Naomie Christensen: Thoughts of Christmas

Monday, December 23, 2013

Thoughts of Christmas

What does Christmas make me think about?

Christmas is the time of year when everyone is able to put aside differences to create consensus to celebrate life and family. Though considered an religious holiday, my Mom loves Christmas. She is Christian. Commercialism is as much fun. She is joyous and begins celebrating in October.

This year, she sent boxes of candy. Not just one box, there have already been four deliveries of chocolates and sugar plums. She sent a box with socks and more candy.

Everything she can think of is sent.

As a Child, as soon as October, there were gifts and symbols around the house. Why wait until December. We already had toys and she was more lenient about buying inexpensive gifts at the store. We could go shopping. The tree was ready for lights and decorations.

One year we bought a plastic tree. Kept in a box, my Sister and I would get the box and piece together the Christmas tree. After it was assembled, we slowly decorated the branches.

The lights had to be wrapped near the trunk. It would have even lighting. It took time to hang bulbs. We did not decorate it in one day. Instead, it was a project that lasted all season. Section-by-section, eventually, there were bows, popcorn and tinsel on the branches. Eventually, it was excessive. At an older age, I worried about it catching on fire. It never did.

My Mom always bought special treats. It was easy to stay in a good mood. Even though it was winter, I was able to play with the Neighbor Kids.

We would walk to the other Neighbors' houses. They also enjoy special gifts and treats from their Parents. It was fun talking about Santa Claus and playing games inside. Sometimes we played in the snow.

There are games like King of the Mountain. We rush to the top of a pile of snow. Whomever is on top tries to remain King of the Mountain by pushing everyone off the top.

Thinking about it now, it was probably a pile of snow from plowing the roads. At the time, it did not seem the same. However, mountains of snow do not appear from nowhere.

It was also a time to go sledding. My Parents were always available to drive my Sister, Friends, Cousins or whomever wanted to go sledding to the park.

Even when older, friends would share the places they went sledding. One of the hills was in East Canyon. I had never been there before. They also had a similar experience. The walk to the top of the sled run was less inclined and not as far from the road as they remember.

It was fun to see. Christmas is not as actively fun as a Teen or an Adult. I spent most of my time as a Teen attempting to find Friends to spend time with and avoid family gatherings.

One year a Cousin called me a Mime. It was rude on several levels. At least, we have actually met each other. Reflecting on the comment, it was more then making commentary on my appearance. I do not blame them. I had and still have a tendency to avoid family gatherings. They took it personally. We had several decorations. My Sister moved.

After Christmas Eve Dinner and opening presents in the morning. I would try to find any reason to avoid Christmas Dinner at my Aunt's or Grandmother's house. It was still a fun holiday. Several things changed. I felt awkward and distant. Most of the time, I was a Guest at my Friend's Christmas Dinner. I never ate much. It was nice to get away from everything and everything closed.

It would be great if we went to a concert or holiday event. Most of the time, we got coffee at a truck stop. They offer free refills.

The whole city was closed. No stores, regular restaurants or arcades were open. Not even grocery stores were open. We drove through the empty streets and managed to find other people our age getting away from the house. At night, the streets were well lit with Christmas lights.

It was still Christmas. It is still Christmas. Now Christmas is not as overly glorious with decorations and treats. Instead, Christmas is an attitude or feeling. I feel alive and oddly happy about life for no real reason. It is a simple enjoyment of life.

Xmas is also feeling fun. It is the Atheist celebration held on the same day. Many of the same things happen, yet the fun is in odd phrasing of the celebration that is not intentionally disrespecting Christians. "It is fine celebrating Christmas, it has many functions. December 25 is not really Christ's birthday. It was chosen because most religions, including Pagans, celebrate a winter feast. It is fun for everyone. It is great opening presents and celebrating family."

The Spirit is everywhere. Even if there is a slight religious or political overtone, everyone knows to be happy and a better person. It is a good time to smile and remember Humanity is good. There is an innate ability in everyone to be kind, generous, joyous and genuine.

Christmas is here. Though it would be fine and have the usual acknowledgment of the holiday, I feel particularly joyous this year.

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