Our Beer Can Christmas
When my children were little, we used to travel every other year for the holiday vacation. This meant that every other year, we didn’t buy gifts, didn’t send Christmas cards and didn’t get caught up in the mind-numbing Hallmark version of what Christmas is supposed to look like.
I often wondered if my children ever suffered from our seeming lack of holiday spirit and if their reflections on Christmases past would have gaping holes in them, then my grown daughter reminded me of our beer can Christmas.
One year, we spent the whole holiday vacation in a small ski town north of our home. At the time, my daughter was on the ski team and they used the holiday break to get in as much practice as possible. Faced with the idea of driving back and forth up the icy mountain, we decided it was a better, and safer, use of our time and energy to simply stay in town near the mountain. We rented a house for two weeks and settled in for the holidays.
At some point, one of the kids asked about getting a tree. Since we weren’t in a hotel, this didn’t seem like too far-fetched of an idea. Once set up, there was only one issue- no decorations. No decorations, no worries. The kids set about making snowflakes out of paper and I found a bag of cotton balls in the bathroom that I convinced the kids would look like snow on the tree. They bought it and took their imaginations one step further. When I wasn’t looking, one of them put an empty Coors Light beer can on the top of the tree. Now, I am as far from being Honey Boo Boo’s mom as you can get and the sight of that beer can made me cringe. The fact is, the kids didn’t know what beer was at that stage of life. All they saw was that the can was silver. Like a star. So we went with it.
For years we laughed about our funny tree and the fun we had that year. We have spent many holiday’s out and about since then. Hawaii, Mexico and more. My kids are grown now and when we talk about the holidays, they mention the times we were out and about, had pizza for dinner and all they had were stockings for gifts. They can’t recall some of the presents they received over the years, but they remember the day we had Thanksgiving in a hotel room with packaged turkey meat and instant potatoes and their beer can Christmas.
It isn’t about the stuff. It isn’t about making your family’s experience like a Hallmark Lifetime movie. It’s about being together doing stuff uniquely fun to your family and making memories that you can giggle about when the kids are grown.
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Faydra Koenig, MA is a lover of iced tea, travel and snarky banter, Faydra is determined to shake people up about their mediocrity and stop living a half-life that is killing their spirit. Known in pop culture as America’s Crisis Coach™ Faydra shares stories of triumph and hope that make a lasting impact on people moving through their own crisis.