Sunday, January 10, 2010

Did the Christmas Spirit Fairy Finally Fly Up My Nose?

It seems exceedingly strange for me to finally get "into" Christmas 2 weeks after the fact but heck, better late than never.

The past, oh, 10-15 years or so, have been a struggle for me with respect to the holidays. The kids growing up, the death of my father, the implosion of my first marriage, the working towards re-establishing/discovering myself, have all contributed to me swinging from being a total Christmas freakazoid to being someone who grimly endures the holidays as a sort of test of will and endurance. Yeah, made it through another give me my medal.
That sort of thing. Not a bah-humbug really, but more like a little kid with her nose pressed up to the glass, observing the holiday merriment going on, but with no idea of how to become part of that again, other than just faking it for everyone else's sake.

This year was especially bad as I was completely bogged down at work, and as well I felt helpless watching my daughter's heartbreak at the very cruel ending of her longterm relationship with a most unsuitable boyfriend. (Inside I was cheering the fact that Mr. Rectal Orifice could no longer play head games on her and verbally abuse her, but I was also saddened to hear that she seemed to recreating the mistakes of her mother as I found out more about what her relationship with this person was really like.)

But now that Christmas is actually over, and the frenetic pace of it is a distant memory, I find myself somewhat restored and looking forward to creating new traditions with JD when next year is our first Christmas as a man and wife.

Behold our 2009 tree (Jan 9th Photo of the Day), containing our one tradition (so far) of collecting a Swarovski crystal ornament for every year we've been together. So far there are 7 hanging on the tree.

This past Christmas we received a beautiful ceramic snowflake ornament from JD's cousin and her husband to add to the tree as well: Tidings of Comfort and Joy indeed! (Jan 8th POD)

The story of the Swarovski ornament begins on Boxing Day 2002, when JD took me to Birks to pick out a pair of earrings to replace the ones he wrapped up for me for Christmas (diamond clusters that were just too heavy and painful to wear). As we were exiting the store with my perfect little quarter carat diamond studs, we noticed a table full of dark blue triangular shaped boxes, marked half-off. Being a lover of all things sparkly as well as 50% off sales, I had to stop and check it out. JD didn't hesitate one bit, picked up a box and headed back to the salesgirl to ring up another purchase....and the Swarovski tradition was born. (And, though Birks no longer carries the ornaments, we have been able to source them elsewhere, and many thanks to Sam's Club and now Costco for ensuring we have never paid full price for our yearly indulgence so far.)

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