Despite being a full-blown and irreducible summer lover, I have to admit December is fun. Today, in a laid-back, "don't feel like making an effort" mood, I decided to put together a list of reasons:
The aesthetics and the festive atmosphere
Colorful lights and decorations, Christmas carols, Christmas markets, and the first "real snow" that stays on the ground... all that puts me in a joyful mood. We don't go crazy with thematic decor, but the little bit we put, I really do enjoy. Isn't it nice to lounge in a living room solely lit by the Christmas tree? I love it. In December I also, for once, indulge in wearing more makeup, sparkly nail polish, jewelry and cute dresses (the rest of the year I'm content as a tomboy).
The beliefs and traditions... whether commercial, spiritual, or both
Some people spend a little for Christmas, some spend a lot. Some people tie it with religious ceremonies, some don't. Each family has its own beliefs and traditions, but what's for sure is that December provides plenty of reasons to reconnect and rejoice together. It starts on December 1st with the Advent calendar. I have friends who build their own, complete with actual presents for each day. We just buy the ones with the tiny chocolates. Everyone is happy. I have one child and a half who still believes in Santa (I say a half because my oldest is asking a lot of questions but not yet ready to let go of the magic). We write to him, and he writes back. On the 24th, we all love following him on NORAD tracks Santa, using it as an excuse to learn about geography. We also follow "reindeer" tracks in the backyard (it's a deer haven here). And this year, after much pondering, we gave in to the Elf on the Shelf. You know what? It's fun! D and I have a blast figuring out what the elf will be up to each night, and the kids have a blast discovering it in the morning. It's not even about a "behavior watch"; we do it for the sole pleasure of it.
As for buying, we do buy, but reasonably. And honestly, since we are so frugal the rest of the year, it's nice to have an excuse to do a little bit of shopping!
December is THE time of the year I let myself indulge in those little treats I don't really allow myself the rest of the year. Real champagne. Real chocolate truffles. All in moderation, but still. I also love those "pot-luck" parties where everyone brings their "specialty". I don't use December as an excuse to go completely off-track with my clean eating, but I do allow myself a bite of everything. I used to dive head-first into desserts, but since I was diagnosed with a tree nut allergy, that has tempered my enthusiasm. Luckily or unluckily, there are many treats I cannot have anymore. In any case, there are many things I eat (or drink) in December and no other time.
Life is so busy that December sometimes is the only moment we get to see some people. I appreciate that. There are a lot of parties, and it could seem exhausting, but I take them one at a time, and savor each moment. Yesterday was D's work party, which is always a blast, especially because the people there have such fascinating things to say about their job when I ask about it: "I've been slicing lots of brains" and "I've been extracting lots of cerebrospinal fluid" are common answers. Ain't it fun. I try to sound as cool when I say "I've been reading and writing a lot about brains and cerebrospinal fluid". Nah. Not quite as cool.
I said it, I love Christmas music. Yesterday, we went to the Nutcracker with the girls. The last (and only) time I had seen it, it was in Montreal (huge production), and I was about twelve. Notwithstanding the fact that I'm "slightly" older and that the Halifax production is more modest, it was just as magic. The girls were on the edge of their seats and did not blink once!
The Nuctracker: shivers inducing
For me, it's sacred: I don't work between Christmas and the New Year. In my thirty-something years of life I think I can count on the fingers of one hand how many times I worked the last week of December (I coached Christmas swimming camps). It was fun, but I'd rather be home doing the things I never have time to do: put my feet up and read by the fire, have endless conversations with D while sipping on an afternoon tea, or play Legos with the kids.
What do you think of December? What are your favorites?