Family time during holidays brings cheer

The tree is not up, most of the gifts are not wrapped — or, for that matter, purchased — and the cards are not written.

The nuts and bolts and butter tarts are not made. There is no turkey in the freezer.

Sigh. Why do I leave Christmas to the last minute every year?

There must be some part of me that really does believe in Santa Claus. He has elves. Why can’t they do the shopping and the wrapping? Then the big jolly guy himself can do the deliveries.

This would save me hours of driving, standing in line at the tills, standing in line at the post office and standing in line at the grocery and liquor stores.

I would also appreciate it if a North Pole denizen would do the decorating. I love the scent of evergreen in the house, but I’m clueless about how to fasten the lights and baubles to the boughs and make it all look pretty. Décor has never been my strong suit.

All I want for Christmas is a Santa. Failing that, while I’m in fantasyland, perhaps I could a get a couple of 48-hour days.

Every year, I think to myself, why do we go through all of this? Why do we shop ourselves into exhaustion and cut our fingers on wrapping paper and cook until the wee hours of the morning and spend money on trees that die within days?

Shouldn’t this season be about something more meaningful?

And then, I remember that the best times spent with family are around a big table groaning with delicious food. You talk and laugh and share and eat until you can’t breathe anymore.

And then I remember that if I didn’t shop for presents and wrap them in brightly coloured paper, I couldn’t watch my beautiful, precious nephews open them — hopefully to crows of delight.

Yes, there should be more to the season than shopping and eating and presents and lights. I have, however, come to accept that some of these holiday trappings are displays of love, if not of reverence.

I just wish that everyone could enjoy them.

May your celebrations, whatever religion or traditions inform them, be filled with love and joy. May your new year bring peace and prosperity.

Happy and safe holidays.