As I was reading yesterday’s post, I got the feeling I sounded pretty negative about the holidays… And I actually love Christmas, it’s just some sides of the celebrations that get on my nerves, and I guess that’s all that got out in my last text. So I decided to postpone Denmark a little bit more and let my Christmas-happy side set up the score!
Christmas in Québec is quite magical. I think it has a great deal to do with most Quebeckers welcoming “hygge” into their home for about a week without even knowing.
Although for a few years it arrived quite last minute, our Christmases are usually white. That alone sets the tone for nice times spent near the fireplace or sipping hot chocolate or coffee. There is something comforting in seeing everything covered in white. I know some fools wait for snow to go skiing or snowboarding… But to me, snow is a message from Mother Nature saying “don’t step out of the house!”
People decorate their houses with multicolor flashing lights, garlands and big red bows… In and out! That is the actual first sign Christmas is coming. One person sets the note, and before you know it, the whole street has joined the movement. And don’t forget the Christmas tree. Very important. Here, not any tree will do the trick, even if some originals will try to make other breeds fit in. In Quebec it has to be a Christmas fir. Natural or artificial is up to you, and how you decorate it doesn’t matter… But the holidays won’t be the same if you don’t have your Christmas tree ready.
Christmas is all about “homemade”. Homemade cookies, doughnuts, cakes, and sweets. Homemade ornaments if you are crafty and/or have kids. Homemade gifts like a batch of delicious jam you spent hours making, dividing in small mason jars and that you are about to share with your loved ones…
And Christmas is more than anything about gathering together and spending good time without any fussing. Whether you have a large family or can sit everyone around a standard kitchen table, the important thing is to be together.
One thing we are losing with years though, is the magic around Santa Claus. When I was a child, my parents hid the presents until Christmas night. We knew Santa would visit us, and we always kept a cookie and a glass of milk ready for him. And E-VE-RY Christmas night, he would inevitably get to our house when we were taking our bath! Every time!! We could hear his loud “Ho! Ho! Ho!” coming from the living room, and some bells clinging… But when we rushed out to catch him, all that was left was the presents under the tree and my father, a bit out of breath (from the excitement of seeing Santa, OBVIOUSLY!), pointing outside, showing us the trace left by Santa’s sleigh as he was already gone to continue his gift distribution…
I doubt many children still live that magic every year… Now, colorfully wrapped gifts are almost part of the decoration, and appear under the tree way before Christmas…
Yeah… Christmas is still great, but I am lucky, because I had the best Christmases as a child!
I would say this is a good pay back for my negative attitude yesterday, what’ you think?