Well, it’s here. Christmas. Is:
1) Christmas that magical time of the year when nostalgia is only eclipsed by the $150 Plasma Screen TV that the box store tantalized you with so that you would stand in line for five hours to get it, only to discover that it is only usable with cable, and you have the other option?
2) Christmas is a time when your neighbors’ holiday lights now also have the Chipmunk Christmas songs playing 24-7 and that makes your dogs go crackers barking at them–such that you have to beg and bribe your doggies to come back into the house with bacon treats, real bologna, or rawhide, sometimes, all three? But yet, you didn’t decorate this year beyond a wall hanging and a berry wreath still up from last year–but you enjoy looking at lavish over the top Christmas decorations that someone else spent hours putting together (right). Ah, the joy of not unpacking and then not having to repack.
3) Christmas is a time when you turn up at Church–because you haven’t been for a while (a month or more) due to ____________ (fill in your rationalization), and at the last minute the Anglican priest presses you into service on Christmas Eve–literally, as in the worship service (pretty church, not mine, right)–to read a long lesson from Isaiah (Chapter 40, verses 1-11), a reading that isn’t even particularly Christmasy? But you soldier on. And your voice is strong and clear throughout your reading–and you only lose your voice afterward, during the singing. Snap! Hang on. Maybe god is a music critic. Ha!
4) Christmas is a time when you receive not one, but two calls from someone’s grandmother who misdialed, but then she is sweetly curious about who you are? Wish her a Merry Christmas and suggest that she check information. Then wait a few minutes more to see if she calls back a third time–so you can wish her Happy New Year! Ha!
5) And Christmas is the time of year when from scratch candy making goes into overdrive–four kinds so far (chocolate almond bark nuts, vanilla almond bark nuts, vanilla almond bark with crushed candy cane, pictured right, my pix; and toffee cookie bars, not pictured cause they’re just bar cookies with chocolate slathered on them, and their still setting up).
Can you guess which of the scenario(s) above happened to Grati? Well it wasn’t the plasma screen TV. Ha! We don’t watch tv shows unless it is Downton Abbey streaming on my laptop. Ha! Oooh! I will definitely be watching DA on Christmas Day. But everything else has happened so far this year–including those darn singing chipmunks. Ha!
One thing my hubby and I won’t be doing this Christmas is traveling to attend someone else’s idea of Christmas traditions–whether that includes turkey, lasagna, or ham. I’m making roast beef with Yorkshire pudding. It’s not really a pudding–think pan fried popover slathered in beef au us. Yum! And try as we might, we couldn’t find plum pudding this year–that’s not a pudding either. It’s a rummy cake that you make a brown sugar glaze to drizzle over. Double yum!
So after 24 years together as a married couple (shy 5 days), my hubby and I are staying home and nesting this year. Gone are the holidays where we attended both our families’ functions on the same day, 45miles apart–where we felt we were short shrifting whichever family we left to go to the other one, or whom we arrived at second. And the nieces and nephews are grown now and only want cash–so there is no real fun in watching them open their cards and they smile excitedly for three seconds, then they quickly move on to the next gift. Ha! Though their single minded gift wishes make shopping very easy–virtually non-existent. Snap! Ha!
But I have to say that the smell of the toffee bar cookies I made brought back loving memories of my late mother. Toffee bars were the only cookie that she made–cooking and baking were not her forte. But a more loving woman you could never meet. And she had a host of medical problems growing up that served to make her feel grateful for her improved health during her early married years when I was growing up. I think I take after her in that way. When health or other circumstances are better or improved, you cling to those moments and are grateful.
So as to my hubby and my Christmas wish list, it doesn’t contain things for ourselves–and we once again donated to charities rather than gave each other gifts. Because the greatest gift we give each other is our love and spending time with each other. Anything else pales in comparison.
But I do have a Christmas Wish List of sorts–for any deity, cultural icon (thanks to Sueli for the cute Santa Gandalf graphic she found on Twitter), or regular person who might want to help me tackle them:
1) The meek need to inherit the Earth–right now. And all of the recidivist exploiters, abusers, despots, haters, etc., need to be sent away to the same deserted facility with no lucrative book or film deals, no merchandising rights, no franking privileges and expense accounts, no pacs, and no excuses.
2) “Party like it’s 1999”–by that I mean, realize that we get one life and we shouldn’t waste it on fear, regret, doing what is expected of us rather than what we want to do, carrying other people’s burdens when they need to pick up that suitcase themselves or put it on wheel casters. We need to empower and not enable the people in our lives–and they should do the same for us. People only take advantage of us when we let them. So don’t let them.
3) And as the Something About Love Lady, I hope that we love more–whether it be with friends and coworkers, lovers, family, or someone we have never met. For those kinds of love, we hope to receive love in return. But a truly selfless love is giving without expectations, nor strings attached. If more of us took the medical training approach to love–see one, do one, teach one–then maybe the world would have a greater legacy of love and kindness. I’m not complaining for myself. But I have friends who are hurting and they are long overdue for kindness, love, and a life partner who cleans up after himself. Ha!
But in the close to his 2011 Holiday message, Richard Armitage said it better than I ever could: “Peace and goodwill (and I really mean that, be willingly good, extra good, extra peaceful and extra forgiving).”
Because as the good book says:
“1 Corinthians 13:4-7
New International Version (NIV)
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
Then again, I would be remiss if I didn’t say that were I to have a tree that the doggies wouldn’t come careening around the couch and knock over in their zeal, Richard Armitage as a talented and good natured fellow is one whom I definitely wouldn’t mind finding under my tree–for spending some mistletoe moments with him (my cap right, of an RA Dof S interview). But then, again, I’m happily married. Dang! Ha! So RA would get my cheek instead of my lips. Ha!
Merry Christmas Everyone! Holiday Cheers! Grati ;->
P.S. And here is a fun Christmas music video:
“My RA Christmas List (A Richard Armitage holiday fanvid)” by Fedoralady