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the perfect antidote to the holiday b.s.

December 3, 2009

I’m a Scrooge, and I never thought I’d be one.

It’s been many Christmases coming, but last Christmas sealed it for me: I’m done with the merriment. Everyone — my kids included — is so greedy. Everyone — my husband included — spends too much money on gifts that don’t matter. The holiday has seemed to warp our sense of what makes people happy.

And I’m done with it.

I whined to Jill lat night about feeling defeated by everyone else’s idea of what Christmas should be like in my house. I told her I’ve just given up. I’ve done this before, and I get angry with myself every time: why don’t I muster the effort to show them a different way? Nope, I just let them do what they do with minimal moaning and groaning from me. (I related to her stories about how my mother would sometimes put a real damper on Christmas by moaning and groaning, and I didn’t want to be like that.)

So Christmas is one of my big failures — a missed opportunity to express my own sensibility and set my own example.

And I was ready to accept that again. Or so I thought. But three things have come together in the last 24 hours:

1) In a coffee shop yesterday, I overheard a young woman talking about how she’d made gifts out of poems by finding or making cute little boxes and folding up poems and placing them inside.

2) I watched this video on Dave Bonta’s Moving Poems site; I’m going to share it with my kids, and I’m going to let the spirit of it stick with me this season.

And 3) after complaining to Jill about my mother last night, I also remembered that she was the Queen of Meaningful Homemade Gifts. That’s how I need to hold her — not via the moaning and groaning she did.

So there you have it. The video poem was the perfect antidote to holiday bull shit. Something to frame my own intentions and wishes. And I say “intentions” instead of plans or expectations because God knows I don’t have time to go crazy and make something fabulous for everyone. Besides, making that sort of a goal would lead to pressure and that’s more of the same thing everyone else does this time of year.

I’m not the reformed Grinch who brings back all the crap he stole from Whoville, but I feel a little bit better about making it through the next three weeks. A little.

  1. December 3, 2009 1:47 pm

    There’s so much emphasis put on the commercial side of the holidays that it’s hard to remember the meaning of the season. I’m right there with you. If you can find something for yourself that helps puts things into perspective, then hold onto it. Sounds like you’re getting there. And if you don’t, that’s OK, too.

  2. December 3, 2009 6:52 pm

    You go, girl!

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