The season of celebration is upon us! You get a whiff of Silly Season straight after Father’s Day when the shops decide to fill their shelves with Christmas decorations. We all whinge our way through September saying it’s way too early to start thinking about Christmas. But then October 1 hits and the conversations instantly start about who’s hosting various end-of-year celebrations and who’s bringing what salad.
In my world, the transition from Father’s Day to Dec 25 is filled with traditions.
It’s traditional for those conversations about where the handful of inter-related families will be congregating, to go round and round in circles for weeks before we nail a plan. It’s a military operation of sorts.
It’s traditional to draw Secret Santa names and then spend the next two weeks working out who got who.
It’s traditional to put up our beloved Christmas tree on December 1 – a tree that dates back to circa 2000 and was a hand-me-down from a friend who was involved in a messy relationship break-up and neither party was giving the other tree-visitation rights. It’s also traditional to cover that tree in the most amazing array of mismatched decorations that are crafted masterpieces dating back to our kids’ kindy and early school years. If my house was burning down, I’d hold my breath and brave the flames to rescue that box.
It’s traditional on December 25 to wear those ill-fitting paper crowns and drink (late) Grandma Glindemann’s punch. It’s a special recipe that only sees the light of day for a few days every December. I don’t know why we don’t drink it more often… It’s also traditional to be suffering a food coma by 7pm on Christmas night.
Whether your family traditions match mine or not, what should be traditional for us all at this time of the year is the enjoyment of an authentic connection. It could be connecting with your workmates at an end-of-year shindig or connecting with the other parents at your kids’ break-up functions but, most importantly, connecting with your loved ones. Spending time together in authentic family bliss is what any celebration is about – in whatever form of ‘family’ yours is.
Get together. Get talking. Get laughing. Get drunk. Just make sure that your next celebration gives you an opportunity to refill your bucket with love and happiness. In the iconic words of two famous philosophers dating back to 1992: “Party time. Excellent.”