It's coming. Christmas. You might not celebrate it, but you know it's out there, spreading its wings of sugary goodies and brightly printed wrapping paper. Its scent is in the air, the powerful aroma of Scotch tape and egg nog. God, that smells good.
I love Christmas. It doesn't make much sense--after all, I'm a pretty serious atheist and fairly opposed to crass consumerism--but nothing can keep the joy of the season out of my old, craggy heart. I love Christmas trees. I love Christmas carols. I love, love, love Santa! And it seems like the last few years, each Christmas had just gotten better.
I blame my sweetie-pie for this. Our first Christmas together was magical. We sat side-by-side a few days before the big holiday, hand-sewing our Christmas stockings (boy are we glad we have a sewing machine now!). We made a Lego wreath for the tree--a tradition we've maintained, even if the tree has shrunk to a tiny potted Norfolk fir. He is a man good at creating moments of peace and magic. He has a natural instinct for holidays.
Me? I don't have any instincts for the holidays. My family celebrated every special day the same way: with food, food and more food. The more important the holiday, the more desserts, right?
Given my troubles with food, especially sweets, that's created a lot of holiday-related stress that poor Sweetie-Pie has had to work through. But I know we're getting someplace these days. We celebrated Thanksgiving with instant mashed potatoes and a pumpkin-butterscotch-pudding dessert. For a girl who once routinely baked a feast and ate three pies plus a cranberry pudding every year, this was a big step away from food obsession and toward the real spirit of holiday: togetherness, love, and joy.
Let's just hope our decision to celebrate Christmas with a White Trash Dinner doesn't derail all of our progress. The nostalgic flavor of (vegan!) marshmallow-capped sweet potatoes might send me into a memory-induced feeding frenzy!