April Clark column: Xmas on the brain
I once was that person who became annoyed when Christmas decorations were up by Halloween. Or even Thanksgiving. Now, I’m a mom.
I’m more excited about Christmas than I can ever remember — even though it’s always been my favorite holiday. I hold many memories of spending Christmas day with my grandpa, who also loved the holidays, up to the recent years before he passed. He got a kick out of handing out presents to kids of all ages, and watching the excitement on the faces of the little ones as they opened theirs.
It’s fun to play Santa.
I know Will has another year before the fun of opening presents and finding out if Santa read his wish list truly has an impact. This year, I imagine it will be the twinkling lights of the Christmas tree and the dreamy holiday music that will mostly keep his attention.
I already know he’s going to love Bing Crosby.
I can see why Christmas creeps up around Halloween. When I think about all I’d like to do to make the holidays special like my grandpa did for his kids and grandkids, one month doesn’t seem like much prep time. And I need all the time I can get these days.
Babies have that effect on people.
The old me would cringe at the thought of putting up the Christmas tree the night of Thanksgiving. That’s a tradition my step-grandmother Becky upheld since I can remember. I used to think that was way too early. Now that she and my grandfather are both gone, and I’m a mother, the idea of spending as much time as possible celebrating the cheerfulness that Christmas and the holidays bring appeals to me.
Will has a little red-and-white Santa outfit, thanks to his grandma. I’ve already RSVPed to attend a holiday cookie party that will host old St. Nick so the kids can share their wish lists and I can avoid a mall encounter with long lines and teenagers dressed in elf attire.
Ho, ho, ho.
Another reason I love the holidays is because of the food, and baking. I’m hoping Will ups his nighttime sleeping/feeding game and starts to sleep through the night so I can spend some quality time channeling my inner Martha Stewart. I do have an in on some homemade fudge trays from an organic farm down the road, and I’m not afraid to use it.
I also enjoy making Christmas gifts, including homemade body scrubs and flavored liquors. The year my friend Tari and I made homemade amaretto goes down in history as one of the funniest experiences I’ve ever had.
Vodka makes me laugh.
Pinterest is always a great source for homemade gift ideas. I have my eye on fruit liqueurs in mason jars and homemade peanut butter treats for the dog lovers in my life. With a little less time this season, I may take advantage of online shopping. Especially Cyber Monday.
I just can’t do Black Friday.
The beauty of online shopping is the to-your-door delivery. We’ve learned that from having Will early, before we came remotely close to finishing his nursery. Amazon saved our lives with the changing table, baby necessities and nursing accessories. I’m thankful to live in a time when caring for a baby is made much easier than when my mom was raising me and my brother. She always tells me she was sent home from the hospital with not much direction on how to care for us and fewer resources than we have today.
Motherhood has made me appreciate convenience, and I’m sure I will need the perks of my bottle warmer and app that plays lullabies and nature sounds to get me through the holidays. Last year, Steve and I bought a tree already strung with lights, so that saves some time. I might just buy the liqueur pre-flavored this year. Mostly I want to be able to stop and enjoy the sweet moments of baby’s first Christmas. Maybe even make some homemade fudge.
And put up my Christmas tree the night of Thanksgiving.
April E. Clark is dreaming of a white Christmas. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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