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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Andy Tauer, Christmas Memories, and Letting Go

…and a draw

By Tom

I’m just going to say it.  I’m not big on  Christmas.

I was when I was a kid of course.  Every year my family made it an event.  We decorated with a capital “D”.  Lights were strung.  Electric candles were placed in all of the street-side windows on our corner lot and the tree went up in the big bay window.  That tree was a devilishly complex fake one that consisted of individual branches that had to be placed into the wooden stand, and carefully packed lest it become a wire and plastic rubik’s cube.

Then there were the ornaments.  These ranged from generic lights in strings to things that us kids made each year to items that had been around for decades.  The trimming of the tree and the house took at least a full day and outside help, and there were people who would drive out of their way to see it.  Was it tasteful?  Well it wasn’t like some that could be seen from space, but I think it might not have qualified as “quiet good taste”

Like all kids at Christmas we’d wake up at about 5 ready to open the gifts.  We were expected to have breakfast as normal and then open our gifts in an orderly fashion, rather than attacking them like a group of sharks in chum-laden water.  It killed us to do so.  After we’d opened out gifts and played with them was the afternoon Christmas open house, with the food we’d all helped (in whatever way we could until we grew older) prepare, and the adult libations we kids were desperate to try to sneak a sip of.

Later in life my BFF moved with her family and my godchild to Los Angeles.  Over the years we spent our Christmases together, which meant that I usually got a call at 7 or so asking that I come over right away since said child didn’t want to open anything until I was there, and could I pick up some cream or something for the dinner we’d prepare.  We’d have breakfast together as my Godchild was forced to sit there, vibrating like a tuning fork just like I did, awaiting the gifts.  There was also earlier the setting up of their tree,; theirs natural but still with ornaments that came out every year, some made by hand, some from decades ago.  The dinner we all prepared was composed of friends dropping in and trying to keep the teens from snagging any of the adult libations we were enjoying.

So why don’t I like Christmas?

It ends. 

My teen Christmas ended when my father died in December and that tree stayed up in the box.  My adult Christmas died when my godchild’s father decided just after Christmas to end his marriage, and my BFF moved back to New York where the godchild was in college.

I’m not asking for pity.  We make the holidays what we make them.  As a matter of fact I’m going this year to a latke party that some friends of mine are having, but didn’t think I’d attend since they thought I’d be celebrating Christmas. 

I’ll be very happy celebrating potato pancakes, and tasting a different family's holiday tradition.  Mazel Tov, Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays: they are what you make of them, and I sincerely hope yours are fulfilling. 

Notes on the draw:  The prize is a full bottle at the choice of the winner. The winner can select from any fragrance that Andy sells on or a bottle of Miriam, the Tableau de Parfums scent, or the Cologne du Maghreb.  (lucky you) the draw will be open the 24 hours of December 11th and is open to all countries (Andy will be shipping directly from Zurich) 

Tune in tomorrow to see who won, and check out the other participants by visiting his website.

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Anonymous Fernando said...

I love Christmas, but not all the party stiff. What I love is the Christian festival, the celebration of God embodied and the promise of redemption Hark, the Herald Angels rather than Jingle Bells.

9:22 PM EST  
Blogger mous said...

I celebrate Solstice. It's a fact. The sun is coming back.
Happy Solstice.

9:51 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear you! Christmas is not going to be the same this year due to a family crisis. Come to think of it all the upcoming Christmases will never be the same after this year.

Hard to celebrate when times are tough.

But you keep on...

9:56 PM EST  
Blogger Kelley said...

I am a total grinch. I am not religious at all thinking it's just silly (but that's just me). I guess I am full of contradictions because I have a large collection of christmas tree ornaments but I never set up a tree! I like graham's comment about solstice and how the days will start getting longer. Nice. I also love Andy's work and hope this next year will be a great one for him and everyone else here at Perfume-Smellin' Things!

10:01 PM EST  
Anonymous Lenore said...

Christmas...hmm. I'm not so big on it either. But I do love being with my family and looking for the perfect gift.

10:17 PM EST  
Blogger Tammy said...

Ah, holidays are kind of a metaphor for life, for me, too... exactly what you make of them.

A few years ago, there was a wonderful confluence of days to celebrate and I accidentally set my mantel on fire because I had my Solstice and Chanukah candles set too close to my Christmas cards.

I think I'll have latke for Christmas breakfast this year...God bless us, everyone, and peace on Earth.

10:41 PM EST  
Blogger The Gastronomic Goddess said...

I loooooooove Christmas!! :D I celebrate for religious reasons, but also I love everything about it. It's
My favorite time of year. I love Winter! Some people get depressed in the winter; I thrive. Cold and snow means comfy sweaters, fireplaces, and even though no leaves are
On the trees, I think winterscape is breathtaking - "the world in solemn stillness lay," it's peacefully sleeping under a blanket of white. The world slows down during its hibernation. Even though the holidays get hectic, it's a time to slow down and appreciate what you do have in life, feast together, celebrate Jesus or whatever else you do, celebrate the days getting longer and an increase
In light, spending time with family and friends, giving gifts and outpouring of love, and enjoying the last few days of the year and reflecting before the start of a new
One. There is so much to embrace for Christmas. It may have its share of stress, but I couldn't be happier. ;-)

10:46 PM EST  
Blogger Taffy said...

I'm not big on Christmas either since my family suffered a tragedy on December 15th two years ago. Since then, we've had to deal with the criminal justice system and pray that the perpretrator gets his due.

The irony is that my late nephew loved Christmas and loved preparing the menu and cooking the food. In fact, he was putting together a menu the day he was killed.

So in his memory and for the little ones in the family, we celebrate, we remember, we honor, we cry, we laugh and we love each other. And we pray.

It's really what Christmas is about anyway.

10:49 PM EST  
Blogger Khanh said...

I've never celebrated Thanksgiving or Christmas in my life. My family is just not into that sort of things. I'm fine with it, but I do occasionally envy those who actually have the tree and the presents and the huge dinner.

10:55 PM EST  
Anonymous Sujaan said...

I don't celebrate Christmas but I do love a Christmas tree! So, we get the tree and trim it and live it for a month. It makes the dead of winter prettier and cheers me up. Of course, winning a Tauer bottle of my choice would also be quite cheery!!

11:42 PM EST  
Blogger Susan said...

I think my family Christmases were always fairly low-key, and mine as an adult are too. I love the holiday season as a whole more than any one individual holiday... and I find I love Christmas more when I keep it low-key, with only a few presents to go around.

