Life Stages for Christmas

The following was written by my friend Pete.  It is reprinted here by his kind permission and will appear in our Community Newsletter.  Enjoy.  md



I am in the fourth and final stage of Christmas, not as deadly as it sounds. Stage one for me was childhood and maybe even high school, much of which I don’t remember, except for a few special gifts such as bicycles, Daisy Air Rifle and others. What I do remember is the anticipation and the excitement of Christmas. It was my family’s galas event of the year.

Stage two was Christmas as a parent with my own kids. Almost as exciting, but living vicariously through them. Also, much more hectic (why didn’t I ever see my parents swimming in tension ?) But, they were good years. Even with all the scurrying around, we did celebrate the Holidays.

Stage three was the “Bah Humbug” years. They were easy to come by. Single, everyone in different states, the dreaded office party, the hurricane of Christmas advertisement … it became a time to just retreat from life, easier that trying to whip up enthusiasm. Oh well.

The final stage is now, and perhaps the best. Sometime during the “Bah Humbug” years it dawned on me that I could make Christmas what I wanted it to be. If I did want to fight the Christmas shoppers and snarly clerks, I could chose to not go there. If I didn’t want to be inundated with Christmas music, I could put on my own CDs. If I didn’t want to feel angered and neurotic about how Christmas has lost all meaning, I could kick back and do what I wanted. And then a funny thing happened. With all the commercialism no longer part of my agenda I could think about Christmas. Yes I do like some carols, Grandkids shredding wrapping paper, time with family and friends. Receiving a present and feeling grateful that someone else thought of me. Not really a bad time of year now that I am in charge. Have a Merry Christmas, I plan to.


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