Friday, November 28, 2008

Those Christmas book people...

I'm always amazed and uplifted by the Christmas novels that are out this time of year. I spotted this one in the store today by the wonderful Debbie Macomber. I go to her books when Stephen King scared the bejesus out of me.
I generally see Christmas as an extremely stressful time of year where there is never enough time or money. The spirit of Christmas has turned into a can-you-top this game. One that tires and stresses us.
The Christmas after 9-11 was different. Both my children were on top of those towers 11 days before. Living across the bay from NYC with a good view of the Trade Centers (a place where half our relatives, friends and neighbors worked) we were struck very hard. We waited days to find out who survived, the stench in the air lasted for weeks and now we constantly run into people who worked the clean up. They all have breathing disorders. If you ventured back into the city you were met with National Guardsmen with guns checking out your cars. They were at the entrances to the bridges and tunnels, the police were out in force all around you. The walls of Port Authority was lined with pictures of the missing. We went to a play and after the final curtain Valerie Bertinelli came out and thanked us all for coming back to Broadway and encouraging us to take back our city.
That Christmas was different. We walked the stores searching for those perfect gifts and just felt grateful. We had our family. We came so close to losing everything that really mattered that gifts were just stuff, useless stuff. None of it mattered.
Debbie Macomber's books tell us this too. Most of her stories are about what's really important and how its the people around us who make the difference in every way that counts.
So, what's your take on the Christmas season? Love it or hate it? Or something else?


spyscribbler said...

I used to pretty much ignore it, because I had to spend the day with family and that's always a scary proposition. Glenn loves Christmas, and celebrating it with him has been wonderful.

He loves Christmas romances. I don't read them much, but I stare at the lights, a lot.

Zoe Winters said...

I both love and hate it. I hate the gift part of it. Mainly because there so much expectation and so many people just by for certain people out of obligation or to avoid hurting feelings, and it ends up being an exercise in grown adults "trading money" I spend $25 to buy you something you don't really want and you spend $25 to buy me something I don't really want, when we both could have just kept our money and bought something we really wanted.

I'm not a scrooge. I love buying for my husband, and mom and dad and brother. But I rarely shop for people beyond that small group, because there are few people that I'm close enough to for us both to know exactly what the other person wants and for the gift to really mean something.

But one thing I do love is going to buy groceries with Christmas music playing.

Zoe Winters said...

holy crap, the typo demons: It should be:

"Mainly because there are so many expectations and so many people just buy for certain people..."

Aimless Writer said...

Spy! How great your guy loves Christmas. I wish my dh would show some enthusiasm. He just kind of goes with the flow.
I like to stare at the lights too.

Aimless Writer said...

Zoe,love the gift idea. Just let me say I love having you in my life with out the gifts. I'd rather buy trinkets all year long when the mood suits me then be forced to adhere to this overblown Christmas custom.

Zoe Winters said...


I very much agree; Christmas takes the spontaneity out of gift-giving. Though my husband will flip out like a ninja over what I got him. I want Christmas to hurry and get here so I can watch him unwrap it!

lainey bancroft said...

Wow! All these web-make-overs...I feel lost! lol

Love the new look Aimless!

Christmas...I'm of the mixed. I love that it's about friends/family/food, I hate that it's about finances. Like if you're not among the mighty 'she who spends the most' you're not really in the 'spirit of the season'.

One of the best holiday seasons we ever had we were away from family with a bunch of other people away from family and we got together and shared a total hodge-podge of family favorites food-wise and just---enjoyed!