About 15 years ago my then partner and I celebrated the holiday - big time. Her two nephews (whom I was "Nanny Nonnie" for about 5 years were a huge part of this. When the relationship ended it was at Xmas time, a week before she cheated on me and due to financial reasons and emotional entanglement it took a couple months before we finally extracted ourselves from each other. This included two extended stays at The Ha Ha Hotel for me. Not pleasant.
Fast forward to 2000, 9 years ago. My Dad died on the 29th of December. During this time I was still healing from a TERRIBLE staff infection in the incision from my hysterectomy. Awful, awful time.
Christmas was NOT fun for so many years.
When Nancy and I got together we sort of went through the motions with the holidays. Xmas eve was spent with her family (the niece and nephew are always a source of laughter) Xmas morning was spent with my Mom, but we never made special celebrations for us as a family.
This fall her Dad died.
We needed to make some changes because both of us were just horribly resentful around the commercialism, $$ problems and bad past circumstances surrounding this time of year.
For a while now I've wanted to actively celebrate Solstice and/ or Yule.
This year, with intent, we decorated a little artificial tree that was her grandmothers. We went through all the old decorations in the attic and picked out items that were memorable, cute or otherwise "spoke to us". All the rest went to Goodwill.
We lit candles and spoke of hopes and dreams for the coming year, we celebrated the return of the light - we both suffer from SAD so this has double meaning for us both. A day or two later, we then celebrated our Yule Tree and had our own presents to each other.
We still had Christmas eve with the kids and exchanged presents with my Mom too. We also had a feast, of course. I am a trained cook after all!
Our celebrations will evolve as the years go on, but the whole Solstice/ Yule, special celebrations just for us - as a family - were nice this year... with intent.
Christmas doesn't HAVE to be yucky - it's what we make of it.
And along those same lines... 20010 HAS to be better than 09 was. WE get to make it a good one.
Happy New Year to all!