Christmas Light


It seems that in the past few years I find myself saying, “Christmas has to be different this year.”

For years, I prided myself on creating the same, classical and elegant Christmas every year for my children. Isn’t that the point — to create memories and tradition? I rejoiced as I strung the tiny blue and white lights and set up the tree and the nativity.

Lately, Christmas has become a minefield of emotion and memory. The cloying hysteria to buy buy buy begins in July when Christmas is already pushing out Halloween at Costco. The season of party party party and eat eat eat overwhelms. It’s not fun, festive or meaningful anymore.

Is it just me, or is this what aging does? I don’t want to get all heavy about this, because, why suffer over something so insignificant, given the level of real problems that exist in this world.

So this year I’m going to change it up and do “Christmas Light.” Light begins with ignoring tradition. I got inspired to buy a small, trashy white (!) tabletop tree and decorate it with small sparkly spheres I already had.  Irreverent and kitsch is the look I’m going for.

Light means picking and choosing the things I want to do, like baking my fragrant, orange Dark Chocolate Crackles but not much else. Light means continuing my projects and goals and not putting things off until “after Christmas.” It means finding a seriously good book, or many, and reading avidly throughout the early, dark nights.

There will be no gifts and no pressure of shopping, spending, wrapping. We’ve agreed that we buy each other things when we see them and when we need them, anyway.

And most importantly, one morning we’re going to quietly disappear. We’ll slip into the car and drive to the beach for a few days, joining the jolly tourists just off the plane from colder climes. I see myself staring at the blue water whilst sipping sunny, lemony margaritas on the sand. Early Christmas morning we’ll put on our hoodies and watch the spectacular Caribbean sunrise and then go for a long walk, breathing deep and reciting our gratitudes.

This is what I need this year and I’m delighted that I’m able to make it happen.  But what about you my lovelies? How are you feeling about the hols and what will you be doing? Do you still find comfort in the traditions you’ve created, or are you craving something different?

xo Liza

Lovelies! Now it’s your turn. Do share your thoughts on your holiday activities this year. What’s going on in your world?  The comments box, below, is so widely read and anticipated. Join us and chatter away! If you like being part of our wise, witty, wonderful group of savvy, sexy, stylish women, enter your email in the box above so you won’t miss a thing.


19 thoughts on “Christmas Light

  1. I like Christmas however; 30 days of it feels overwhelming to me. I just want to stay in bed and arise when it’s over. For those of us with small families and empty nests, I feel like everyone is having this wonderful time except me. Thank you for suggesting Christmas light. It is nice to know others want an alternative, too.

  2. Hi Faye! You hit the nail on the head: 30 days of it! And: “everyone is having this wonderful time except me.” Wrong! Most people are having a stressful time. The fantasy haunts us. Let’s value our own experiences and not fall for the fantasy. Let’s be gentle and generous with ourselves. Carry on!

  3. My husband and I,too,are trying to adjust to holiday changes. Both sons now have families and are starting family traditions that we are invited to fit into.This is a big change and so last year, we went to Santa Fe for 3 days prior to Christmas and enjoyed the season there complete with music and the falling snow. This year, we’ve planned an early January trip to NYC as a present to each other. We are keenly aware of how precious these years are to us and will adjust to young families, but will not give our good times away.

  4. Denice! Thank you for sharing your “adjustments.” I like that idea! How great that you’re changing things up and refreshing yourselves with Santa Fe and New York. You’re showing us it can be done.

  5. Christmas around here is also changing and at the same time not. I would happily sail through it with no plan, but this year the young grandchildren are aware and have been coming to visit, helping with decorations and apparently enjoying hanging out with me and the lights, the music and the gentle atmosphere. I’m not doing the abundant cooking I did in DECADES past. The big dinner will be at my daughter’s home as will the gift exchange on Christmas morning – a first. Yes, I’m on the outskirts and thinking I’m liking it. I still don’t feel I can not be here. Now, New Year’s Eve in a different story! I´m off to Puerto Aventuras in Riviera Maya.

