Christmas: Then vs Now

Recently I read an article, where it said “As you grow older, you begin to experience the “Christmas spirit” in a different way. Instead of counting down the days until Christmas starting Dec. 1, you are caught off guard when someone says that Christmas is only a week away. Your older self doesn’t necessarily become the Grinch, but the excitement that takes over your every thought slowly dims.”
How true! I wanted to come up with my own blog post on the subject. So, keep on reading.

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~

What was the holiday season like way back when I was a kid?
~ What is the holiday season now that I am pushing 30?

~~

Starting with Advent, we would listen to Christmas carols all day, every day, and sing along.
~ Now, I mostly forget to play carols or Christmas-themed songs, because I don’t listen to music much anymore.

The night before Christmas I would stay up late because I was too excited to go to sleep.
~ Now, I stay up late because at 10PM there are still a million things I need to get done.

On the 24th, I would wake up very early and all excited. The excitement level would only go up as the evening approached. (The custom is to receive presents on Christmas Eve, not on Christmas Day here in Romania.)
~ Now, I try to snooze the alarm clock five times before getting out of bed to skip breakfast and finish everything that didn’t get done the night before. The stress level only goes up as the evening approaches.

On Christmas Eve, my mom, grandparents and I used to go to church, and I was always in the Christmas play the kids at church would act out in front of more than 300 people.
~ Now, I don’t go to church anymore. (My mom and I go listen to my former high school’s choir concert, but that’s a a week or two before the holidays.)

During the play, one of my grandparents or my uncle would go to my mom’s house to decorate our Christmas tree and place presents under the tree – because I would’ve noticed if my mom wasn’t in the front row singing along carols with us kids. My grandparents decorated their tree and placed the presents under it before they left. My uncle did the same at my great-grandmother’s house.
~ Now, I decorate our apartment, my mom’s and my grandparent’s houses and their Christmas trees. Aside from helping with cooking and baking, and my own cooking and baking. I kinda like the being-surprised-by-a-Christmas-tree-materializing-out-of-nowhere idea better, but that most likely won’t happen ever again.

After the play, on our way out, all of the children at church would receive a small present.
~ Now, I am the one assembling presents for children (both my boyfriend’s and my firm take presents to ShoeBox Romania). An extra present for myself comes from Secret Santa at work.

First we’d go to my mom’s to find that Santa brought us a Christmas tree and presents. Then to my great-grandmother’s, and then to my grandparent’s for the same.
~ My boyfriend goes to his brother’s and they go over to his grandma’s. At home, I skip lunch to finish everything that didn’t get done the night before or in the morning. Then we go over to my mom’s and grandparent’s.

My Christmas wishlist would be a mile long. Yet everything was still a surprise when some of the items off my wishlist made it into the presents, because we couldn’t afford much.
~ Now, my wishlist is still long, but three quarters of it I ignore, and what I really need/want I buy for myself instead of flat-out asking for them. Presents aren’t surprises much anymore, because usually mom asks me if it’s OK to buy me “x”, and I correct her that “y” would be better as I haven’t used up the current “x” yet. Or, she’d call me three times in a row while my phone’s on silent, then immediately text saying “call me urgently!!!” to ask what color PJs I’d like, because she knows I needed to sew mine twice in one month.

We’d have dinner at my grandparent’s.
~ We have dinner at mom’s.

At the end of the night, my mom and I would go back to mom’s house. During school holidays I stayed with her, not with my grandparents as was my living situation during school time.
~ Now, my boyfriend and I go home to our cat to spoil the little fluffball rotten some more while watching a Christmas movie and maybe having a cup of hot chocolate.

On Christmas Day we would all go to church and have lunch at my mom’s place.
~ On Christmas Day, I try as much as I can to get out of the church part, but given I can’t, we all go to church together and have lunch at mom’s place.

~~~

I still like the holidays, and I do get excited. However, I do find this season stressful now, and sometimes I really wish I was a kid again and just enjoy it rather than be the one to do the work…
What do you think? What are your holiday preparations and holidays like? Do you find it more or less stressful now than twenty years ago?

Luckily, twinkle lights and hot chocolate help keep my spirits up!

Here’s wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!!!

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4 Comments to “Christmas: Then vs Now”

  1. To me Christmas has lost all meaning. It’s now about spending money you don’t have on crap made in China to give to people who don’t need it and don’t want it all because Coca Cola decided to invent some guy named SANTA! The same old Christmas music drives me nuts. I can’t stand the crowds and aggressive drivers that are everywhere. Too many parties with the same people at all of them. Too much food, most of it wasted, when there are starving people in this world. Christmas starts the day after Halloween in America with the stores filled with the same exact garbage as last year. Christmas cards arrive with nothing more than a signature, or worse, a long letter about how others’ lives are far better than mine. And after all this, many go to church for an hour on Christmas eve, and that somehow makes the months of madness meaningful. Are you kidding me? Christ was not born on December 24th. This is commerce on steroids and we fall for it every single year. The whole concept of celebrating His birth has devolved into something ugly. I’m over it. Whew! That felt good. Thanks for the opportunity to rant and rage. And…..Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

    • You’re very welcome for the opportunity to rant and rage, and thank you for reading mine above ;)

      One thing I forgot to mention is that I always look forward to making a handmade card. Even if it ends up as simple as sticking three pieces of card stock on top of each other, or rarely from an X-Mas card kit, and scribbling a few lines, that at least still had meaning for me. On the other hand, I do always struggle to come up with something to write as I feel like all the best wishes have already been said before… Maybe I should try and not sugar coat it, and just say “Most likely your holiday season and upcoming year will not be all sunshine and daisies, but in case you need an ear, I’m here.”

  2. I get a little stressed about all of the snow we can get, the cold and TOO much Christmas music, but I kept everything limited and find the decorating, present giving and our Christmas open house enjoyable. I probably get as tired out this time of year as I do any other. Things have definitely changed since I was a kid to my 40’s. :)

    • You have a Christmas Open House every year? I recall you telling me about how big the house is, so I bet that’s beautiful!
      Too much Christmas music was definitely on my list of things that stressed me out, also, back when I worked in a mall and that’s all I could listen to for two months ahead of time!
      Good to hear you don’t notice a very big change in how tired you get during the holiday season vs other times of the year. That’s saying something :)

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