12:05 AM EST  
Blogger King said...

Honestly I'm quite sorry that nowadays christmas doesn't hold much of its religion aspect like it was. Now they commercialize everything! What was a warm, comforting holiday is now just another busy-shopping week. Plus add the whole month christmas carols that they play over and over again. Ugh. For that, I prefer the new year holiday much better. At least it still have a special meaning to me.

However I wish you a beautiful holiday Tom. Hope everything goes on well. And thank you to Andy for organizing the draw. It's one of many things that make Christmas delightful!

12:25 AM EST  
Blogger Asali said...

I love Christmas time, but Christmas itself is so different now from what it used to be. All the stress that you never felt as a child, and the pressure to have a certain kind of Christmas no matter where you go, seems to have overtaken the joy. I try to make of it what I can and enjoy it for what it is.
And then of course, I will think of wearing a beautiful perfume:-)
Thank you very much for the Advent calendar, and this draw.

2:29 AM EST  
Blogger Balutakat said...

I'm so thrilled that you are able to enjoy some form of winter special holiday memories. Being agnostic, I end up at all kinds of different parties and really enjoy the spirit of the season rather than any particular religious sentiments. Friends and family are what matters most to me. I hope joy and peace welcomes you at every doorstep, Marina, for many years to come.

2:45 AM EST  
Blogger Gustav said...

I don't celebrate X-mas. It's not very pleasant time here in Russia- long holidays combined with coldest weather (and nothing to do). So I always go to Thai for holidays - for them X-mas means nothing too :)

2:46 AM EST  
Blogger Irina said...

happy holidays to all

2:49 AM EST  
Blogger HJ said...

I adore Christmas as a family event, one of the few times we were all in the one place at the same time, and my mother would cook up a storm for lunch (wonderful cooked lunch in the dead of summer!). After sleeping off the food (and/or drinks as we got older...), my brothers and I would head to the dam to catch yabbies for dinner. The day was a bit of a ritual which we all loved and treasured! But alas, times change, we've all grown up, married, moved away and some had kids, so that family event is sadly over. I can only hope that when I have children we can create a similar family time that they can pass onto their children. Happy holidays to all!
Holly J

3:21 AM EST  
Blogger Andrea said...

Yes, they die. And it feels the same as the loss of friends and of getting older, big and unforgettable. Just saw Mira Nair's The Namesake with my 15 year old son, who started crying in bed with Angst and I feel quite raw now and in need of a stiff drink, a hug and a big duvet....and a scent to spruce me up a bit against all future onslaught..please include me in the draw! Andrea

3:25 AM EST  
Anonymous chrisb said...

I enjoy Christmas; each year's celebration brings its different joys (and sometimes sorrows). Wishing you all the best for the season. I am also an admirer of Andy Tauer's perfumes.

3:31 AM EST  
Blogger erycina said...

I love the anticipation of Christmas. I love the lights and the decorations but I always feel sad on Christmas day as it is over for another year.

3:39 AM EST  
Blogger Vicks said...

Oh, I love Christmas! Always have, and now when I have kids it is even more fun. But then I don't care so much about all the "musts" concerning food and such, we do the fun things (decorate, candy...) and the presents, of course.

3:46 AM EST  
Blogger Michael said...

I'm more of a solstice guy myself, but end up celebrating christmas as well with the rest of the family.

3:51 AM EST  
Anonymous Alex said...

I'm not feeling the holiday spirit yet. Thank goodness for online shopping!

3:54 AM EST  
Blogger civava said...

I don't like Chrismas or any of hollydays which expect from me to do this and that. What most people do. I just like to have days off and if possible I'd rather be hidden in some remote place with just few friends or even better alone.

3:55 AM EST  
Anonymous coffeine said...

maybe this year, i wish you all

3:56 AM EST  
Anonymous Rapunzel said...

I love Christmas time, getting phone calls from old friends, thinking about your loved ones and what they'd love to get, meeting friends for a glass of mulled wine, and the house smells like ginger snaps ;)

4:04 AM EST  
Blogger Unknown said...

I've never really celebrated Christmas properly till this year. Previously it was just another regular day for my family, with nothing much to do save for a quick "merry christmas" in the morning. This year I went to university in a foreign land and met the nicest people on earth; we had a small party with gifts being exchanged and that was when I felt the magic of Christmas!

4:08 AM EST  
Blogger Magnus said...

Christmas is actually my favourite holiday of the year. Magnus

4:14 AM EST  
Anonymous Aster said...

I love Christmas, Tom. Wish you a happy one. Aster

4:15 AM EST  
Anonymous Gisela said...

Christmas is very low-key with us. The last complete family gathering was a long time ago.

4:15 AM EST  
Blogger Tama said...

I love Christmas. It's not a religious holiday for me at all. For all my life it has been about my family, in whatever form it was in. My family has changed a bit. I didn't travel to see the faction in So. Cal. like I have for the last 35 or so years last year, and won't this year. Once my Dad died, I think that just got harder to do. So I stay up here with my No. Cal. faction. This year I am going to attempt a tree for the first time in more than 25 years, and hope to have people over to my new home. I have made a firm decision to enjoy Christmas even if it's just me and the cat, with some snax and movies. He's my family, too.

4:16 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I absolutely celebrate Christmas! It's a wonderful time to remember the birth of the One who brings meaning to my life!

4:18 AM EST  
Blogger Liza said...

I am not a christian, so I dont selebrate Christmas, but I like to selebrate New Year and, course, Yule (Solstice, New Sun).
Thank you forr this opportunity to win, i've never saaw Andy's perfumes, just readed about.

4:20 AM EST  
Blogger Brenda said...

I love Christmas, it's my favorite holiday!

4:24 AM EST  
Blogger Undina said...

I kind of celebrate Christmas (and like it) but my main winter holiday is New Year.

4:34 AM EST  
Blogger ololiuqui said...

Christams is one of the best times in the year.Whether you celebrate or not everyone can feel the joy that Christmas brings.Even in a crowded place of starngers you can feel everyone is trying to be better.

4:35 AM EST  
Anonymous alabaster cheeks said...

Happy christmas to all hope it snows

4:37 AM EST  
Blogger R.P. Dario said...

evrything ends..but as all ends, we must feel it deeply inside us, so that we can wait for his coming back...

4:40 AM EST  
Anonymous Fab said...