  6. Every year seems to be a struggle for me, needing to clarify what the holidays mean to me. A coming grandchild will help put the joy back into the season, but there is still a melancholy attached to the days of December. When my kids were small, their excitement was the reason for the season. But now, in a new marriage with grown children who have made most of their holiday traditions with their dad’s side, I find myself torn between not really caring, and hoping for something to look forward to other than expectations and presents. I am married now to someone who could care less about any of it, which is sort of disappointing, and yet freeing. (you can tell I’m still wavering). This year I told everyone not to buy gifts for us as we are no longer buying gifts for others (until my grandchild comes). We will be going to my oldest daughter’s house for Christmas breakfast, and that is our only plan. I only have one decoration up, a star attached to the ceiling having over the t.v. Maybe I’m just not giving myself permission to do nothing, and that’s my problem. This article has helped me ponder where I’m at, and I thank you!

    1. Hi Joni. Thanks for thinking out loud with us. I think the key in your thoughts is, “needing to clarify what the holidays mean to me.” We should make the holidays work for us, for our understanding and joy, not the other way around, to fulfill obligations of what we think we should be doing. Find your joy and live it, I say.

  7. Last Christmas my husband and I were alone as our family were all away. I packed a festive picnic lunch (it’s summer here in Australia) and we took our daughter’s dog to the beautiful Matilda Bay on the banks of the Swan River. Acres of lawn, shady peppermint trees and dozens of families enjoying Christmas Day fun together – we loved it. So simple and yet so special. I detest the frenetic buying hype in the months leading up to Christmas Day when there’s a brief respite and then it starts all over again the following day with the post-Christmas sales. Very best wishes to you at Christmas, Liza, and all of your Camp Liza friends.

  8. Oh Kate B! A festive picnic lunch under the peppermint trees! How brill! Thank you for sharing this experience, to show us, we can step out of the Christmas box, and make a special and fresh day! Cheers to you and yours! Carry on!

  9. Isn’t it interesting how we have all had one or another Christmas “standard” instilled in us? On a similar topic on this blog last year I publicly gave myself permission not to put up a tree. We (husband, daughter, two adult granddaughters and I) went away for a week to another city to share Christmas wit my husband’s cousin’s “immediate” family which includes about 40 people who, year after year, come to Christmas Eve dinner under one roof. Our own family is small so it did seem a bit overwhelming. Enjoyable but not really something we wanted to emulate. Christmas Day was followed by just the five of us staying for four days at a lovely home on a gorgeous lagoon. Well, the story continues and my granddaughter finally admitted to me she was actually feeling sad last year because there was no tree. This year, she came over and we did it together, well, actually she did 90 % of it. We reminisced together over each and every bauble we hung on the tree: where it came from (Russia, Peru, USA, Mexico, Japan) and when it became part of the family treasure trove. Delightful!
    On the whole “buy, buy, buy, scramble for a parking place at the mall” question, we got over that many years ago.

  10. Hi, Liza! Your Christmas sounds lovely and meaningful. This year will be just my husband and me. Our lovely, newlywed daughter and new husband will be visiting his family out of state for Christmas. My husband’s nephew will be hosting Christmas dinner which is always fun and a great time to catch up with relatives. We all live pretty close. So December is a little more relaxed this year. We still have birthdays though, husband’s was on Thanksgiving this year, mine is next week and lovely daughter’s is three days before Christmas. I enjoy the season and the decorations, I avoid crowds and malls like the plague. Quiet and calm make me happy rather than hurry scurry and stress. Merry Christmas!

  11. Liza,
    For many years I ‘made the magic’ (in an effort to provide all those memories you’ve described). Now that my adult children are out on their own, their time and inclinations are more divided. Any attempt to ‘recreate’ what once was… falls short. In addition, our divorce further divides. I’m in that transitional period where ‘new traditions’ have not been established.
    Trying to face future celebrations with an attitude of acceptance of change. As that’s the surest thing that life has in store! Cheers!

  12. Hi Anne! Oh dear, “make the magic” — we’ve all been there. Hope you find new and rewarding — and relaxing!–ways to celebrate. xo

  13. Christmas is not something that i have celebrated for years. Do not send Chhristmad cards. Do not have any Christmas decorations, , celrbrate ithe day with a dinner with friends, people who, like me, in Montreal, are considered orphans. Do not buy gifts…the same as my friends. Have had the pleasure of celebrating the day in a couple of locations in Mexico…very lovely. For me it is a reason to treat the day as a party, nothing more.

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