I Wanted to Do New, Fun Things.

Christmas is going to be different this year.

First, the family grab bag tradition – my favorite – was kiboshed. So I decided to create a new family tradition and take the kids to the Bull Run Winter Festival – basically a summer fair in the freezing cold. Woo-hoo! I can’t wait.

Then I drove by our favorite walk-through Christmas light display: CLOSED FOR THE SEASON! They are remodeling the entire park. Who remodels a park during their biggest money-maker of the year? And there’s nothing I can do about it.

So I thought we’d add another new thing, and go to Baltimore’s famous 34th Street – a huge, light-filled extravaganza that is free and fun for anyone who ventures out that way.

I thought we were done with changes but then, wham! – another change. My sister stepped up and decided to have Christmas at her house, rather than at my parents’ house. Everyone at my house was flummoxed. We always went to my parents’ house after we opened our presents! Now we will be driving to West Virginia instead.

And just when we thought it couldn’t get any more different, my sister decided we will not be having our “traditional” Indian dinner, but Christmas tacos instead. Those of you who eat ham or turkey will not understand having an Indian Christmas dinner, let alone the tacos – but for me, it’s huge.

I decided we should eat Indian food on Christmas Eve instead. This works out well this year, because Shane will be singing in the early church service. Dylan, whose voice is in flux along with everything else, has declined his midnight mass performance.

Meanwhile, Bill declared that he would like to go back to the Mormon Temple – a tradition we once had that kind of disappeared after I got tired of doing it. But this year, I told him, we could do that, too.

Then the season got underway.

I am a bit excessive and obsessive, so I started shopping in May. I was done by Halloween, and then I bought some smaller stuff to wrap it all up. This year, I spent most of December selling things my kids never opened last year, in order to pay for the things they won’t open this year.

Then, on Christmas Eve, my sister decided not to have the Christmas day celebration at her house – but by then, I was actually prepared for the change, and it was just another change!

My plan was all set. I wanted to do new, fun things to make up for all of my beloved lost traditions.

But honestly, I am tired.

I feel like Christmas arrived way earlier than it did last year. We got our tree right after Thanksgiving and our house decorated shortly thereafter. (It is not impressive.)  And then, suddenly, it was five days till Christmas and we hadn’t tried out any of our new traditions!

The kids don’t seem to care. I sure don’t care. Of the things we have to do – Bull Run, 34th Street, Indian food on Christmas Eve and the Mormon Temple – we haven’t done a single one.

I did order Indian food for tonight. And we did, at least, put Bull Run on the calendar. So we are going to squeeze in Indian food tonight and at least one new tradition after Christmas.

And then I’m going to settle down for a long winter’s nap.

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