From bah humbug to merry: Sometimes this Baltimore mom needs to be reminded of a few of her favorite things
By Tanika Davis
Dec 11, 2019 | 5:00 AM
First draft of a Christmas letter (should I be so inclined to write one):
I am writing this end-of-year holiday letter just a few weeks before Christmas, hoping the act of discussing the big day will usher in the yuletide spirit that has been conspicuously absent in our house this season.
Despite the shopping days left before Christmas dwindling down, I still have pumpkins sitting on my front porch and a bat-adorned wreath on the door. I have yet to switch the satellite radio to the Christmas-tunes station. Most surprisingly, the children have not penciled in even one page of gift requests, much less their usual Manifesto of Must-Haves (that changes daily).
Yes, we are suffering from a case of the Christmas mehs around here. We just can’t conjure up the merry!
I know it’s only a matter of time before the holiday buzz kicks in and we’ll rush madly around pulling bins of wreaths, lights and bulbs from the garage, searching for the perfect tree, and adding to Jeff Bezos’ net worth many times over.
But for now, the Davis family has not yet fallen victim to the month of mass consumption.
For one thing, we traveled over the Thanksgiving holiday. Internationally. With the children! So, I’m frankly just happy to have figured out what time it actually is, and to have finally finished unpacking the suitcases full of our stuff. I honestly cannot think about accumulating yet more stuff.
(Also, we spent every dollar, pound and Euro we had — and some we didn’t — so even if I wanted to start on a shopping list, the only thing I could do is think about it.)
I suppose if I think about it, the spirit of Christmas is about much more than shopping and gifts. And it’s really those parts I love the most:
-The smell of pine in our living room when we come home, in the dark, exhausted from school and work.
-How a fire in the fireplace draws the children to play Uno or Monopoly together nearby — and the glow of the fire’s light on their faces.
-Donny Hathaway’s “This Christmas” played so many times we can hear it in our sleep.
-Holiday gatherings with friends and family.
-Writing letters to Santa. (Though I think we’re nearing the end of this gravy train, at least where the boys are concerned. They already know the real deal and are just waiting for us to confirm it. Thoughts on whether we should put an end to the mystery??)
The point is, as I sit and think about all the non-Amazon-Prime-related reasons to love this season, I’m starting to feel a tiny toastiness brewing in my belly, a wee urge to deck the halls, do a jingle bell rock and take the kids a-wassailing (whatever that means).
Tanika Davis is a former Baltimore Sun reporter who works in communications at Constellation. She and her husband have twin 9-year-old sons, a 7-year-old daughter, a perpetually messy house and rapidly appearing gray hairs. She also needs a nap. She can be reached at email@example.com. Her column appears monthly.