The day after Thanksgiving starts the holiday season. For us, as I've said for years, it does not involve any religious celebrations or teachings. We are an atheist household and as such, we celebrate what we call SANTAMAS. If you look up SANTAMAS on the Urban Dictionary, it's defined as, "Santamas is the commercial version of Christmas, centering around Santa instead of Jesus. It's very similar to Christmas, except Santamas avoids religion like the plague.", but that isn't quite correct...
I do "avoid religion like the plague", but it's not the commercial version of Christmas. The Spanish word "mas" means "more"... so, More Santa! An older, Christian, male family member asked me a couple weeks ago, "Understanding that you are athiest and refuse to celebrate what the christian world deems as the birth of Christ. So instead of celebrating what you deem as a fictional character, you celebrate another fictional character (Santa)......Why?" I answered, "Not so much the character as what he stands for... to me, The idea of "Santa" is the symbol of giving, and we (my family) spend the season doing just that -- giving carefully chosen gifts, helping those in need, spending time together baking, etc. For the record, we do it at other times, too, but you specifically asked about this season." Not that it matters to me, but he seemed satisfied with that answer; it made sense to him.
All of that said, Santamas season has begun.
* Friday, we had our annual Day After Feast at my mom's. This year, though, was a little different as mom is currently on a vegan diet (heart issues), she has moved to a smaller condo, and there were less people (although my bonus daughter was able to join us this year!).
* Saturday, I had two morning clients (as usual), but (first time) Princess decided not to join the Littles and their parents for Santa photos. We actually have a different plan, but I'll expand on that at some other point. We did some home chores that afternoon, and settled in to watch the Civil War (big yearly battle between the Oregon Ducks and the Oregon State Beavers). Bonus son was supposed to join us, but his plan fell through.
* Sunday, we moved the furniture around a bit, put all the Thanksgiving stuff away, and got our Santamas decorations up. As much as I love the smell of a real tree and the adventure of picking one out & chopping it down myself, to have one in my home would incapacitate my poor husband (migraines). Plus, an artificial has no maintenance!
* Monday, I started on cards. I have a "method to the madness" (of course), so there are three piles - (1) stamped, sealed, & ready to go, (2) unstamped &/or unsealed (needs pic of Princess) &/or missing address, and (3) name but no address or stamp -- these get pics AND will also have a package going out with it (like for my nephew, my nieces, my parents, etc). I actually have a fourth pile this year, too -- A few "nail mail" packages for nail sisters.
* The rest of this week (besides working), I plan to finish cards & get them sent out, wrap any gifts I already have, and do more shopping (probably an afternoon with Princess after school), including gifts for the family we adopted this year.
* This weekend is a local holiday bazaar; Santa will be there so we're planning on doing pics there.
* Next week, we bake & deliver, and next weekend, we're planning on taking the dogs to see Santa, and we're having a Gift Wrapping Party!