One hears much at Christmas about "a good old fashioned Christmas" "Traditional Christmas" "family Christmas" . It feels like people are searching for something . It's easy to look back and see something that was pleasant. They don't get the same buzz from Christmas these days.
I started to think about my past and Christmas celebrations. I was born in 1939 on the Saskatchewan prairie. Times were tough, very tough. In this area they hadn't really pulled out of the depression and then WW II started and there were more hard times.
So, of course, I don't remember much about my first four or five Christmases. We were still hard up in the late forties but I remember Christmases. Schools and churches had concerts which were exciting. For these we received a bag of candy and nuts and best of all a Japanese orange.
Our Christmas presents were meager but we didn't know that.
We went to our cousins for Christmas and New Years . We harnessed the team and headed a mile across the fields to our cousins. The next year they came to our house.
Economic conditions were better in the fifties and we were older. We received more as it could be afforded. We played games all day with the cousins. This time flew by quickly and we spent more time with our friends at Christmas rather than our families. We still attended the dinner and gift giving.
Then suddenly I was not able to be home for Christmas and that was another way to spend Christmas.
Marriage and we went back to family celebrations.
My children came and we had a family Christmas with the gifts and big dinner but we were away from family so just the nuclear family participated.
When my children left they went other ways and did not come home for Christmas.
As a couple without family we kept up traditions with the big meal and gifts. We attended the Christmas eve church service.
Gradually we did less and less. Gifts were omitted. We had too much already. Decorations became less until this year it's only lights outside. Less baking was done until this year there was none which is good because it's too physically challenging for the micro manager. The Christmas dinner was missing some of the trimmings.
Next year we will eat our Christmas dinner out at a restaurant.
So, this gets me back to the traditional Christmas. Would it be possible to go back. Never. Would we like the traditional Christmas celebration? Probably not. I don't think I'd like to be riding in an open sleigh box behind two old farm horses.
So the traditional Christmas is the one we celebrate right now. This year , I enjoyed my Christmas as much as ever but there wasn't any razzle dazzle.