Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas, and New Things

This Christmas marked a lot of firsts. First time in two years I haven't had to get up at 3:00 am and go plow snow at the hospital. First time we've slept in (the kids let us go until 8:00!). First time having a potted tree. He's in the house now because we can't plant him till we get a thaw, but he's going back on the porch shortly so he stays dormant. And I say he because he is Steve the Tree, it's what we name our tree every year and the kids get very attached. It's not so much an environmental consciousness that leads us to a renewable Christmas tree as the fact that the Short People can't stand to see their pal Steve burn every spring. And last but not least the first Christmas that we spent less than $300 on the whole holiday.

Let that soak in...

That's right. No excess. No obnoxious decorations. Sure, it means that The Missus has been knitting, sewing and otherwise crafting gifts since March, but she has a knitting addiction anyway and it helps justify the cost of the yarn this way. A nice side benefit is that my kids spent three quarters of the year thinking about what they could give to people for Christmas instead of what they want to get. They're more keyed up about the next Netflix movie showing up than Old Saint Nick. They went to bed (a little on the early side even) just like every other night of the year.

And because Christmas was such a low key event I actually felt rested this morning and got to work to give my Missus a little additional present for Boxing Day. As soon as I got back from church I brought the lappy in the kitchen to stream Public Radio for Handel's Messiah in its entirety, poured a coffee (and then a Guinness) and scrubbed that room from top to bottom. She woke up from her nap and I came up the back steps just in time to catch the "Wow!" moment.

So that was Christmas for us. A lot more like a Holy Day than a holiday a-la Stuff-Mart this year. It wasn't that hard either. We just decided not to buy in (literally) to all the crap this year. Hope you and yours had a wonderful weekend. See you soon.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

We're Halfway There!

Ahh, Winter Solstice. The shortest day of the year has come and gone and all us SAD-ies SAD-ites those of us who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder can heave a tiny sigh of relief knowing that the days are getting incrementally, infinitesimally longer.

I'm not sure how much of that I actually believe. My Dad has had SAD for years and had a special light that he used to sit under. Except that one year he just decided not to get it and didn't. We use special light bulbs at the hospital where I work to improve mood but I'm not sure that beyond relieving eye strain that they do much.

All I know is it's frickin dark! I get up and drive to work in pitch black, and I punch out in the middle of the afternoon and drive home into the setting sun. It's just good to know that living like a coal miner is only a temporary condition and it won't be long now until we're out of the woods.