I'm not very big on Christmas either. However all is well with my family and I'll be spending it with them as always. And I'll get to play with my niece and nephews, which is always fun. ;-)

4:50 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Christmas is a chance to be with people you haven't seen for a while, extended family and other orphans.
Midsummer solstice here

4:54 AM EST  
Blogger Katy McReynolds said...

I think many of us have an idea of the perfect Christmas.....then there is the frazzled reality! We can always console ourselves with a lovely fragrance. Merry Christmas everyone!

4:58 AM EST  
Anonymous Jackie birch said...

Christmas is fun but am always relieved when it's over!

4:58 AM EST  
Anonymous Brad mcd said...

Bittersweet, as I can not be with my family at Christmas

5:03 AM EST  
Blogger arch.memory said...

I grew up in Lebanon in a Muslim family. Given that Lebanon is a mixed country (and my mom went to Jesuit school & my grandma was educated by Protestant missionaries), we celebrated Christmas--except it was a secularist version of it. We celebrated it on New Year's, we had a big plastic tree, and my uncle dressed up as Santa--which scared my sister to tears! After moving to the US and dating (and later marrying) a Polish Catholic guy, I got to experience a more full-blown version of Christmas, which I very much enjoy (except for the Polish fish dishes..). I still enjoy & celebrate a secular version of Xmas, which I find appropriate: the same way that Christmas appropriated many older pagan winter rituals and symbology, I think it is only fair to reappropriate those traditions for a modern secular life.

5:11 AM EST  
Blogger Martinus Scriblerus said...

I always travel at Christmas - hopefully next year we'll get to stay put. We just wrapped up one of my favourite bits of Christmas - our annual caroling party. Lots of gingerbread, mulled wine, inappropriate songs about Christ bleeding (!), and so on.

Happy holidays!

5:17 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I celebrate Solstice also as well as the New Year. Christmas is of less imporatnce since my son is not a kid anymore. Thanks! Alica -

5:20 AM EST  
Anonymous Puneet said...

in India v celebrate loads of festivals, my fav remains Deepawali, festival of light.

5:37 AM EST  
Blogger Jenni said...

I'm defintely big on christmas - it's a nice escape from all my work!

5:41 AM EST  
Blogger Unknown said...

I love to celebrate Christmas because it is a time where people and families feel united and offer closure to the chaos of the preceding year.

6:21 AM EST  
Blogger zboudreaux said...

oh... xmas. it is what it is. not my favorite that's for sure. but... the idea of solstice and the sun returning, now that is something i can get into.

thanks for the draw!

6:24 AM EST  
Blogger Johnny H said...

I'm sure I am not alone in of the things I like and remember the most about past and present holidays, particularly Christmas, are the smells. The pungent fir penetrating every room, the berry pies baking, the morning cocoa and coffee, and in our family, cinnamon buns were a tradition on Christmas morning. Oh what a cacophony of aromas!!

6:26 AM EST  
Blogger hoopie said...

I am a big Christmas fan, as i enjoy the closeness it brings as a family. For that reason i can see why many do not enjoy it, who have lost loved ones, or who are on their own and it is nice to think about them during what could be a difficult time of the year for them.

i count myself very lucky, to be spending time with my love ones this year.

6:45 AM EST  
Blogger lucas said...

Yaay! Thank you for hosting todays draw! Good luck everyone!

6:47 AM EST  
Blogger AromaX said...

Sounds like Xmas spirit have been hard on you. Hope it will not lasts forever.

Personally I like the feel of magic hidden in the colored lights of Xmas decorations...

6:52 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will celebrate with family. Not the best year, but could be worse.

6:54 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the smell of real pine and the many lights in the darkness of night, which starts at like 4.30 here... So I very much like that after Xmas the days start slowly lengthening again!

6:54 AM EST  
Blogger BrennaH said...

I am a fan of Christmas spirit, if not the commercial holiday. Let us all work to improve our Christmas spirit yearround.

7:08 AM EST  
Blogger thea said...

The best thing about december is the solstice and the returning of longer days in the sunshine. TRUE. <3

7:13 AM EST  
Blogger jensun said...

Christmas is a lot of pressure. I'm sorry yours is tinged with sadness. Mine is fun because of the kids, but so tiring and stressful for almost every other reason. This year I'm trying to scale down, peel the pressure back.

Also: we don't make the kids wait for breakfast. We have sticky buns during the frenzy. It's fun. The frenzy is part of the joy. They can have perfect manners and practice some restraint every other day of the year. On Christmas, we let them be full-on, spare-the-brakes kids. :)

7:20 AM EST  
Blogger Галча said...

Here, in Estonia we have actually double Christmas - one is Estonian, protestant, on 25-26 of December. And the second one is Orthodox, in January. But actually, due to Soviet time I'm not thinking anything big of neither events. It's a good opportunity to get together with family and friends and city gets really beautiful by this time, but somehow, I get no big feelings about it.
Kommunists succeeded, I guess, in thier pursuit to diminish the importance of religion in soviet people. Hahah. )
Aaand thanks for the cance to win! )

7:26 AM EST  
Anonymous sybil said...

Wow, please enter me in the drawing. Letting go isn't easy, but sometimes can lead to different things that work out well, too. I wish you a joyful holiday season!

7:34 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this holiday season, but mostly for the foods associated with it: I love the pies, the roasts, the cookies, and the beverages! Egg nog and apple-cider are two of my favorite things, though I'd be happy to do without the christmas music everywhere.

7:36 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have hated Christmas since I was a child. Loathe candle-lit dinners etc. That hasn't changed.
I hold my breath till January and then life goes on in the normal fashion, as it did before.
Mind you in Holland we tended not to do gifts for Christmas. All that was dealt with in the beginning of December. ( Sinterklaas, or St. Nicolas)

I hope you get through yours pleasantly!


7:37 AM EST  
Blogger Natasha said...

I enjoy Christmas, but sometimes it is just too much with gift buying and decorating. However, I love the scents and music of the season.

7:38 AM EST  
Blogger Isa said...

I have always loved Christmas time. In Spain it is the main feast of the year. Almost everybody celebrates it: families get together, streets are full of lights, homes are decorated...
We celebrate Catholic Christmas here.

7:41 AM EST  
Blogger Ivona said...

How interesting to read how all you different peaple celebrate (or don't celebrate) the holidays and what this season means to everyone. In my family New Year's was always the main event, but I myself prefer the sights, sounds and smells of Christmas.

7:42 AM EST  
Anonymous Millicent said...

