Christmas this year in the Mallett household is a little different than in past years. We have focused on giving gifts to the grandchildren within the family. A couple of reasons drove this decision. Certainly financial reasons come into play as my wife and I have three of our adult children and our youngest grandchild living with us this season. We have also made a particular decision to try to downsize our lives financially and bring a greater simplicity to our days here. The second driver for this is really simple on my part. Christmas with all its commercial trappings appeals less and less to me. The television starts before Halloween in some cases. The Christmas exploitation runs strong to the point of nausea. While I didn't this year, my inclinations are moving more toward pulling my pots and pans together and putting my modest culinary interests to work for those in greater need. I am not one to make New Year's resolutions but if I were that might be my focus for 2010.
Christmas is not grounded in scripture but in tradition and perhaps it is time to establish new traditions. Our children are grown now. The grandchildren are still sure to receive plenty from Papa and Nana but something is missing for me. There isn't a sense of contribution that settles my soul. I look out on my front lawn and I see a blowup tall toy soldier, lots of lights, strands wrapped around a Palm. We are baking in the kitchen today which is a joy for me. Three more of our grandchildren arrive tomorrow and we will enjoy a family get together. Yet … I want to do something different for next year and I think I'll enjoy the preparation.