Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Have A Holly Jolly Christmas

" The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live." -- George Carlin

That may be so, but not everyone is so easy to please at this time of year. Personally, me, a Christmas Birthday baby, I am on cloud nine from the week before Thanksgiving clear through to New Year's Day. And my elation grows with each passing day. There are decorations to unpack and ornaments to visit with like an old friend who has just come by. The cards have been addressed and stamped and promptly mailed the day after Thanksgiving. Unless you didn't get yours yet, in which case, I ran out of stamps, your card will be coming soon! There are the parties and gatherings and shopping and wrapping and hustling here and there. It's all just one giant great time. For me.
Then there are the teenagers who are long with lists (it has officially become I Want Mis for some!), and short with time and assistance. These same teenagers are the ones who, two days before the holiday I have been preparing seven months for, will announce he is having trouble finding employment so he may buy gifts for the same seven people he couldn't afford gifts for last year. And he will be shocked, again, that despite his meager efforts, there is not one single employment opportunity out there paying $300. for one day's relatively light labor for a completely unskilled teen. Oh, and do you mind if we eat at two instead of five, so he can then go eat at three other friends houses whose time frames can't be adjusted? Those would be the same three friends who have come in our kitchen on market day and chewed their way through $500. worth of groceries like locust through the plains of Oregon during harvest time.

There are the tweens who refuse to sit through those seasonal classics, such as "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Miracle on 34th Street", and yet those same 12 year olds think nothing of sitting through a seven hour "Suite Life Of Zach and Cody goes to the North Pole and Stays at a 5 Star Hotel" marathon, that is peppered with product placement and commercials every 3 minutes full of all that I just gotta have this ONE More thing! This will be the same kid who will not be seen on Christmas within ten minutes of opening up six months of shopped and wrapped presents, tossing any article of socks, underwear, or clothing over his head without so much as a glance at it as he rips into another box.
There's the twenty something, who, having been asked repeatedly, will hand me his Christmas list at 8:30 p.m. Christmas Eve, saying, "I thought I gave this to you."
There's the husband who insists that the shorter darkening days are cause for malignancies, even though I have tried to keep him immersed in the halogen lighting of the mall for twelve hour stints at a time.
There is the annual trek to the local fire department to purchase a tree that I will curse daily as I try to crawl beneath it's tree skirt to fill it's stand with water while sticking my elbows and knees full of sharp pine needles. Those needles not permanently embedded in my skin will spend weeks reaching the far corners of every room of our home, and I will still be vacuuming them up come next September.
There are those antique glass ornaments tenderly passed down from my mother's Christmas collection that came from her mother's collection. And as I carefully unwrap thrity year old newspaper from around these most prescious hand me downs- I inevitably shatter at least one in the unpacking alone. Another two are destined to crash and splinter in to a thousand slivers due to an errant wagging tail or two. Didn't my forefathers ever have small children or animals? Slowly but surely, those ornaments hung anywhere lower than the top quadrant of the tree were replaced by school made decorated cardboard toilet paper inserts, glitter adorned paper plates hole punched and looped with yarn and the classical rubber Sponge Bob and Friends dollar store ornaments.
All in all, it's a festive tree. And at my nagging insistence, it WILL be a festive family, gathering around a beautifully decorated holiday table, probably complaining that once again the gravy has gotten cold while waiting for the turkey to cool enough to slice. And when THAT happens, I will look at the tree,the twinkly lights, the gift wrap haphazardly discarded alongside ten dollar/two hour/easy to make Better Homes And Garden bows, and I will glance at my by now bickering, arguing, jabbing family, and I will take that freshly sliced turkey leg and look out! "Cause I am just gonna come up SWINGIN'!!!!

All in all, it will be a lovely holiday, if not a replica if years gone by. And I wouldn't change a thing. Not one bit. Besides, I'm pretty sure it is the only place in our state where you can find a Lennox china wooden soldier hanging next to Goofy. Adds character, says I.

ps-Special Thanks To Rosa---you know where you are here!

1 comment:

Christine said...

Great post! You have always had the uncanny ability to be cynical and wide eyed at the same time. It's one of the reasons I love you!
P.S. Got your Christmas card - thank you!