Thank you for opening a space for people to express a whole range of feelings about Christmas. Such an intense time of year.

7:53 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merry xmas everyone

7:53 AM EST  
Blogger Gator Grad said...

I still believe in the power of Christmas. Magical things happen. Our family gets together, everyone is beautiful and happy, and there is great food, wine and gifts. This year, I am wishing for a healthy baby (we've been trying for a while). Who knows? It's a magical time of year.

8:00 AM EST  
Blogger Jelena said...

Definitely, there is no Christmas spirit until decent snow arrives. Until then it's just neverending November.

8:03 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The best part of Christmas is the smell of the tree (I mean, besides spending time with loved ones and the joy of giving, etc.)

Since Fille en Aiguilles didn't quite work for me, I'll be wearing some pine oil I got from a new age shop last year.

It seems my family has given up on real trees and switched to plastic. I said I'd pay for the real thing this year if htey make it happen - we'll see.

- Dominika M (dominika79)

8:06 AM EST  
Blogger Kirsten said...

I'm an atheist, but I still thrill at the trappings of Christmas. I was raised in a rather spartan fundamentalist home. Christmas was a time for church, presents, yes, but most importantly church. If it's not present in the nativity creche, it was hard to find in our house at Christmastime.

But now that I'm out on my own, I can make Christmas a big, happy, festive affair. I can make cookies, knit mittens, and decorate my tree however I like (I must say, I could keep a pine tree in my house all year round - that smell!) and I can give fun gifts to everyone I love.

Christmas has opened up for me to become a warm celebration of light in the winter, of showing appreciation for those around you, for giving and receiving love.

8:11 AM EST  
Anonymous B.A.L. said...

I love Christmas. My favorite part is getting together with family, and old friends.

8:12 AM EST  
Blogger liuzzi said...

For me Christmas means seeing all the family and spending time with everyone you might not see that often during the rest of the year. Wishing happy holidays for everybody!

8:15 AM EST  
Blogger TimeaZsofia said...

I love Christmas a lot. That will be really good if the snow would fall on Christmas Eve! :)

8:18 AM EST  
Blogger marcopietro said...

I love Christmas time, I'll spend all my time with family and friends.
I wish you all the best.

8:22 AM EST  
Blogger Britt Åse said...

What I love the most about Christmas, - is everything. Lights, flowers, the tree, the warmth, the food, the people, and: being able to sit up half the nights and sleep in, and looong, lazy breakfasts. And-and-and... :D
Hope I'm lucky in the draw!

8:22 AM EST  
Blogger Abyss said...

I can usually take or leave Christmas. It wasn't celebrated where I lived as a child so these days I'm happy to join in if I'm with people who celebrate it but wouldn't go out of my way otherwise.

8:27 AM EST  
Anonymous Eva K. said...

Bei uns gibt es gerade die Werbung eines großen Elektroanbieters: "Weihnachten wird unterm Baum entschieden". Das sehe ich nicht so: Weihnachten wurde an der Krippe entschieden!

8:37 AM EST  
Blogger ici said...

great to have your own choice today!
I already made up my mind in case of winning!

8:41 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the poster that said, Solstice. The long dark days of winter are turning into spring!

Thanks for the draw!

8:47 AM EST  
Blogger Kate said...

In Russia we decorate the tree and give presents for New Year. On Christmas we go to the church. Happy holidays to everyone and thanks for the draw.

8:49 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Christmas can feel hollow and sad. It can be a time where I think of childhood memories, and wish for things that really never were. I can get lost in the stress of decorating, gift exchange and entertaining.

Christmas can be a time of hope. I'm trying to focus on the wonder of God coming down to be with us. My gifts this year are purchased and given because I want to share and love as I've been loved. I am so very thankful for the life I've been given! May you find joy and love that will carry you through all your days. Be well.

8:52 AM EST  
Anonymous Marcin ( said...

You are right, Christmas is what we make of it. And we people are able to spoilt everything, even such a nice and holy time. Anyway - I hope for having great time during holidays. And I wish the same to all of you!

8:52 AM EST  
Anonymous Rappleyea said...

Ah Tom... my Dad died on Christmas day a few years ago, but I'm the oldest of six and am lucky enough to have a raft of wonderful memories of my family Christmases.

But life is change and I find as I've gotten older that I'm more Solstice than Christmas, more spiritual than religious, more inward meditation than outward celebration.

Peace and Joy to all.

8:59 AM EST  
Blogger evangelion said...

In Italy Christmas is a very important holiday. For me too. I love christmas trees, lights, smells.... baby back!

9:01 AM EST  
Blogger marsha said...

Tom, I think I have some idea of what you are talking about. This used to be my favorite time of year. My dad always went out of his way to make Christmas a special time. He died 20 years ago. Since losing my husband 3 years ago and now losing my mother to dementia, this will be the first Christmas spent almost totally alone. I had to work on my head, but I think I've made peace with it. I wish everyone the best.

9:05 AM EST  
Blogger monika said...

I love Christmas in Europe because somehow the expectations are more realistic.

Here in North America, expectations are as exaggerated as the decorating and the advertising on tv. I love how in France, you know it is the Christmas by the increase in beautiful perfume ads on tv.

Maybe I am not keen on North American Christmas because the Christmas season is when we immigrated, and when I lost my entire extended family, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins...

This year is particularly hard because we have just returned after almost 5 years in Europe, where I had family and where we had many friends, and we are back in North America, financially strapped because of the economy, and alone again.

9:11 AM EST  
Blogger jufconnie said...

Actually I think the problem with christmas is the expectation that it all has to be perfect. As a family we let go of that idea long ago. There is no presure and I have to say that I enjoy christmas very much. Ofcourse we have our own family traditions but we are not afraid to let them go sometimes. As an adult, living on my own, some years I trimmed a tree with all pump and circomstance, sometimes I did not bother because I was buzzy or spent christmas with my family. Last year a 12 year old boy from a foster home spent christmas with me. We decorated the house and he bought his own fake christmas tree at a flee marked. Together we bought a real tree for the living room. That boy now lives with me and last year seems to be the start for our own christmas traditions. He is my foster son now and christmas will never be the same again. (in a good way!)

9:12 AM EST  
Anonymous Wilma said...

I love Christmas because we celebrate the fact that Jesus was born .I don't like al that party thing around it .

9:18 AM EST  
Blogger woodgirl said...

