Monday, December 24, 2012

A Christmas Recipe

This may sound really sad, but ever since I graduated from college in 2007, I haven't felt the same Christmas spirit as I did the first 23 years of my life. Blame it on age, blame it on being a real, hardworking adult...really, I could blame it on a lot of things.

When you're not in a school setting, Christmas just isn't as prevalent. As a proud member of choirs for most of my life, I would look forward to performing in the holiday concert every year in elementary school, Jr. High, High School and on to College. Now, I am no longer singing christmas carols with my best friends day in and day out, and that really makes me sad.

Then there's the time off of work issue. I usually had a week off of school around the holidays through High School and then an ENTIRE MONTH off in college. It doesn't get much better than that. Now, it's time off for Christmas Eve (if I'm lucky) and Christmas. How's that for joy?

I could also blame it on my parents. Damn them for creating such a warm Christmasy environment in our home each year! Damn my mom for baking countless Christmas cookies. Damn my dad for getting up at 6am every single Christmas morning to make a fire in the fireplace, Nat King Cole playing on the cd player, the video camera set up on its trusty tripod, all before my sister and I even woke up.

Then there is the Christmas "Culture". You would think that being in New York puts me at the best possible advantage for live theater and music, and trust me, it does. But believe it not, I grew up in a really culturally rich part of Pennsylvania with amazing community theater and National Tours. I would see A Christmas Carol at my local community theater almost every year in Pennsylvania, and often knew many of the people in it. Nothing put me more in the Christmas spirit than going to see this show with my family and friends each year. I even went on one of my first dates ever in 8th grade with my first boyfriend...I'm pretty sure we even held hands that night ;) My mom also took my sister and I to see the Nutcracker every year. These performances were great, and it was so easy to hop in a car and drive 20 minutes to the show then drive back home. Seeing a show in the city is a bit more of an ordeal for us since we are so far out of Manhattan - not to mention, much more costly. I liked the small town feel of our community theater, I liked bumping into friends at these performances and often knowing people actually performing in them. You don't get that in Manhattan.

That all being said, none of this is to say that I hate New York or one is better over the other. (I can just see my mom reading this now thinking "Finally, this is it! She's moving back to PA so she can have the Christmas she grew up with!")  I think, and honestly hope, that most people had a good enough childhood to look back on their holidays with fondness and a little pang of sadness for what was. No matter what, even if I was living on my own in Pennsylvania, even if Chris and I were living out in California...things would be different now, and that's ok. I have to start making Christmas in New York and with my husband and Zoey as memorable for me as it is when I look back on the Christmas's of my childhood. I need to start creating the Christmas that I want my children to look back on so fondly when they are my age.

Recipe
1. Pick the things I loved most about Christmas in Pennsylvania
2. Meld with the things Chris loved most about Christmas in New York
3. Pepper in a few new traditions that we'd like to create ourselves

Yields:
A Christmas worthy of being nostalgic for years from now.

And Mariah Carey's Christmas album. Mariah Carey is a must :)

3 comments:

  1. I, too, miss having you home for Christmas. I'd love seeing you and your sister's faces on Christmas morning. While the toys may be broken, the clothes too small, and the electronics obsolete, I guess the biggest gift of all that your mother and I gave you were the memories. Merry Christmas!

    Love, Dad

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  2. SNNIIFF!!! Wow! You guessed my thoughts spot on and your recipe is perfect! I remember making yours and Sister's holiday dresses and pajamas every year. Even sending you back upstairs one year because I had literally just finished your pjs and I wanted you to wear them when dad videotaped you (this is what happens when you start making
    Christmas pjs at midnight on Christmas Eve!). The sweet memories work both ways. I wax nostalgic for Christmases gone by with you and Sister,also. Merry Christmas to you, Christopher, Zoey and all the Bloggers our there.

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  3. Great post, Laura! Now that my Nana is gone, I know Christmas will never be the same as I've remembered for the last 29 years, and this is actually our first year staying here in DC instead of being with either Stephen's or my family on Dec. 25. But I am OK with it and am feeling surprisingly in the spirit today as I'm here at home listening to music, tracking Santa on NORAD and thinking back on memories of all the great Christmases I've had. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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