Christmas comes just once a year. Thank goodness. Don’t get me wrong. I love the reason for the season. I just get frustrated with the stress level that comes from the unrealistic expectations I place on myself.
I love walking in the snow with the huge chicken feather-like snowflakes. I love the quiet and the beauty of a fresh snow.
When the decorations start popping up on neighbors’ homes and their trees appear in windows decorated and beautiful, I get that warm feeling. It’s almost Christmas.
I’m not a very creative gift giver and on occasion, I find the perfect gift for that perfect person. What isn’t fun is wracking my brain for gifts for those people that don’t come easily. It just seems that some people keep their wants to themselves and I feel stressed about finding them a gift that they will enjoy.
Sometimes, the best gift isn’t a thing at all but rather a wonderful, unexpected happening. The first year my husband and I were married, we had a perfect Christmas Eve. He asked me to dress up for work and to be ready to leave promptly at noon. He surprised me with an afternoon matinee performance of the Nutcracker at the San Francisco Ballet. It was magical. Next, we strolled around Union Square enjoying the animated window displays. Each window offered a unique scene of antique toys in a fascinating Christmas setting.
All this walking made us hungry so we popped into a delightful café for escargot and champagne. Dinner was enjoyed at the top of the Bank of America building. The Carnelian Room windows looked down on the Marina. The masts and riggings of the boats sported Christmas lights. It was a Christmas scene I will never forget. Midnight Mass at the San Francisco Cathedral topped off the night. It was filled with pageantry and special music.
We drove home singing Christmas tunes and basking in the warmth of our perfect first Christmas. The sun was just coming up when we arrived home. We crashed with our memories in our dreams of our never to be repeated first Christmas together.