When I look back on childhood Christmases, I don't remember the presents I received other than a few outstanding ones. It was the feeling of the whole family being together that was so exciting & comforting. We were a small family isolated in the midst of others, so when Grandma arrived to spend the winter among us, it was magical. After she died, it was never the same. I don't have children, so haven't created new traditions. I've learned it's best for me not to try to recapture the magic with old traditions, because the comparison is just too painful. So now I try to spend the holiday serving at soup kitchens & I am soooo happy & thankful for what I have.

9:19 AM EST  
Anonymous Xaviera Jamie said...

Jingle bells, Jingle bells i enjoy it very much.

9:22 AM EST  
Anonymous Cheryl said...

The Christmas season was always my favorite, especially when seeing it through the eyes of my children.

A few years ago my mum passed away on Thanksgiving, which was also dad's birthday. The loss of his dear love coincided with the onset of dementia.

In a way caring for dad is like seeing through the eyes of a very young person again, and we're going
to have a lovely day short on sadness, and big on being in the moment.

9:22 AM EST  
Blogger PFaustin said...

I love Christmas but not all the commercial stuff.


9:23 AM EST  
Anonymous said...

I love Christmas and any event were you can give gifts and watch their faces as they open them, the holiday doesn't need to be a hassle. We are only here for a brief period and should enjoy those times to their fullest, as we all very aware with the untimely death of Mona Di Orio life is all too short... So enjoy your Christmas and your dinner and any naff presents.. The real gifts can't be bought!!!!

9:26 AM EST  
Blogger Evighetens said...

The only thing I love from Christmas are the low temperatures, anything more! I'm an atheist so I don't care about all the Christ stuff but, anyway, Merry Christmas!!!!

9:32 AM EST  
Blogger SAN said...

The last time I saw my Dad was a Christmas day before he passed away, so my first thoughts every Xmas morning is sad..but I have to put a happy face on for the young ones!

9:40 AM EST  
Blogger Filomena said...

I love the comaraderie people have during the Christmas season but hate all the pressure of "buying" and the money spent that we don't have and all the things we are expected to do. But once it is here I truly enjoy it.
Buon Natale, Buon Nuit, Merry Christmas!

9:40 AM EST  
Blogger Lia Lias said...

Basically we'll have gatherings & a lot of food bc it's a holiday. It's kind of fun actually.

9:41 AM EST  
Blogger Lia Lias said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:42 AM EST  
Blogger Filomena said...

I love the comaraderie of the Christmas season, but I don't like all the pressure to "buy", unneeded money spent and all the things one has to do to get prepared for it. Once it is here I do enjoy it.

Merry Christmas, Buon Natale, Joyeaux Noelle to all!

9:43 AM EST  
Anonymous d3m0lici0n said...

I'm not a fan either but to see the kids faces all happy about it is priceless.
Happy Holidays to everybody!!!

9:51 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have mixed feelings about Christmas, particularly this year since I'm spending it with my in-laws instead of my parents and sisters. That is the hard part. There will inevitably be lots of drama and I will miss my own family. Christmas always makes me think of family and I think that's why it's so hard for many people including me. I like the spirit of Christmas, though (aside from the pressure to shop in hard times). And I like to decorate and eat. I hope you have a nice holiday and that you enjoy the latke party - it sounds like fun!

9:51 AM EST  
Anonymous Nancy C. said...

Sorry to hear that Christmas has bad memories. There's too much importance placed on Christmas. I agree that celebrating Solstice is more meaningful.

Thanks for hosting the draw.

9:58 AM EST  
Blogger Lisa said...

I love Christmas! All of the fall holidays are my favorites.

10:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Zazie said...

When I was a child, Christmas was the most wonderful, warm, lit from within time of year.
It still is, but every year the Christmas tree seems to highlight, together with the aging decorations, the stinging memories of people that are no more there to celebrate, the unfulfilled hopes, the worries and personal sorrows.

Melancholic, that how this warm and wonderful time of year makes me feel.
I'll cheer myself up with some perfume.

10:10 AM EST  
Blogger katror said...

Tom, I loved reading your Christmas story. It's so odd that there's this cultural thing many of us share, but it's so distinctively different for each of us.

10:12 AM EST  
Blogger Máté said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10:18 AM EST  
Anonymous Alice C said...

The description of your decorations from childhood made me think of something my dad said once when our family went out on our annual drive to look at the Christmas lights. As we drove past a house with lights everywhere and an outdoor nativity and other various and sundry Christmas related yard decorations, he opined that "It looks like Christmas threw up all over that yard!" My mom was not amused.

You also made me think of Dad when you said that Christmas ends. Every year, after we found our gifts from "Santa" and opened all of our presents, the living room in shambles with toys and wrapping paper strewn all around, Dad would announce, "There's nothing as over as Christmas!"

I miss him every single day, but I smile and think of him when I pass an 'over-decorated' house, and I always make his pronouncement when my living room is in the post-Christmas morning disarray.

Merry Christmas to you! I hope the holidays are good to you. Thanks for hosting the draw! :-)

10:19 AM EST  
Blogger Máté said...

Happy Holiday Everyone!:)Christmas is the best part of the year.

10:19 AM EST  
Blogger La Patatita said...

There´s always a sadness at the end of the year, it seems obviously related to the changing light. What helps me enjoy holiday time is remembering what there is to look forward to, the return of life and springtime, rather than keeping old wounds alive with every sad memory. But it isn´t always easy, and the death of loved ones is never something to forget. With that in mind, I send my condolences to the family of Mona Di Orio. Rest in peace.

10:23 AM EST  
Anonymous Parfümblog said...

I love Christmas..we are together all day:))

10:25 AM EST  
Blogger Karen said...

I love Christmas and I enjoy it more, now that my teenage daughters love it too and enjoy trimming the tree and make our house an very nice place.

10:25 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand the letting go part of this open letter. I lost alot of christmas stuff in a major flood this year. Its small in sompariosion to the loss of life but I do empathize.
Im trying to get it all together this year. I hope we all find our Holiday this year.

10:29 AM EST  
Blogger Reg said...

Christmas has certainly evolved over the years with the loss of friends and family but there’s something awesome about pulling people in to gathering over good food. And I love the description of your Christmas tree! Ours growing up was much the same- a hodge-podge of tacky tinsel, strung popcorn, construction paper chains and ornaments we made over the years. You know, kindling for those big multi-color lights! I sure miss that tree.

10:33 AM EST  
Blogger shellyw said...

