These images are from flickr but my son makes a gingerbread house every year that looks similar to this. Then, when it has sat out for a month and is covered in dust, he and my husband eat it.
I don't really like Christmas all that much. I know, I know, it horrifies most people when I say that. It might be the decorating that I dislike most. I used to like it and as a child I loved to decorate the tree, I'm not really sure what changed. Christmas decorations just get in the way and seem messy to me. I like the stuff I have around me, it's there because I like it it, so I don't want to put it away just so I can have Christmas themed things on my mantle and shelves instead. If I don't put things away it is just too cluttered and confusing. I dislike fake greenery but the real stuff gets dried out, the berries turn black and fall off and it all just looks sad after a week. Putting up a tree requires rearranging the furniture in a less desirable configuration than usual and again, after a week or two, when ornaments fall off and are put back on repeatedly, the tree gets a tired and messy look. Lights outside, well those are okay. I kind of like those.
Christmas presents are tricky. I don't think we need to buy gifts for everyone to show our love. I'm not completely against consumerism, it has a place in developing an economy that helps communities to thrive, but Christmas encourages extensive consumption, both in the gifts and the wrappings and packaging. Homemade gifts can be nice, but the key word there is can be. Yes it is the thought that counts but I neither need nor want a pencil holder made from coloured popsicle sticks glued to an empty tomato tin. Crafters sometimes confuse what they like making with what people want or need to receive. Am I shocking you? My point is that even homemade gifts can contribute to waste or unnecessary consumption. Don't purchase those popsicle sticks on my behalf. If I need it, I can afford it. If I want it, I can save up for it. I have started asking family members to donate to charities as a Christmas gift to me.
The family gathered around a festive meal is pleasant, I do admit that. In my situation we are a small family and most of us live in the same town. We have family gatherings all the time, regularly celebrating each others' birthdays with dinners together. My brother's family and my brother-in-law are the only family members who don't live near us. They are on the other side of this vast country and traveling across it is so expensive they cannot afford to join us every year. Christmas, although primarily for me it is a celebration of family, is a gathering of our usual small group, not a time for being with loved ones we hardly ever see. I love them all, but don't need Christmas as an occasion to see them or demonstrate my love.
If you know anything about me, you know by now that I am not participating in a Christian Christmas. There is no celebrating the birth of Jesus, or talk about the true meaning of Christmas in my family. I tell myself, and anyone who asks, that for me Christmas is the celebration of friends and family, of love and support and togetherness. That isn't a lie, but the reason that I am not emotionally attached to Christmas is that I don't need Christmas to celebrate that. I celebrate it every day. So I don't need a gift, the evergreens can stay outdoors where they belong and I really don't want to move my furniture around, please don't make me. I like the New Year much better as something to celebrate, although I haven't been to a New Year's party in, well, years. I don't even stay up to midnight anymore. You're quit fed up with me, I know. But in a world where the Christmas merchandise is in stores right after Remembrance day, if not sooner, the whole theme drags on far too long for me. I'm just sayin....
Here's what I'll be using to decorate with this season.
dried citrus slices, cinnamon sticks, ribbons and evergreen branches in vases with red twigs
I'm on the look out for high quality/realistic faux berry sprays-I'm very picky about these
dark red poinsettias, nuts in the shells, pomegranates and creamy soy candles
I like to decorate around December tenth and everything goes on New Year's day. My husband, who loves Christmas, has accepted this compromise.