Generally speaking, I’m a firm believer in the old saying “less is more.” I don’t want or need a closet the size of a small bedroom to store my clothes; I don’t dream of living in a huge mansion, and if I had the choice between winning fifty million dollars or five hundred million dollars, I’d pick fifty. Because seriously, what can you do with five hundred million that you can’t do with fifty million? In short, excess is just not my thing.
Which is why I am always surprised when the Christmas season rolls around and I inevitably find myself wanting more….of just about everything. I have so many antique Christmas ornaments that they don’t even fit on the two trees (three, if you count my little ornament tree) that I put up every year, but I still buy more. I buy my family a reasonable amount of gifts, and then, at the last minute, I find myself buying just a few more. The lights we hang outside our house look just fine, but I’m always trying to figure out where we can hang another strand..or two.
I don’t pretent to understand why the holidays effect me this way, I only know that they do. It’s the only time of year when I eat so many sweets that I have an almost continual stomach-ache, and yet still find myself reaching into the cookie jar for just one more snicker doodle. It’s the only time of the year when I will stay up long after I am tired, just so I can sit in the living room a little bit longer, looking at the Christmas tree and listening to Nat King Cole sing carols. And Christmas Eve is the only day of the entire year when I think I would go to church twice if I could talk my husband into it…I like the candle light service that much.
Now that we’re in the week between Christmas and New Years, I am slowly recovering from my annual fit of Christmas greed. I still have a few celebrations with family and friends to attend, and I still have a refrigerator and pantry stuffed with holiday goodies, but I’m not baking any more and each day I find it a bit easier to resist the temptation to pig out yet again. And in another week I’ll begin taking down my decorations and packing them away carefully for next year.
I know there’s probably some reason I tend to celebrate Christmas with such wild abandon. Maybe I’m trying to recapture the Christmas excitement I felt as a child, or maybe my elaborate decorations are a feeble attempt to make the world around me just a little bit brighter. It’s possible I’m reacting to the mixture of memories and emotions that the Christmas season brings, since it’s a time when both the joy and the sorrow we feel are much more intense. I honestly don’t know.
I do know that while I really love Christmas, I’m also glad it only comes once a year. I don’t think I could handle it more often than that. My jeans will only stretch so far….