For once I do not have to drive 1200 miles through several mountain passes with a semi-carsick dog to see my family on Christmas. Everyone will be here, no snow but things to do in San Francisco that they could never do or see back home.
Busy, probably exhausting but looking forward to it.

10:34 AM EST  
Blogger Datura5750 said...

Working retail all my life has tempered my enjoyment of the holidays, still I try!
Thanks for the draw!

10:35 AM EST  
Blogger ghretta said...

Yes, I am loving my tree. Happy Solstice!

10:36 AM EST  
Blogger ghretta said...

Yes, I am loving my tree, Happy Solstice!

10:36 AM EST  
Anonymous RusticDove said...

I'm a qualified Christmas nerd - I absolutely love and enjoy everything about it - from the spiritual aspects to the decorating with twinkling lights and sparkly things. I still ooh & aah like a child when I see a beautifully decorated tree or house. So it makes me sad to hear your stories of Christmas sorrows. No wonder Christmas is not your thing due to all of the traumatic times you've endured this time of year! At least you'll have your latke fete this year and I hope you have a blast Tom!

These Tauer draws are the best of the year and thanks for hosting!

10:37 AM EST  
Anonymous Betty said...

Tom - lucky you to have had 2 families to celebrate Christmas with! Thank you Tom and thank you Andy.

10:37 AM EST  
Anonymous 50_Roses said...

I love Christmas! The Christmas Eve service is my favorite church service of the year. I love the secular celebrations too--the music, the lights, the gift-giving. I admit I do not love the crowds and hassle in the stores in December, so I do most of my shopping early. There is nothing better than watching children open gifts--their enthusiasm is genuine. The only down side is that is does end each year; the gifts are all opened, the lights come down, the parties end, and January is dark and bleak.

10:38 AM EST  
Anonymous Isayah said...

Simple Christmas here! I used to loathe this time of year and I now
try to make the best of it my own way: inviting friends, decorating a little with natural fir balsam branches (for the smell), sipping egg nog while watching an old black and white movie, wearing comfort scents
in pyjamas, allowing me to be lazy
for one or two days. Who knows, it might work for you too!

10:42 AM EST  
Blogger Anne said...

I'm not into the expectations surrounding Christmas....the perfect gifts, the perfect meals, the time with the extended family. It's all too much sometimes. It's definitely too stressful at least from an adult perspective. It's a cliche, but Christmas has become too commercial, IMHO.

10:46 AM EST  
Blogger ccdouglass said...

Merry Christmas and thank you for the draw!

10:46 AM EST  
Blogger rono said...

Not a holiday person myself. That said, as a parent of small children, I appreciate their excitement. Thanks for the chance to win.

10:47 AM EST  
Anonymous Till said...

I can see what the negative aspects of Christmas are. For me the main drawback is that I usually start getting a "Christmas-feeling" when it's already done. Nevertheless I enjoy going back to Berlin for Christmas to gather with my family that is basically spread all over Europe. Cheers


10:49 AM EST  
Anonymous Eleonore said...

I do love Christmas, "my Christmas", which means a family gathering, with the odd friend who would be on his/her own on that day: what I love about it is its peaceful and sweet atmosphere I mean to preserve, away from the frenzy crowd shopping like mad: no commercial thing for me, just a quiet celabration with family!
Happy holidays to everyone!

10:53 AM EST  
Blogger framboise said...

We don't decorate the house and within the family, we don't exchange presents, but I still love Christmas. The entire family gets together for dinner and we spend the night watching movies.

10:55 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to LOVE Christmas. It's turned into a "half empty glass" for me since loved ones have either passed on or moved on. But I do try to keep the sunny side up.

10:56 AM EST  
Anonymous Cynthia L said...

I love Christmas! Not the gifts and shopping, but the reminder of the love of family and friends, the carols at my poinsettia-laden church, and the smells of fir trees and clove-spiced tea.

10:57 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Xmas and try to make the best of it. For many xmas lost its meaning but I think it depends on us to keep it alive and perpetuate the traditions. I refuse to let myself drugged in the holiday craziness that it seems it starts after Halloween. I start the Xmas preparations 2 weeks in the Advent and never focus on Xmas sales.

Xmas is the time of the year when I am a child again.


11:00 AM EST  
Blogger anthony harrington said...

I am afraid that Christmas is not a special time for me anymore, since losing my Parents it was never the same ever again.

11:02 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My family didn't celebrate it much.. and I've never been able to get over the sham of it until recently when I just allow myself to enjoy the lights, the beauty of winter, and the ancient religious music I've found, and the coming together in goodwill with family and all in general, and the symbolism of peace and forgiveness --and a sort of going back to something simple and sacred in oneself and the world. There's so little of this in our culture. Oh, and, wearing some celebratory perfume! Thanks for the draw! Peace to All. Rachel h

11:05 AM EST  
Blogger Candice-CJScents said...

Awww...I love Christmas, but not for the presents and tinsel. We celebrate Jesus' bday around this house:) I hate all the commercialism of the holiday today:( Thanks for the draw and chin up!!

11:06 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Christmas would be ok if it stared in December and wasn't so expensive. The fact that the shops start displaying Christmas items in October rather kills the magic. This year I may even go to Church to recapture some of the true meaning.

11:08 AM EST  
Blogger DT Chase said...

this season there is happiness and sorrow in equal measure. the balance of life continues. we are here to celebrate life with beauty.

11:09 AM EST  
Blogger a.k.a. Warum said...

Tom, this is an amazing story of the ways holidays were in your family -- thank you so much for sharing it!

I did not grow up celebrating Christmas, but now me and my husband do. Christmas is also my husband's birthday, and I love birthdays. I hated the fact that he had to settle for something small for his birthday or one gift with the words, "this will be for both". I am also a firm believer that a birthday is a birthday and it is celebrated on THE SAME DAY. So, we do Christmas and a birthday in one day. Birthday cake for breakfast (that's how the Birthday boy likes it), stockings and gifts from the family, skyping with the family, birthday meal and birthday presents (depending on the meal, sometimes one comes first, then the other) and then the exchange of Christmas gifts from each other. We set the budget so we don't go bankrupt in January.

Since we stopped traveling to see everybody, Christmas season became a joy we await every year.

11:10 AM EST  
Blogger Liz said...

Oh, Christmas...
Thanks for hosting the prize draw, Tom. :)

11:20 AM EST  
Blogger olenska said...

We celebrate a combination heathen Yule for me & retro Xmas for my non-religious (but vintage-loving) husband. Because we both did time in retail, we equally dislike the commercialization of the season & avoid the "competitive sport-shopping" aspect of it. It's so much nicer to take Yuletide slow & cozy.

