it’s the most worst, wonderful possible time, of the year.
my husband and i talk fairly often about our role as contemporary parents, and how it involves a new dimension that is unlike the parenting our parents did, and certainly the parenting our grandparents did. we are among the first generations of parents whose primary task it is to raise children in opposition to the prevailing culture, whereas parenting for all of he rest of human history has been a process of integrating children, through rites of passage, into the prevailing culture. christmas, for me, is one of the most egregious examples of this–a supposedly spiritual holiday fully given over to advertisements, hucksterism, and grasping materialism. and yet one of my core beliefs, as a natural rebel, is that the prevailing culture does not have to dictate anything, if it’s not something i want. and so we have adopted two traditions in our family–a christmas eve dinner at our house where anyone in the family is welcome, where we cook good food all day, and sometimes many people show up and sometimes nobody but the four of us shows up, but regardless of who shows up, we get to cook a good meal for dinner. and on christmas morning we build a fire and eat awful pillsbury orange rolls and open presents and stockings while the dog begs for food and we all drink too much coffee. it is a strange little ritual, cornered into expressing itself in a nerdy and unusual way by a mainstream we can’t help but find dysfunctional. it works. it will do. i’m looking forward to it. that’s enough.
misfit christmas tree