crazy, as it always is. But I feel very prepared this year! All my gifts are purchased and all but one are wrapped. I have baked about a million cookies and still have pumpkin pie and red velvet brownies on my to-do list. I have wine and rum to deploy as needed (…not at the same time). I have cute outfits planned and amazing tacky red-and-green jewelry that jingles. Your move, Christmas.