11:25 AM EST  
Anonymous 12Roses said...

Thanks to Andy and Perfume-Smellin' Things for the draw!

11:29 AM EST  
Blogger arlene20 said...

Hmmmm, Christmas...I like the thought of a holiday that has the Earth pausing to consider the hope and promise brought about by the birth of Christ, but I absolutely despise the growing commercialism that surrounds it. The spirit gets lost in the constant blare of "buy me, buy me, buy me!"

11:31 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Christmas would be ok if Louisiana was weather appropriate. Air conditioning on All throughout the season known for 'sitting by fireplaces and sipping hot chocolate' doesnt really put you in all that festive of a mood

11:31 AM EST  
Blogger Anna said...

Tom, Christmas has morphed into many things like the feeling of family among perfumistas! A new way of doing Christmas. All the warmth of the season to you.

11:40 AM EST  
Blogger Chris said...

Thank you for the story Tom. You hit perfectly how Christmases change and how it takes an effort to find new traditions when old ones fade. We're celebrating in diminished numbers this year, but still celebrating! Finally bought a convincing artificial tree after years without due to the mess in our little building. Latkes and libations sound perfect. I think I'm just going to go overboard on the fudge and forget my nutritional concerns for the day. Happy Christmas all.

11:40 AM EST  
Anonymous Pam said...

I always look forward to Christmas so I can bring the fragrance of evergreen in the house. To me there
Nothing like Christmas decorations and a REAL tree! Simply magical

11:42 AM EST  
Blogger Kate said...

Hi Tom ~

Your memories and experiences are so similar to mine, it's uncanny. My friend never had children, but she was Godmother to my now adult elder daughter. It's a journey how our lives change and develop as we age.

Thanks for sharing that.


11:50 AM EST  
Anonymous Renata said...

The Holidays can definitely be a double edge sword. Everything amplifies: the good and the bad. In the end it is all about your own creation of the Holiday spirit which doesn't always come easy.

11:53 AM EST  
Blogger Allan said...

I too don't like Christmas, too much disappointment when the loved ones fail you.

11:55 AM EST  
Blogger ahsumaker said...

For years I was anti-Christmas and focused on all the things I didn't like about it (the fake tree my parents would put up, all the gifts, the consumerism). But I always loved Thanksgiving -- the aspect of expressing gratitude, cooking and feeding with love -- and the spillover of those feelings in to the rest of the year is what I love best about the holidays. I choose to focus on that energy now and I'm starting to enjoy it.

11:57 AM EST  
Anonymous Merlin said...

Hi, the holidays are pretty volatile for me too - full of emotional land-mines! I'm sure many many people feel the same. Here's wishing the best to all those who are apprehensive! May this year smooth all the ruffled feathers:)

12:00 PM EST  
Blogger Kit said...

I love all the winter holidays - Christmas and New Year, it's such a magical time. It's maybe less festive here in Paris, and I miss the snow. I miss my siberian town covered with snow...

12:03 PM EST  
Blogger Lizzie said...

I love Christmas, but I agree that it can be bittersweet. The first Christmas I ever celebrated away from my parents was also the first Christmas I ever celebrated with my then-fiance and his wonderful family. It was a great Christmas, but it wasn't the same and I had to hold back the tears all day to avoid hurting any feelings.

I'm actually going over to my parents' this afternoon to help decorate the tree which just went up yesterday. We have all sorts of decorations: classic baubles to Pokemon cards to beach flotsam. Basically, anything that someone picked up at some point and shoved on a tree branch. I love it. :)

Thank you so much for this draw, and Merry Christmas!

12:03 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do love Christmas.
I don't love the extra pounds I get...

12:03 PM EST  
Blogger Matt said...

All I know is that with the darkness of the solstice approaching and with the cold and ice creeping in, I'm happy for any excuse to celebrate! I hope you have a happy holiday season!

And, of course, thank you for the draw!

12:07 PM EST  
Anonymous Marte said...

I love Christmas - the food, the snow, spending time with my family, finding the perfect gifts for everyone.

12:12 PM EST  
Blogger KelseyHere14 said...

I do love the holidays but I also understand the feeling of it ending. I hope you have fun at your latke party!

12:12 PM EST  
Blogger Julie said...

Anything bad that happens somehow seems 10 times worse at Christmas

12:12 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so glad to read that there are more people who would love it to be 1-1-2012!!
The cologne du Maghreb is high on my wishinglist, so maybe???????

12:16 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I posted a comment without my e mail adress, sorry.
Im the one writing that I would love it to be 1-1-2012. I am not a big Christmas fan! It is nice to have a few days at home, to read, watch tv etc.
Still hoping to receive a bottle of cologne du maghreb. (or just a sample!!!)

12:20 PM EST  
Anonymous Maureen C said...

I used to live in a more multicultural part of the UK and I miss celebrating other peoples festivals and holidays that involve great food. Good food and good company make a holiday so enjoy the latkes!

12:23 PM EST  
Blogger babyMax said...

Well, Xmas is funny. It's a great chance to get together with friends and celebrate.

12:26 PM EST  
Anonymous Svitlana said...

I love Christmas.
This is a general holiday for many people.
This is one more reason to meet the whole family.

12:26 PM EST  
Anonymous Ian Campbell said...

I'm sorry to hear Christmas has not been a great time for you of late. Hopefully something positive will happen this year to help erase precious bad experiences. Passing you good vibes :)

12:27 PM EST  
Blogger Stephen Hough said...

Christmas can magnify our moods, whether sad or happy. It's a terrible time to be depressed but perhaps something of the message (even if we have no religious belief) can transcend the dark and the cold.

12:27 PM EST  
Anonymous Matt S. said...

I've always liked Christmas and I like it even more since having children. I like seeing them excited even if it means lying to them about a large man breaking into our house.

12:30 PM EST  
Anonymous Diny said...

I liked Christmas since I was a kid,with the family playing games.With my kids we did the same,now the are grown up we stille invaite my mom and we still play cards al evening.

12:45 PM EST  
Blogger Peace Quotes said...

I have fallen in love with 8 foot black feather Christmas trees this year. Or, black Christmas trees in general. If they are lit and placed against glass balcony doors, in a room with all lights out, it is like bringing the night in. I am also trying to find ways to celebrate, the "Twelve Nights of Christmas."

12:50 PM EST  
Blogger Jaki said...

