Thursday, December 23, 2010

I'm a cotton-headed ninny muggins...

I stood in the shower last night letting an expensive amount of nearly scalding hot water wash over me as I worked to pinpoint what was missing this year.  I have been trying in vain to get into the Christmas spirit, and even though I have done a stellar job at closely following the directions from “How to Have a Merry Christmas for Dummies,” I am still completely lacking any semblance of seasonal cheer. There are twinkling lights inside and out, delightfully decorated tins of goodies to make your pants become two sizes too small, and a bounty of gifts under the tree that would cause Santa to look like a boozing slacker, yet here I sit full of "Bah, humbug".

I put on a good show. I know how to make others covet my (presumed) joy and feel consumed by guilt because they didn't take time out of their busy lives to decorate gingerbread men with the kids like I did.  I have been dutifully quoting "Elf" on a daily basis, buzzing around like Mrs. Claus jacked up on Red Bull with all of the shopping, wrapping, and even cooking up my late mother's recipes in an attempt to craft the Best. Christmas. Ever.

But, that's just it.  I have created a beautiful, fake holiday world, and I'm ashamed to admit that it's all smoke and mirrors, folks.  I began thinking back to my own childhood to see if I could catch lightning in a jar and perhaps release it into the present day.  What made me love Christmas so much as a child?  It wasn't a decorated house that rivaled Clark Griswold's.  We didn't even have lights on the outside of our house.  It wasn't a pirate's booty of gifts because my parents' lower middle class salary meant that we shouldn't expect to get everything we asked for, and honestly, I can barely remember most of my gifts any way.  What I do remember is watching my mom in the kitchen for hours baking for us the sweet treats we were allowed only once a year.  I remember sitting across the table from her cracking the assortment of nuts that were also a beloved holiday treat and noticing that my hands looked just like a smaller version of hers. I remember catching a glimpse of my stoic, hard-nosed father when he actually smiled and occasionally laughed at the chaos of us kids opening gifts.

And, it was then that I had my Grinch moment.  I realized that even though my house looks like the set of a sappy Hallmark original Christmas movie, it could all be stripped away down to the last can of Who Hash, and my kids would still love this holiday anyway, because they crave what every human craves: love (and Legos).   They want to spend time with me whether or not the lighted garland on the banister is perfect.  They want to sing, "Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg...", and laugh like it's the first time they have ever heard it, regardless of whether or not my vanilla wafer cake completely crumbles into a million pieces.  Sure, they want presents just like all kids do, but I'm willing to bet they think snuggling with me is pretty awesome, maybe even as awesome as a Zhu-Zhu Pet.

So, Christmas is finally here.  I am slowly getting the picture that maxing out your credit cards at Toys-R-Us doesn't equal love (unless you're Donald Trump's offspring), and even though I can't  beg/plead/bribe my family to spend the day with me, the three people with whom I share this home will be here.  They will hug me, squeal with delight at every treasure no matter the price, and tell me they love me because that is what Christmas is really all about...well, that, and watching twenty-four hours of "A Christmas Story."

Merry Christmas!


  1. Damn, girl. You hit that one out of the ballpark.


  2. Would you please vacate my skull?? Christmas is my least favorite time of year. Even though I know what it is all really about, I still wish it wouldn't come.

    Merry Christmas, and all that


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