On Re-inventing Christmas

This year, my parents and I have a much more relaxed attitude about celebrating Christmas. I’d like to share with you the following quote, which seems to embody my perspective:

“…this was also the era of Martha Stewart, who had a decade-plus run as the queen of perfectionism until she was incarcerated. Homemade Christmas ornaments were all the rage, and Martha was dictating the rules. Here’s a slice of her December to-do list, published helpfully at the front of ‘Martha Stewart Living’; by December 8, all fruitcake baked’ by December 10, all gingerbread houses assembled; clean chandeliers on December 11. And so on.  Women were outdoing themselves at work and on the homefront, contorting themselves like Gumby in the process. Each year, like so many others, I performed the Christmas triathlon , and ended up sick or tired or both. After a few Sisyphean seasons, most of us realized that the more we outdid ourselves, the more we were outdone. I cried uncle.

As the late Laurie Colwin once wrote : ” it Is my opinion that Norman Rockwell and his ilk have done more to make already anxious people feel guilty than anyone else,” It was up to us, she said, to re-invent traditions to make for what she called life’s great luxury-time together.”

pp. 166-67 ‘Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol’, by Ann Dowsett Johnston, Harper Perennial, 2013.

To that I say, Amen. Pass the cranberry sauce.

Enjoy your celebration (however you choose to do so)

Calm Pond

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