Remember what Christmas is all about
Mundelein, 3/23/01 --Pioneer Press Columnist, Millie Maughton.
Updated: January 23, 2012 10:02AM
The holidays are about tradition and giving, but many times wrapped up with those elements are stress and anxiety. So what better way to ease the tension than to take a step back, share a few laughs and reflect on the spirit of the season. Especially at this time of year, I think it’s important to take things lightly and go with the flow.
At the tree-lighting ceremony in Mundelein a few weeks back, the warmth of the hot chocolate was matched by the warmth of the friends and neighbors that gathered at Kracklauer Park. The tree was lit, Santa had come in on a firetruck, and fireworks were displayed to kick off the season. Toward the end of the show, a little boy around four years old looked up at his parents and very seriously asked, “Now Santa has to get back to work, right?” When you’re a kid that’s what it’s all about, right?
At my house my daughter has taken up baking as a stress reliever from her classes and other demands put on a high schooler. She can make a mean carrot cake, and her toffee bars are always a hit not to mention a her cakey chocolate chip cookies and tangy lemon squares. I, too, have been known whip something up for a party or get-together. On a recent morning I was looking at the counter that had a half pan of brownies, the last hunk of lemon poppyseed cake, some cranberry orange bread and chocolate chip banana bread slices. I mentioned that I would probably take some things in to work to share the wealth. Without missing a beat, she responded, “No, we are running low.” I had to laugh at how her sweet tooth gets the best of her sometimes.
Now I’m not sure how others do it, but we focus on the kids for Christmas gifts. On my husband’s side, we used to pick names out of a hat for the adults, but we even stopped that several years back. On my side, we share ideas of we would want to point people in the right direction. For some reason I have trouble buying for the men in my family. My brother usually sends a list of books or accessories to go along with his electronic gadgets. My sister has to help me pick something out for her husband. And then there’s my dad. Books and music were always an easy gift. But with his eyesight and hearing failing more recently, I was stumped. More clothes would mean more laundry for my mom. So she said, “Just get him a nice bottle of whiskey. That’s all he needs.” Having recently turned 83, my dad is comfortable and content. I thought that was a grand idea. He deserves it.
Here’s hoping the entire string of lights stay lit, everyone is grateful no matter what they get, and you don’t berate yourself for indulging just a little bit. Happy holidays!