Christmas Traditions: Passing the Time

Warning:  This post has nothing to do with being left-handed.  In case you have been anxiously awaiting my latest diatribe about left-handed issues, I apologize.  Instead, I have decided to descend from my soapbox and explain recent events that have transpired in my life.

I am a teacher and, as such, I get two weeks paid (barely) vacation at Christmas.  Like many teachers, one week is devoted to vacation-esque activities while the second is dedicated to preparing for the coming semester.  I won’t complain too much about this because there are many of friends who like to keep me humble and remind me that many people just get Christmas day off and have to use their vacation days for any other days off.  My hats off to you, if you fit into this latter category!

Luckily, my partner in crime, Bess (name changed to protect the innocent), is also a teacher and gets the same vacation off as I do.  This is our first Christmas as a couple and we have decided to try out new traditions that we want to implement each year to make a unique Bess-Lefty family feel to the holidays.  It just so happened that I, Lefty, have already been celebrating Christmas by keeping an Advent Calendar and Wreath.  I started this tradition in order to celebrate the season and not just the day.  I also wanted to focus my thoughts on the reason for why I celebrate Christmas.  As a kid I would always feel that Christmas Day was extremely built up and once it was over I was left with a post-present depression

The Advent season begins the first Sunday closest to November 30.  There are four weeks associated with Advent, each one dedicated to different aspects of Christ’s first coming: Week 1- Preparation for Christ’s coming, Week 2- Love, Week 3- Joy, Week 4- God’s Gift.  The last week of Advent coincides with Christmas day.  I have only celebrated Advent for 5 years now, but it has greatly abated the post-present depression and replaced the emptiness with the more meaningful religious reasons for celebrating.  Being the amazing individual she is, Bess was eager to join me in my Advent celebration.  As of this writing we are in week 4 and so far so good!

The trouble with Advent is that only once a week do you have anything related to celebrating (reading Bible verses, praying, and singing hymns) so what to do with the other six?  Once again, the Bess-Lefty ingenuity came to save the day!  Based on our joint passion for the cinema, we decided to have thematic movie nights.  Here’s what we decided on:

Day 1: Foreign Film Night- Bride & Prejudice (2004) and Monsoon Wedding (2001) Bess and Lefty’s choices, respectively.

Day 2: Musicals- Mary Poppins (1964) Bess’s choice (but who can’t resist signing along?) and Across the Universe (2007) Lefty’s choice.

Day 3: The Dreaded Romantic Comedy- The Cutting Edge (1992) and Date Night (2010) Bess and Lefty’s choices, respectively.

This is as far as we got but here’s some of the proposed themes: Action Movie, Literary Adaptation, Christmas-themed, Fantasy/Sci-Fi

My point in sharing all of this with you is that the holidays can be a nightmare or something to look forward to.  I believe each one of us has to pick and chose what is most meaningful to us.  These are just some ways that me and mine have tried to make meaning out of chaos

Happy Holidays!

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