It’s Friday, which means it’s time for another installment of the MFRWauthor 52-Week Blog Challenge. This week’s prompt is: My Favorite Holiday.
Frankly, I wish I’d faced this challenge a few years ago, back when I still lived near family and felt a bit more enthusiastic about holidays in general. Now that I live 900 miles from my closest family members and 2,500 miles or so from the rest, I’m hard-pressed to talk about holidays as something to anticipate eagerly.
Oh, I used to look forward to them. I used to love decorating for almost every holiday. I’d drag out decorations for Easter, for Independence Day, for Pioneer Day (a holiday unique to Utah), for autumn in general, for Halloween, for Thanksgiving, and finally for Christmas. I enjoyed winding spring flowers or autumn leaves around various things in my house and putting up decorations on the porch–especially when I lived in that one house with the really great front porch…
But then my (then) teenage kids told me they didn’t like helping me decorate, and they didn’t particularly care i the house was decorated, and I realized just how much trouble it was to do all that work if nobody cared, and I pretty much stopped decorating. One daughter has since changed her mind, but she no longer lives with me, or even near me,, and the past few years have been difficult for almost everyone financially, which means that we haven’t been able to get together for any of the holidays, which means that what was left of my holiday spirit has gone into hibernation. I haven’t even bothered with a Christmas tree or plugged in a single strand of lights in several years, much less carve a Jack-O-Lantern or scatter faux fall leaves around.
I might be able to muster some holiday spirit if I were surrounded by it everywhere I turn, but I live in an area where most people ignore Halloween, and very few people decorate for anything. Oh, you can occasionally see a palm tree with lights wrapped around its trunk, but that still doesn’t feel Christmas-y to me. It just feels…weird.
So I guess the truth is, I don’t have a favorite holiday at the moment–but if I did, it would probably be Christmas. Or maybe Halloween. Really, I can go either way on this question. It’s not just the holiday that I have to consider, it’s the holiday in a specific place that tips the scale. I’d pick:
Christmas in the Rockies, where there’s snow and cold temperatures, and it seems like everybody decorates for the holiday season, and there are countless places to either walk around or drive through to look at lights. Where it makes sense to drink hot chocolate after an evening spent caroling around your neighborhood, and you can see your breath when you step out of a store laden with packages full of things you hope will make other people smile.
Or Halloween in the Rockies where kids have to wear their costumes over a bulky coat and fingers and toes get chilled while you’re making the rounds through your neighborhood. Where grown-ups and kids alike enjoy dressing up for the holiday and stores go all-out with the decorations on a scale only topped by Christmas. Where a bowl of hot chili before trick-or-treating is almost essential and hot cider afterward takes away the chill. Where leaves turn colors and fall to the ground and crunch underfoot as you walk.
I suppose if I were forced to choose one, I’d lean a bit on the side of Christmas. I know it sounds cliched, but I really do love the magic of Christmas. I love sappy Christmas movies and look forward to the time of year when certain channels play holiday movies all day, every day and radio stations do the same with Christmas songs.
When I was around 10 or 11, Santa stopped coming to my house–at least for my older sister and me. I guess he probably stopped leaving gifts for her a few years before he abandoned me, but I was no doubt too self-absorbed to notice. Losing Santa’s visits was so disturbing to me, I vowed then and there that I would never stop believing in Santa and that when I was grown, he’d come to my house every year, without fail–and he has, even when I haven’t decorated at all or bothered to put up a tree, or when money is so tight, I haven’t been able to figure out how to make the magic happen. But that’s the beauty of having adult children who, even if they don’t like decorating, have embraced the magic along with you. ,
I’m really hoping to have family around for Christmas this year, so I might even manage a tree and a string or two of lights. I might even work up enough holiday spirit to put a pumpkin on the front porch in October. Wouldn’t that be grand?
This is a blog hop, so be sure to check out what the other participating authors have to say about holidays. Their links are below.
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