Ok, we've ate most of the Halloween candy, the rotting pumpkin is tossed in the compost pile or garbage can and we've elected another president. What's next? Come on, you KNOW...
50 more days until Christmas!
Let the hoo ha begin! The shopping, the expectations, the thrill of gift preparation and the agony of defeat!
I have always had this mental expectation that Christmas this year was going to be about the warmth of family gatherings. We'll gather around the Christmas tree, warm in our red and green sweaters with the glow of the firelight behind us. Soft seasonal tunes playing as background music our tummies full from home baked goodies, we'll reminisce about days gone by and how wonderfully funny they were. Maybe we'll be glancing at the photo album. Everyone will be tired at nights end and retreat back to their homes with warm thoughts of love for all of the family members and yet another wonderful year behind us. Cozy, Merry, a Christmas video in the making.
Isn't that how your holidays go? Or not?
I remember staying up late, cursing the folded paper directions on how to assemble the Castle Grayskull and the Barbie mini van. It was late, I was tired and the children were nestled, all snug in their beds - with visions of sugar plumbs...no wait, I can't bear to rip off that holiday poem, that seems sacrilege.
Listen folks, it's just not happening the way I'd always dreamed it to be. My kids grown, my family "blended"...I still try to perfect the magic Christmas scene I've always wanted. If I could have it my way, we'd all be wearing matching tams on our heads while eating gingerbread men. We'd be the final scene from The Grinch Stole Christmas!
I shop til I drop to buy gifts that perfectly suit each individuals needs or wish list. I knock myself out cooking and preparing for the big feast. I try too hard, I know...but I just want everyone to have the holiday that they dream of. I just don't think anyone enjoys it that much. Or my expectations are too high - the more likely matter. I just wish for the picture perfect Christmas celebration of love and family. Instead my mom will buck coming over, as there are "too many people," and she feels she is "in the way", she doesn't like most of the gifts anyone buys for her, unless they are specifically ordered by her. No surprises there. I wish it were so different, I wish she would come and enjoy the family.
I think all the kids at the Brady Family Christmas, like the gluttony of gifts I shop for, wrap up and shove in their faces, so excited I am...but it's hard to tell. Sometimes, I think they'd prefer gift cards or cold hard cash. I just can't seem to do it, I like the shopping and the surprises. There is no gushing of sentiment - it all seems so very lack luster. So while I sit here and type, I think of my extended family, whose company I would enjoy, my eldest brother, Joe who lives in Portland, Oregon. (Hi Joe, wave wave) - hell, I haven't spent a Christmas with Joe since 1981. We don't even celebrate the holiday on the HOLIDAY - we celebrate it close to the holiday, so that all can attend, and not have to dash off and attend another family celebration.
My point? I have 50 days to lower my expectations, not to gear up for my own "needs" of crippled family emotions spewing forth (that may never happen). To purchase gifts that I know will be appreciated, and to simply enjoy what is...whatever that may be. Think I can do that? Stay tuned.
I do love the holidays. I don't want to make it sound like I don't. Like it's a bother, because it's not. I guess it's my own feelings of wanting everyone and everything to be perfect and enjoyable and it seems lacking in some way so I feel like a failure.
I won't let it happen this year. This year, I'll enjoy the moment - whatever it brings. 50 days from now? Yikes!