Search This Blog

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Pre-Christmas thoughts

"Does Janey look forward to Christmas?"  A friend asked me that a little while back, and the question has been occupying my mind quite a bit.  At the time, I said something like "I'm really not sure", but as I think about it more, I am pretty sure the answer is no.  Janey doesn't look forward to Christmas, because I don't think she really knows what Christmas is.  

Our tiny tree
I'm sure here a lot of people would disagree with me, and maybe I'm wrong.  Janey knows what Christmas MUSIC is, at least a little, and she would probably be able to say who Santa Claus is, and she could identify a Christmas tree, or a wrapped present, when given the choice of 4 pictures.  But in terms of it being a special day, one with rituals and expectations---no.

I've dealt with this various ways over the years.  Some years, I just went ahead and sort of pretended that she did get Christmas.  I got her presents, I had her hang a stocking, I talked up Santa Claus.  Other years, I didn't do as much, and concentrated more on the boys, or on just enjoying the season in general.  I don't think it made a lot of difference what I did, except in that Janey picks up a lot of her emotional cues from us, and probably she was happier in general when I was more relaxed and cheerful, whatever worked for that in a particular year.

This year, I'm not feeling Christmas a lot.  We got a tiny, tiny tree---a tabletop baby one.  No stocking are going to be hung with care---the boys are old enough for Santa to skip our house, and Janey---well, she's never once actually taken anything out of her stocking on her own, or shown any interest in what was in it, so I don't think she'll mind a bit. The same is true of presents---she's never opened one on her own or cared what was in one once opened.  She's have a couple under the tree, from other people, but I'm not buying anything for her myself.  Instead, we'll do as we have done for a while---her present will be to buy videos to stream on Amazon TV throughout the year, when one of the streaming services decides to drop something she's gotten addicted to.

I don't think giving Janey a typical Christmas, when I tried to, was ever for her.  It was for me.  It didn't hurt anything, but it wasn't something she cared a bit about.  I wonder how many other times I've done things "for" Janey that weren't for her.  As long as those things are benign, as long as she's neutral about them, it's not really an issue, but sometimes, it's harder to tell than it is with this Christmas issue.

Christmas is something different for all of us.  A week ago, Janey sang most of "O Holy Night" to me.  I cried---of course I cried.  That was Christmas for me, and from her happiness while singing it, maybe for her too.  I hope all of you and all your girls and indeed all of your family finds your own Merry Christmas this year.

No comments: