It's December 29th.
Christmas is officially over.
When I was young, the days following Christmas would always be marked with a bipolar-esque array of mood swings:
- Either A) Blissful, Sugar-infused Giddiness, as a mini-more-hyper-me cheerfully ran about my room, finding places with appropriate 90 degree angles to display my new presents (I was a bit of an anal child...touch of OCD...Not much has changed in that department...).
- Or B) Debilitating Depression, brought about by the realization that the season of glass ornaments, snow village scenes, glitter-infested bows, decorate-them-yourself Christmas cookies, and Home Alone soundtracks was now behind me.
To this day, I can still feel myself being drawn into this nosedive of crazy. But now, as an adult, it's tempered with the knowledge that with the end of Christmas comes this sense of existential peace.
You know what I'm talking about...
- The bank account can now limp into the boring month of January and recover itself
- All cute outfits (obligatory tights, oversized sweaters, ankle boots, and jewel-toned scarves) worn for Christmas services, holiday concerts, performances, and parties can now be interchanged for yoga pants, slouchy tees, and 3 day-old hair
- The house will no longer need to be spotless for guests. Or even smell good. *nonchalant shrug*
- The kitchen can unbutton and hang loose for a while. (nobody appreciates food cooked for festivities in a kitchen that has been steeped ankle-deep in human filth, hence my compulsive need for a heavily Cloroxed kitchen throughout the month of December. Now you know: ask me to bring ____ to your holiday function, and you better believe that'll be the cleanest f-ing _____ in the whole damn county.).
This makes me sound like a Grinch. I'm not. Pinky swear.
But I think we can all agree that adulting during the holidays can be HARD sometimes!!
Regardless, I still love Christmas. Correction: I ADORE Christmas.
The smell of the heat kicking on when the temp outside starts to drop (something TX DID NOT get to experience enough this Christmas season...), the obligatory watching of Christmas-y movies such as National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Home Alone, and Nightmare Before Christmas, busting out our thick, beautiful, expensive wrapping paper covered in golden Egyptian hieroglyphs that still makes me drool a little every time I use it (no shame), and decorating the tree with handmade ornaments passed down from my mother and grandmother...
Christmas Tradition: Handmade Ornaments
Growing up, the day after Thanksgiving was NOT marked with early morning manic shopping and door-buster deals, but rather with a roaring fire and a card table set up close by, stacked with shoebox after shoebox of ribbon, pins, styrofoam balls, and glass jars filled with beads of every imaginable size, shape, and color.
My mother and grandmother would break out their design books, find a few pictures that tickled their fancy, then set about making their own rendition of it.
For miniature me, this was Craft Heaven. I HAD TO PARTICIPATE.
Grandmother: Style - loud colors, gaudy beads, statement pieces
My grandmother passed away two years ago around Thanksgiving, so when I take out her ornaments to hang on our tree, my heart sings, no matter how massive or ridiculous they seem. She loved them. Therefore I love them. Even if they are the size of a softball...
Mother: Style - timeless, classic, understated, elegant
This was my mother's shining glory: her chandelier ball, and my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE. Providence shined on us the day she made it, urging her to make another, which means I get to have one for my tree every year. *happy dance* BOOM.
Me: Style - OCD, symmetrical, and apparently accepting of all faiths...
There's an undeniable compulsive theme to my creations: all divided by ribbon into 4 equal parts... One displays four stockings of alternating patterns. The other was apparently my 10 year old self's attempt at embracing both Christianity and Judaism, in keeping with the Christmas spirit of acceptance and love. In the picture you can see a cross and a menorah. Not pictured on the other side is the Star of David and Christmas bells (I know. It doesn't fit the theme...*shrug* I was 10).