i haven't felt that christmas stress this year.
even though most of my shopping still isn't done.
and i can't make mix cds for anyone because my computer's being weird.
my scanner doesn't work either, or i'd post this picture of a christmas gift my mom's friend brought back with her from honduras. it's this little papiermache man sculpture with his arms overloaded with stuff stuff stuff to the point now where he's falling over. it's how most of us look between that last friday in november and the 26th of december.
i've avoided the mall, and thus have avoided making any rants about the crass commercialism of this holiday. or the whole "war on christmas" "happy holidays" "season's greetings" crap. i've even managed to be socially conscious on a budget and support small local stores. it's a whole lot less stressful that way, and the stuff you get is cooler.
as far as christmas music goes, i tend to go oldschool to the point of being medieval. working retail made me hate silver bells and let it snow, but if it's got choirs and an orchestra, i'm all about it.
i still love christmas lights and little kids singing off key in christmas programs. and how we do a traditional polish celebration on christmas eve and then the more sedate christmas day when all the family is talking politics and telling stories and me and the cousins are watching bad public access tv: monster movies, school plays, a polka band from someone's wedding.
i'm thinking about going to midnight mass this year at st. stan's with a friend of mine, even though i'm not catholic anymore. there's a part of me that still clings to the beauty of the traditions and feels like those have added something to my life.
my sister rented 'the nativity story' the other night and i watched the last half of it. usually it seems like most religious films are either badly done, poorly acted, or just plain cheesy, but i felt like i really got some sense of the culture and the time period that i've read about, but it hadn't been completely brought to life. as i'm watching the end, when mary gives birth and it's not this sanitized "wow the baby just pops out" kind of thing, i just started crying. there was something so beautiful and sacred but yet very earthy and real that i guess must have hit me for the very first time.