Looking Forward to Christmas Day

But not for the usual reasons.

Carol Burt
3 min readDec 22, 2021


Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash

I’m getting more cheerful as it gets closer to Christmas. That may seem strange because I pretty much hate Christmas. The reason I’m happy is it’s almost over for this year.

We do all our gift-giving and eating with our children and grandchildren on Christmas Eve so they can all go wherever they need to on Christmas day.

For me, that means I’ll be through by Friday night! No more shopping, cooking, wrapping, entertaining, etc. It means I’ll spend Saturday in my pajamas reading, writing or watching television between naps. Oh, and eating leftovers. I do like that part. And not wearing a bra. I like that, too.

My mother passed away in October, so as badly as I miss her, I won’t miss having to go to her house on Christmas day as we always did so she wouldn’t be alone for the day. Getting dressed and out after all the work I do to prepare and execute our Christmas Eve celebration was almost more than I could handle. I had to get dressed and even put on a bra on, for heavens’ sake.

After she had to stop doing Christmas at her house, mom would come to our house on Christmas Eve for presents and dinner with us until last year when she was too sick. I was always trying to carry off things as well as she did all those years when she had everyone at her house.

My mother was an amazing cook and amazingly organized, too, so when she started being our guest, I always felt like the pressure was on for the food to be just right and for me to be as proficient and unrattled as she had always been. She didn’t have expectations of me — I did.

Oh, what I’d give to have her back, though.

It’s not as if I don’t want to do for my family and try to make a merry Christmas for them. It’s just the stress, the pressure, and the overwhelming desire to make things good for all of them. It’s not as if I have the power to make them happy anymore. Now, when the kids and later, the grandchildren, were little, it was fun. It was possible to make them happy, deliriously happy, with a new toy. For a little while, at least. Now the ones who live in the US are 18, 18, 16, and 14. What Nana does is not their concern anymore. In fact, they’ll all be looking at their phones shortly…



Carol Burt

Former print journalist, former mayor, retired law enforcement officer. Writing about politics and government along with random personal essays.