|notice that this year we opted to make a christmas tree from reclaimed trees|
For better or for worse, Christmas stopped being a religious holiday for me a long time ago, but it is still the most important one. For me christmas is a time to celebrate family which, as far as I am concerned, is about as holy as it gets.
I love doing up the house and have been buying decorations during my travels for years. Next year when our new house is ready I plan to go all out (minus the reindeer and the santa on the rooftop thing)
Back in the day when I had time and it was all mine, I spent ages thinking about, planning and buying for gifts. I didn't necessarily have that much money and, you know, it was kind of better that way, it was good to have to save and think, and it really was the best part to see other people's faces when they opened them.
I still put up a nativity scene, which makes no sense, and I haven't even explained to the kids what it is about. Actually, we had one that broke and bought another, so now baby Jesus has a twin. For some reason I need all the details to be there. They are all part of this pagan ritual of mine.
Last but not least is the feast. My mother would cook the same exact thing every christmas eve, and at no other time of the year. Smell is a powerful thing and it brings me right back to that place. The turkey would take about 6 hours to cook, (part of the tradition requires turkey left overs, so they are always pretty huge,) so we would wake up to the smell of the beast roasting under the heat of the mustard, bacon and beer. The sound of the spanish christmas jingles (villancicos), and a fully lit tree standing proud over colourful and carefully wrapped presents. So this one day a year I am in charge of the kitchen, and no one is allowed to make any changes to the menu.
I may not be religious, but this is about as sacred as it gets in my house.