The Holidays

As we enter “the Holidays,” – Thanksgiving and Christmas – it gives me pause for reflection…

First of all, I am not (at all) caught up in the commercial hype.  I don’t give a shit about “Black Friday,” great deals or anything else on that order.  Too tied to the almighty dollar, and “they” can’t have it!  Mine, it’s mine!  My dollar!  LOL!

We always celebrated “traditional” holidays.  Mom would make a great Thanksgiving dinner, on Thursday.  Complete with all the fixings – including giblet gravy!  And of course, there was football.

As a kid, we always had a “nice” Christmas.  Plenty of toys, and excitement.  Mom loved to decorate, so the house – wherever we were (Okinawa, Tucson, Puerto Rico, Massachusetts, France or Germany) – was always “festive.”  My job was to hang the tinsel.  I think because even then she somehow knew about my ‘mild case’ of OCD, my incessant need “to please” – and the fact that I didn’t mind.  Bill and Deb would just toss it on the tree, and be done with it.

Holidays in my last 5-6 years in the USAF  were filled with squadron parties.  Every weekend from Thanksgiving, leading up to Christmas, was a “mandatory fun” event of some kind.  I didn’t mind because I could “hide” my drinking in with the amateurs!  Often they would get caught up in some kind of trouble, a 1-time occasion, but I skated.  I was a “veteran” drinker so I knew the traps!

Today the Holidays are quite different.  No more squadron parties, no more drinking.  And today, with a clear head, once again I really enjoy the holidays!  I can actually feel the excitement that comes with this time of year!  It’s as if I am a kid again!

Yesterday Keith, Beth and the boys came by and we took our annual pilgrimage down the road to the Whitehouse Christmas Tree Farm.  The fun thing for me is, I worked at that same farm while in college!  Froze my ass off, but I loved it!  Anyway, this post is about Christmas, not my ass, so I’ll move along…

Next comes decorating the house, inside as well as outside.  I enjoy seeing the lights everywhere.  I typically won’t get my tree until after 1 December.  Tradition again…

The last thing that completes my Christmas is my train.  Make no mistake, it’s my train!  LOL!  Again, on 1 December I will bring it down from upstairs and set it up in my bedroom.

And even my friends have to sit on the chairs, and wear hats to play with my train!  LOL!

Another facet of my Christmas is building cookies.  I use the Lebkuchen cookie recipe Gram used to use, then Mom.  They are “tough” to make and usually take  a whole day.  But, I don’t mind – that mild case of OCD again!

I usually make about 144 each year…

As for shopping and gifts, for the most part I prefer to make my own gifts every year.  I love “personalizing” my gifts. That way I can “spend time” with the person I am making the gift for…and I do.

And so it is that I begin the 2012 Christmas season…with gratitude and humility – and excitement!  A a great deal yet to do!  Merry Christmas everyone!

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