We're going to skip birthday presents (hers and her mother's are the
day before mine), and xmas is going to be mostly gift certificates.
Scaled down, calm and reasonable. Wow.
This impending holiday has filled me with anxiety and dread since
childhood - it's always meant stress, tears and boredom, as we stress
out and fight to get ready to go visit the family in Woodstock, and
then mind-numbing boredom while there, or fight about decorating the
house, or get shoved around in tightly packed malls.
My ideal Christmas has as little Christmas as possible in it.
As a kid, there were two elements that I enjoyed about xmas - playing
board games with a big group as a family, and singing. The former no
longer takes place because some of the family won't play any more, and
not as many people make the trek out to Woodstock any more, so there's
just not enough people any more. The latter no longer takes place
because I'm aware of how awful my voice is, and also due to the
aforementioned lack of crtical mass of family.
It seems that this year is going to be a little less stressed than
usual, though we're still going to have to hit 4+ cities in as many
days, I think.