I enjoy the day with family but not the stress of the preparation

12:54 PM EST  
Blogger Veta said...

I don't like Xmas very much (in my country it's not such a great holiday like New Year) but I like all big holidays for opportunity of being together with my family.

12:56 PM EST  
Blogger bluepinegrove said...

What a great blog topic. Christmas can be incredibly complicated. After my first husband died 14 years ago I had a tough time enjoying anything, especially things he enjoyed. It took much deep personal work to decide to enjoy the holiday again. So for me it's what I make it: sparkly lights in the darkness, a return of the sun, giving from the heart, and celebrating the best in people.

12:56 PM EST  
Anonymous rictor07 said...

thanks for hosting the draw. happy holidays.

1:01 PM EST  
Blogger jacquelien said...

I love Christmas time time with fam and friends

1:06 PM EST  
Anonymous Nona said...

Mostly I'm working at Christmas time... And normally at the Eve I'm totally exhausted and broken. I hope this year gonna be different!

1:07 PM EST  
Blogger Lynne O'Connor said...

I absolutely love Christmas. As a mum, it can be hard work but just watching my youngest son's excitement building as the big day approaches is worth it all. I know they won't last forever but the memories will.

1:08 PM EST  
Blogger samberg said...

Glad to let Christmas go and come up with my own sacred rituals.

1:10 PM EST  
Anonymous zeram1 said...

I enjoy the idea of everybody "giving" during this time of year, but I wish it was not just limited to a single day.

1:13 PM EST  
Anonymous Carol said...

Christmas is joyful but also bittersweet. I guess its nostalgia for christmases gone by.

1:16 PM EST  
Blogger Kathryn said...

They are not always what I hope or think they are going to be, but still I celebrate the winter holidays. Sometimes the holidays are wonderful, sometimes not, but the celebrations at least keep hope alive during this dark quarter of the calendar. Eventually, the light does shine again.

1:23 PM EST  
Blogger Deanna said...

Count me in for the draw, please. :)

1:23 PM EST  
Blogger Janet said...

Lovely post, as usual Tom. I love the lights and trees and the family and friends. The crazy shopping I would gladly do away with.

Have a wonderful time with your friends.

1:32 PM EST  
Blogger melissa said...

Christmas reminds me of strep throat and fever. And toys--a goodly pile of toys.

1:38 PM EST  
Anonymous Natalie said...

I'm one of those kooky and possibly hypocritical atheists who celebrate Christmas! I hate all the tacky commercialization and family drama, but I still love a big Balsam Fir tree decorated to the gills, stuffing myself with Russian Christmas goodies (kutchya, honey cakes, stollen, etc. etc.), and watching the kids practically explode they're so excited.

1:40 PM EST  
Anonymous Julie Ellen said...

I do like to celebrate Christmas, but with the joy there are sad memories too. It is a time for family and friends, but as we age and start to lose those we love, it is hard to keep the magic of youth in this season. I hope that whatever you choose to celebrate that it brings you peace and joy.

1:50 PM EST  
Blogger air.ocean said...

Thanks for your Christmas story. I have a very weird perception of the holiday, having been imbued with the Christmas spirit of a few different cultures, so it is all mixed up in my head... I dislike the commercialized side of it, but the family, warmth and cooking together side I love...

1:57 PM EST  
Blogger lambei said...

Great post. I love Christmas, but but everyone in my life does so it's ... complicated.

2:03 PM EST  
Blogger Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing!
When I was a child I hardly had any holidays so it always has been interesting for me to know how people feel after having such a beautiful experience in their childhood.

2:11 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Christmas -- the smells, the lights, the music, the food, the get-togethers with family and friends -- even though I'm not a religious person. Now I have the added fun of having my own young child to celebrate with, so I look forward to creating some cozy holiday memories with her.

2:13 PM EST  
Blogger Unknown said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:22 PM EST  
Blogger rachel Sanabria said...

I love Christmas and especially Christmas Mass. It's lovely to see old and new friends but I do understand what people mean about the stress of preparation. I've learned to accept orher's offers to bring food, setup, etc. much less stressful when I'm not trying to control everything.

2:23 PM EST  
Anonymous Pelle said...

I really love Christmas! Just wished we were a bigger family and that it was more snow. But there will be some perfume shopping for gifts! :)

2:24 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do enjoy Christmas, but it's not my very favorite holiday. And it's always tainted a little bit by the fact that I know it is a very bittersweet or even flat out difficult time for some people. It feels wrong not to be sensitive to that.

In any case, thank you for the draw.

2:24 PM EST  
Blogger Maggie Emm said...

Christmas grows more bittersweet as I get older and family (including pets!) and friends leave this world. It's spirit will always be magic though.

2:30 PM EST  
Anonymous Chalchis said...

I love gingerbread, eggnog, and peppermint, so the holidays are great for me in that respect. Not a big fan of the fact that all stores are so crowed.

2:35 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My mother didn't like Christmas but she went along with it for us kids; however, since we knew her heart wasn't in it, we weren't crazy about it either.

My own Sprog Loves Christmas, and delights in counting down to the first of December, when the tree goes up without fail, and in opening Advent calendars too! I'm not sure how the "Blue Christmas" cycle was broken but somehow it was.

There's hope for us all:-)

cheerio, Anna in Edinburgh

2:36 PM EST  
Blogger stayce said...

I have to say, I love all the cheesy things about Christmas. It's also the only time during the year now when I get to see all my oldest friends together as well as my family. As for the draw, I have been dying to try one of Mr. Tauer's perfumes, so I hope this will be my chance this year!

2:37 PM EST  
Anonymous Lauren P said...

Christmas traditions end, but you can always make new ones while honoring the old.

2:41 PM EST  
Anonymous Lavanya said...

Thanks for sharing your bittersweet memories, Tom..I loved Christmas as a kid too- we'd hang stockings and sing christmas carols...The festival seemed to transcend religious beliefs and was great fun at school too. like you, I enjoy it less now- except when I am able to go to India for Christmas..

2:44 PM EST  
Blogger charlie said...

christmas does make a bittersweet imprint and you are right.. it is what you make of it.. happy holidays

2:52 PM EST  
Blogger Eva S said...

I'm fond of christmas, mostly because I spend time with my family, I only get to meet them in person a couple of times a year. Every other year I work at the hospital during christmas, that is also kind of nice actually, everybody is usually in a good mood and we eat a lot of christmas candy!

2:56 PM EST  

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