There are 47 days until Christmas. That is 6 weeks which normally would be all it took to send me into a Holiday tailspin. You see I LOVE the holidays…I love every little thing about it. I love walking out of stores past the Salvation Army bell ringers, I love strolling through the stores listening to carols, I love the food and the decorations and the traditions. I LOVE tradition…in fact I am a bit of a holiday tradition Nazi. I am a Holiday rules girl.
Growing up, I did not have traditions, my childhood was more of a clustered chaos. So I yearn for stability and tradition and structure (or at least that’s what my over-priced shrink keeps telling me). So I have rules and traditions and they are important to me…EARTH SHATTERINGLY important.
In our home, there is no Christmas until after Thanksgiving but on Black Friday, I am not fighting the crowds for a deal on cashmere or vacuum cleaners. No, I am on my way to my favorite Christmas tree farm in search of the perfect tree.
15 degrees and sleeting…oh we are still going, much to my husbands’ chagrin. The rest of the day is spent sipping microbrews in Santa cozies, with Bing Crosby playing on the record player as we decorate the tree. Black Friday is the day my heavens align, it is the day that I don my Christmas elf hat and let the Christmas spirit swallow our house whole. That night, right past sunset, we all go out on the sidewalk with the remote control, shout out a little countdown and my little Bean hits a button and lights up the house in tiny white lights. It is my Nirvana.
This year, I am struggling with excitement and bitterness. There are 6 weeks… 47 days until Christmas. 3 of those weeks will be chemotherapy weeks. I will sleep (or at least sleepily exist) through 3 of those weeks. So now I am down to 26 days until Christmas.
Once December hits, our advent tradition is to open 1 present a night. The present is a Christmas book, they are the same books every year but you never know what you will open. This year my bedtime will probably come before my dear Beans on at least 8 of those nights…which means I only get 16 stories. So this year calls for change. This year I am breaking the rules, this year I am going to be selfish and I am going to do what I want.
This year Christmas starts now. The lights are going up on the roof. The tree is going up as soon as I can find a place that will let me cut one down early and the Santa cozies are going to be slid over a nice cold micro brew this weekend, or as soon as I can handle a cold beverage.
This year, I am doing Christmas my way and I don’t really know what that entails yet. All I know is that I am going to soak up every holiday moment with my family. My Bean is 4 this year, it is a magical age so I am going to make this Christmas the best Christmas we have ever had. I want her to look back on this year and remember the magic of Christmas, I do not and can NOT have her to look back on this, as the Christmas that mom had cancer. So this year, we bake cookies, we make ornaments and we read stories lying on the floor, in the glow of only the Christmas tree and if that means beginning the celebration before we have adequately celebrated Thanksgiving, I am OK with that. I am OK with that because I am thankful, I am so, so thankful for the many blessing that surround me. I am so thankful for my family and for our traditions and I am so very thankful that this year will be the year I tell cancer to Suck It. The fact that we will be cutting out Thanksgiving turkeys in the light of the Christmas tree is really only icing on the cake.