The Seventh Way of Christmas
The Great Escape
Sometimes people need a break. Even an old Christmas nut like me. This time of year a lot of people become overwhelmed and stress themselves for a lot of the wrong reasons. They feel pressured to buy the biggest, best, newest, or most expensive, ‘thing’ they are buying. Or, they have to buy for too many but are on on a limited budget.
The crowds in the shopping centers get frustrated with each other and the parking lots actually become fighting arenas. Fist fights for parking spots were really trendy this year. Ahhh – guys, ladies, let’s not forget the ‘Peace on earth‘ thing we are supposed to be celebrating!
Preparing for family dinner has even become stressful; where, when, how many? He’s not coming because she will be there. She won’t show up if the ‘other one’ is there. We might have to go to the in-laws this year. A basic Christmas dinner has somehow become a major headache to plan for so many people. Big turkey? Small turkey? What about the vegetarian that’s coming? Will she be offended by the meat? And this year I heard, “Will the food be Kosher?” Oy Vey!
These are just a few of the complaints I heard this season. Fortunately, I do have a lot of friends that celebrated Christmas in the old fashioned way with friends and family but I think the majority of people become frustrated with the “whole thing.”
Thing? It’s Christmas for crying out loud! It’s supposed to be fun, festive, entertaining, joyous and jolly. Still, I can understand the frustration because here in the city, the media has extended the Christmas season to about 2 1/2 months. Down come the witches and pumpkins and up go the Santas and Christmas trees. One radio station plays Christmas music 24/7 from the 15th of November until the 25th of December. Christmas is old before it even starts!
Anyway – that’s the way things are for a lot of people here in the big city. All you hear on the radio is Buy! Save! Buy more! My head hurt from hearing so many complaints and worries about ‘another Christmas season’, like it was a major, obligatory, burden.
Combine all that with Orathai juggling two online jobs, working on her university courses and my work place unable to make a decision about who would be working, what shift if any, and possibly even working Christmas Day - and it all added up to a perfect excuse for us escape and celebrate a nice quiet peaceful Christmas.
I made arrangements a few days before Christmas. A nice small, quiet, hotel with a Jacuzzi, swimming pool and sauna. A few Christmas movies; a park nearby with a lovely display of lights for all to enjoy…for free; and a Christmas buffet that would satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.
Yep – we ran away for Christmas…and it was great. There were two beautiful trees in the lounge of the hotel where Christmas music softly played. (There was a TV in the corner with TSN playing as an added bonus!). The place was almost empty. Christmas eve we bundled up in thick warm quilts, surrounded by big fluffy pillows, and had a glass of wine with a few snacks as we watched some classic movies. Christmas morning we opened our gifts, went for a swim and soaked in the Jacuzzi for awhile. Then we had an amazing breakfast. Sleep. Swim. Sleep. Movie… and off we went to enjoy a dinner fit for a king with not a plate or cup to clean up afterwards.
Later that evening we went for a walk in the park filled with lovely Christmas lights. It was really cold, so after our walk, we dashed back to the hotel and sat in the sauna to warm up. It was brilliant! Stress level? Zero.
It was basically much of the same for the next two days. Total relaxation – zero stress. Finally we had to check out and proceeded to drive north to Lake Huron to visit a good friend of mine. We were treated to real, grass fed beef and organic veggies for dinner and a then we kicked butt in a serious game of Crokinole. Later, we went out for a little walk to enjoy some of the biggest snowflakes falling that I have ever seen. After a hot coffee it was time for the drive home.
All in all it was exactly what we needed. A nice relaxing break from the madness of the city, yet still managing to celebrate Christmas in our own little way.
For me, it was just another way of Christmas.
Christmas–that magic blanket that wraps itself about us, that something so intangible that it is like a fragrance. It may weave a spell of nostalgia. Christmas may be a day of feasting, or of prayer, but always it will be a day of remembrance – a day in which we think of everything we have ever loved.
Merry Christmas Everyone.