The days can last forever, but the years fly by. This year was no exception.
As I sat musing on Christmas Eve, my mind gradually drifted from my immediate chaos to more reminiscent thoughts of life in general as another Christmas rolls around.
Part of that mental shift was out of self-defense. After coming face to face with my holiday procrastination, I found myself walking into WalMart on the famed night before Christmas, 2 hours before they closed, with not a single toy purchased for a single child, nor a morsel of food for the next day’s festivities (except for the suitcase of White Castles we procured on the way home from St. Louis). This is not the place nor the situation anyone wants to find themselves in at 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve.
My heart’s just not been in it. I have too many blessings in my life to count, and I know it; however, emotional exhaustion has left me pretty numb this holiday season, and I finally accepted this would have to be a low key year. Still, coming to grips with the fact that I was one of the 11th hour Walmart shoppers was a little pitiful. We trodded through the toy section, then through the DVDs, and finally made our way to the clothing section. I comforted myself with the knowledge that I didn’t have the same frantic look as the other shoppers; but apathy is nothing to be proud of either.
Miracle of miracles, by the time we’d actually selected some gifts for the grands, my gears were shifting into Christmas mode. I didn’t break into my favorite verse of O Holy Night, but I did smile when I came upon things that I knew each one of them would be excited to open. The evening was looking up.
On to the food. I didn’t realize jalapenos were such a popular Christmas item, but apparently there was a run on them earlier in the day. OK, scratch the bacon wrapped stuffed jalapenos and replace with bacon wrapped dates. Let’s face it, the only really important part is the bacon. Yet, dates are now suddenly $3.50 for a little tiny package? Seriously? I was less creative with a solution to the out-of-stock eggs. There’s no good replacement for deviled eggs. How does Walmart run out of eggs? It’s not Easter, it’s Christmas. There should always be eggs.
Fortunately, there was still vodka, so I don’t have to alter my plans for Christmas morning Bloody Marys. Whew!
Sometime between It’s A Wonderful Life and making sugar cookie icing, my mind moved on to life in general. I have more blessings than I can possibly keep track of, a gift I share with George Bailey himself. While I’ve not lost sight of all the wonderfulness in my life, my spirit is worn out, my ability to laugh seems to be a bit anemic, and my mantra of choosing happiness seems to ring empty even in my own head.
This, too, shall pass.
As I write this my heart goes out to 2 friends who lost their fathers this week, and 1 who lost a grandmother that was incredibly dear to him. A heartbreaking reminder that no Christmas, no Thanksgiving, no Birthday, no DAY should be taken for granted. There won’t always be a next Easter, a next Christmas, a “next time”.
So, I recommitted myself to a good Christmas. Only half the cookies were frosted, the tree wasn’t finished, the house could use a good cleaning, and there would be no deviled eggs. There aren’t many gifts under the tree. Yet, in this year that has flown by, I have learned many things, and all of those things will help me choose happiness tomorrow.
1. My family is healthy, and so am I.
2. I have true friends; the kind that will go to the wall for me.
3. My husband is the most incredible guy I’ve ever met, and he continues to stay married to a woman who doesn’t deserve him.
May you each find a reason to celebrate this Christmas, no matter your troubles. Choose happiness, choose kindness, choose forgiveness, and choose opportunity. Cast away fear, revenge, anger, doubt, and hopelessness.
And stock up on eggs.
Merry Christmas, my dears.