So even though I am definitely a summer girl at heart, Christmas is absolutely one of my favourite times of year. It’s the lead up to Christmas I love best (although, and retail industry take note, I do not want the lead up to start in September, I hate walking into a store and seeing Halloween decorations on one side and gorgeous Christmas trees on the other and Thanksgiving thrown somewhere in the middle – let’s focus on one holiday at a time please.)
I know that Christmas isn’t all warm fuzzies for everyone. Many people find it the saddest, most stressful and depressing time of year. I do understand. After the Christmas season I always fall a little flat. So much build up and then it’s over. Then it’s just WINTER, blech. What is there to look forward to? Winter is so unbearably long and spring seems so very far away. Everyone just hunkers down for winter and hibernates because it’s so bloody cold out. It can be a very lonely time of year.
There’s something so magical about Christmas and seeing children’s excitement, that makes me wish I still believed in Santa. Like, really believe. And I love all the scents of cinnamon, pine tree, Christmas baking, the festive music, and decorating the house. Even that little bastard, Elf on the shelf is back but the kids are so excited about searching for him that I can’t hate him. Gigi is only three and I can’t believe she remembered his name: “Catcher Bean”, don’t ask, I have no idea. We don’t go in for all the “ooh, the elf is watching you and reporting back to Santa all the naughty things you do. Heck, there’s so much “naughtiness” in this house, Santa would probably just bypass it and not even bother leaving us coal. The most magnificent thing of all is of course, The Tree. I love hanging up the special ornaments that have so much meaning. Many moons ago, my husband proposed to me on New Years Eve, by sneaking an ornament on the tree at my parents house, and then asked me to show him which ornaments were mine. I noticed one I’d never seen before and when I spun it around I saw that it said “Will you marry me?” Yes!, Yes, a thousand times yes.
I love the things that are quintessentially Christmas, the traditions that have been done year after year. At first it was a little hard to let go of all the treats laden with gluten, sugar and dairy that we can no longer have. They give me such good memories of Christmas with family. But it’s amazing how easy it is to make new traditions – to find safe, and even more delicious, alternatives for those old favourites… I am so thankful for all those who have travelled this road before us and come up with fabulous recipes.
We finished decorating our trees around American Thanksgiving (one big, one little, one with white lights and one with the coloured ones the kids adore… the “fancy” tree and the kids tree.) I’m a little afraid of Panda destroying the Christmas tree in one of his rages. And of course, neither one of the kids can stop touching the ornaments. Hopefully the novelty wears off soon. My favourite thing to do at this time of year is sit quietly at night with all the lights off and just admire the beautiful tree. How magical and serene the room looks with only the glow of twinkling Christmas lights. It’s a good time to reflect on your Christmas wishes. Of course, I wish for health and happiness, and for love to prevail over all the evil and ugliness that is in our world. But the most important one of all is the same every year – I want my happy, exuberant, healthy little boy back. I want a world where PANDAS/PANS and Lyme disease don’t exist. It’s really not too much to ask, right? But I am under no illusions, this is one Christmas wish that won’t come true, no matter how good (or mostly good) I’ve been. And PANDAS doesn’t care if it’s Christmas. It will rear it’s ugly head any time. And last year it was a full moon on Christmas Day (possibly even a Supermoon, I can’t remember for sure) – well, that’s just mean.
While we try to hold it all together, we will do whatever we can to make this time special and magical – dance to Christmas music, read stories, watch holiday movies, drink hot chocolate (for the kids) and Spanish coffee (for mum and dad – which you have to make – check out the recipe section of my blog,) find things to laugh about, even get out of bed when we realize we’ve forgotten to move the darned Elf, or make up crap when the kids ask us why Catcher Bean didn’t move. We will create memories and traditions that hopefully will be imprinted on our children’s hearts and minds. Stupid PANDAS, I hate you, but it’s Christmas and I try to forget all about you! The other day our son said to me that the best thing about Christmas is being together. It is, my darling. How right you are! I hate PANDAS. But I love you.
Merry Christmas! Wishing you peaceful holidays!
Lots of love xo