The older you get the more Christmas stuff you accumulate. Many of you may recall the all the decorations I showed last year that now fill about every corner of our house, and take considerable time to install and remove.
Part of the reason it is so time consuming is the amount of time spent reliving the memories these treasures trigger. Perhaps more so than any other family activity, Christmas is a time for remembering and nostalgia.
Christmases past occupy a special place in our hearts, and there can often be a bittersweet comparison to this year's version. The holiday seasons we remember from our childhood can be especially fond recollections. Partly this is due to how our brains process memories, editing them each time we relive a past event.
Good times become even better, and difficult times are revised to ease any pain they might recall. The final product is an abiding sense of quiet loss, as the good times seem always to be behind us.
There is one sure cure for this melancholy, I would suggest. If you are able to have children involved in your Christmas season, you can gain a wider perspective. After all, they will doubtless recall this Christmas just as wistfully as we do Christmases of our childhood.
We can be part of constructing the memories that will feed their nostalgia decades from now. While it is difficult to picture contemporary events as being "the good old days" in the making, they actually are.
Being involved in that process has led me to realize that despite what my memory tries to tell me, in many ways, my best Christmas ever is most likely this one.