The Not So Happy Holidays…
I love the holidays.
Jerry Patterson hates them….
Each year as December approaches, the battle begins.
I strive for perfection in all things surrounding the holiday season. From the tree, to the menu, to the gifts, to the cookies. Even the wrapping paper has to be absolutely perfect.
The rest of the world continues with its rude and ugly behavior while gift shopping and is filled with road rage while on the way to the printer to pick up their holiday cards.
The checkout woman at the grocery store mumbles a weak, “Merry Christmas” and I think to myself, what the fuck is that about…
Look me in the eye!
Smile at me!
WISH me a Merry Christmas don’t just say it because you’re “supposed to”.
So by mid month, with Jerry reminding me just how fucked up this whole bullshit holiday season is and how over indulgent and self-centered everyone is about it, I start to resent it too.
I begin to take notice of the asshole that doesn’t let me walk across the parking lot in the rain while pushing a heavy cart full of groceries because he thinks he should go first while his fat ass sits in his warm, dry car.
I begin to notice the look of misery on the faces of the holiday shoppers.
The woman in front of me at a store in the mall rudely steps in and out of line while haphazardly picking up 4 or 5 more items from the “impulse shopping bin”. She does this while fighting with someone on the phone and bumping into the woman in front of her.
I grow acutely aware of how fucked up my parents were and I’m pissed off at my mom for being dead and at my dad for being a drug addict.
I cannot ignore the fact that NO ONE looks happy.
NO ONE seems to be enjoying this.
I begin to get cranky.
My holiday expectations are not met AGAIN and I want to blame someone for ruining Christmas…
And then I realize… I ruined it.
I over shopped, over cooked, over perfected and overlooked the idea that it is just another day here. Did I mention… I’m Jewish? Jerry Patterson is not. It’s his holiday. He hates it and I’m the one freaking out trying to make it great….
Now here’s the most fucked up part…
It IS great. Its always great. As soon as the last platter of food hits the table on Christmas Eve, the greatness begins. Our family is together, the stress dissipates, the laughter consumes us all, the meal is amazing and the world comes to a screeching halt while we settle in, embrace one another and let go of the stress of December.
Do we really need to create some of the most stressful weeks of our lives in order to appreciate a peaceful two days with our families? I mean no disrespect to those who hold Christmas close as a religious holiday but to the masses who don’t, I want to say… this shit is over-rated!
So on this day, December 31st I announce my resolve for moving into the next year of my life. I resolve to release some of my expectations (notice I said “some” and not all, this is a process…) I resolve to release some of this perfectness and embrace more of this peacefulness. Can someone remind me of this around the end of November 2014?
Ok, back to Christmas…
The gifts under the tree have changed drastically over the years and doll houses and polly pockets have been replaced by iphones and tattoo shop gift certificates.
This text message I received from Erica last night is all that I seek on Christmas or any other day for that matter…
“I just wanted to say thank you for my tattoo. Even though the pain is not fun at all, I really love having this on my body and it makes me feel more like myself. I also appreciate that you were so supportive of me picking my own artist for this piece and understanding that I want to collect tattoo art from many different artists. I love you so much and thank you for encouraging me to express myself.”
Christmas in this house should probably just be a Sunday dinner with a gift, a sparkly tree and the love and warmth of our family and friends.
Authored by: The Rock n’ Roll Doula