Friday, December 24, 2010

On A "Normal" Christmas Eve

On A Normal Christmas Eve....
*Mothers would not be awakened by their 3 year old children, at the crack of dawn, demanding that they put on "Barney On Da Parm (Barney On The Farm)"
*Fathers would not be buying a Christmas present for their daughters at 7:05 am, in a crowd, at Best Buy (because they would have turned over a new leaf, by now, and had it done well in advance of today.)
*There would be a wholesome breakfast on the table, optimally including all food groups, but at least a protein, grain, and fruit. Twizzlers and Swedish Fish would not be on the menu.
*Brothers and Sisters would love each other and not fight all day long. 
*We would bother to tell the elderly employee at Chik-Fil-A, who appears to be wearing her late husband's watch, that we appreciate her for the rounds she has made through the restaurant, for five years, offering re-fills, mints, and warm smile.
*Nursing homes would not smell like urine...would not have forgotten mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, so eagerly awaiting anyone to keep them company, even for five minutes...They would not have employees who are grumpy and underpaid.  And the four people we visited today, including the woman who did not know we were there due to her Alzheimer's, and the man who didn't wake up when we entered his room and left him a gift, would feel a sense of purpose and peace, despite their grim surroundings.
*Nobody would need to run to the grocery store for last-minute items, so when the Sombar family had to, it would be a pleasant experience, one not involving demolition derby type of behaviors, with carts that resemble race-cars, and other Pennsylvania residents.
*A brother would definitely not be screaming at his sister, at the top of his lungs, in the organic foods aisle, that she is a "butt hole."
*There would not be at least a half dozen instances of folks passing gas, in front of you, in the store, then walking away, leaving you begging for an oxygen mask.
*Fathers would not curse and mothers would not lose their patience for the thirty-seventh time by 5 pm.
*It would not be a serve-yourself dinner of toast, water, and more twizzlers and swedish fish.
*Children would not leave their candy wrappers everywhere, after their mother has spent hours vacuuming and sweeping
*Youngsters, high on twizzlers and swedish fish, would not punch each other in the head, repeatedly, until everyone is crying, at bedtime.

Many times today, friends have phoned or texted, completely out of their minds or somewhat bewildered, that their Christmas Eve wasn't so magical and that life really sucked.  They were feeling insecure and ashamed that this year they just couldn't get it together.... 

Somehow or other, I feel that way every holiday, every year.  So tonight I have decided to try something new.  Tonight I have decided that this chaos that we create, with our hustle and bustle, or the realities that we face that leave footprints on our souls and sadness in our hearts, the quarreling and bickering over things soon forgotten- THIS IS NORMAL.  Every other scenario is a script out of Hollywood that we've been brainwashed to believe is how things "should be."  (Though, I suppose that there is a distinct possibility that if we let all the materialism and consumerism go, and moved into the woods, with no technology or other modern miracles, we might have that "Little House On The Prairie" ah-ha moment.  But even back then, Ma and Pa were probably trying to get some under the mistletoe when Pa had to grab his rifle and fend off a coyote and the kids were crying that the wood was running out and they were freezing to death....)

Ben, the non-conformist, who refused to wear the
 matching Christmas outfit..and who had to be
threatened within an inch of his life to have his picture
 taken in front of our tree.  These are the things
you don't know when you get other people's
nice family photo cards....
May you embrace your normal, tonight, whatever that may be.   May you give yourself the gift of letting go, tomorrow, when the kids have turned your home into a cyclone of wrapping paper, when your camcorder has stopped working, when nobody will smile on cue for your camera which keeps flashing "low battery", when your meals contain enough artificial food dyes and sugar to screw up everyone's brain chemistry for life, and when you lay on the couch, exhausted, and wonder, as your children become bored with their gifts or when their gifts far outweigh your own technology by centuries, if anyone even remembers the true meaning of Christmas.  Or for all of you who will face your first, or one more, Christmas morning alone- may you know that you are loved in your letting go of "normal."

And may we call create new traditions of accepting where we are, just as we are, on Christmas morning.

Now I've gotta go kiss Santa Claus before he drinks one too many beers and begins snoring while assembling a tractor.


About Me

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Forty-three year-old, mother and staunch advocate of four young children, passionate warrior of truth and self, finding the soul in each day, sharing my struggles and triumphs as I live them. Mostly I do this for me, so my thoughts don't race as much at night as they used to. But I also give this to those of you who need to know, in any or every way, that you are not alone.

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