My Christmas bonus this year? No decorations

Every year I love to watch the Griswold’s celebrate Christmas. Cousin Eddie is my favourite character.

There’s no rational explanation for why I hate putting up Christmas decorations. Growing up in the fifties and sixties, Christmas was everything we boomers have come to identify with the perfect Christmas. Red and green crepe paper streamers were twisted diagonally across our diningroom ceiling, anchored by a red tissue paper bell hanging from the light fixture. We always had a ‘real’ tree that filled the livingroom with wonderful spruce or pine fragrance. Single-candle wreaths glowed in our windows  at night and huge, noisy family Christmas dinners were, well, you get the picture. As kids we attended Christmas parties at the Legion, the church, parties for mill workers’ children at the Masonic Temple and at school. The wonderful parties with little gift bags and cheap chocolates were never-ending.

I truly enjoy and appreciate what others do to decorate for the season; just don’t expect much from me. I have friends who absolutely love every aspect of the season. My friend Gail dresses her table legs in colourful red and green velvet elf socks. Even her powder room is awash in Christmas spirit. Walking into her home is like entering a Christmas fairyland and being embraced by the spirit of the season. Her tree is decorated in red bows and strings of pearl garlands with an illuminated top hat on the top and twinkling gifts under the tree. Another friend loves Christmas so much her extensive collection of decorations goes up at the beginning of November and remains in place until well into the new year. I really do enjoy the decorations that have been lovingly arranged in friends homes. In fact, I’ve already done the house tour to see the Christmas lights in my community and marvelled at the imagination displayed by so many homeowners. One house had a spot light on Mrs. Claus hanging Santa’s red suit and long-johns out on the clothes line while Santa sat by in a lawn chair smoking his pipe. Such creativity.

Boomers all love and can relate to Ralphie in A Christmas Story narrated by author Jean Shepard.

I’m not hosting Christmas dinner this year, so I’m off the hook for putting up much in the way of Christmas decor. My husband has more Christmas spirit than I do and dutifully put our outside lights up, hung a wreath on the door and dragged the Rubbermaid bins down from the shelves in the garage for me to pick out what I wanted to put up. I hung a wreath on the front door, some candy canes around the lamp shades and propped up a sad little fake tree on the table inside the front door, but otherwise, nada. I’m not even putting lights and decorations on our ficus tree this year which traditionally has been the closest I get to decorating a tree. I know I’m not alone. Yesterday I had lunch with a friend who shares my lack of enthusiasm and we enjoyed a laugh about our hap hazard attempts at getting into the spirit. The beauty of our plan is there’s hardly anything to take down after the festivities. In fact, I usually yank everything down on boxing day. No fuss; no muss; no tangled strings of lights attached. Is there anyone out there who shares our wicked ways? Am I a bad person?

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