Monday, 15 December 2014
Ahhhh Christmas, it cometh. Like a raging fire or a swarm of locust, the magic of Christmas can not be stopped.
If you have been reading this blog for more than a year, you will know that I have issues with Christmas. Well, I don't have issues with the obese, fur clad man breaking into my home to give the spawn flashy, mind numbing gifts. I certainly don't have issues with a beautiful baby being born under a bright star to an unmarried lady. I think all of that is magical. I even get teary eyed at the Nativity Play and Christmas movies (except Christmas with the Kranks, that movie is shit).
I love Christmas.
I just hate the way we handle Christmas.
I hate the exhaustion in a Mother's eyes when she is standing weary-eyed at the Walmart checkout line because she knows that she has fifteen more stops to make. She also just realized that this Walmart doesn't have the one gift that she needed and that means she has to make a trip to Toys R Us today and she really, really didn't want to go to Toys R Us today because she is so tired she could
literally fall asleep against the gossip magazines right here in the Walmart line and risk having a Real Housewife face imprinted on her cheek.
I hate that she is also dreading the bills that will show up in January and how she's going to stretch the grocery budget next month because hockey money is due and God knows that will be a mortgage payment. I hate the weary facebook posts about baking until 3 in the morning and the writer wearing this foolishness like a badge of honor. I hate the bitching and moaning about who is coming to basically live with you for six weeks over the holidays.
My problem with Christmas is that too many moms do parts of it because they feel like they should do it.
And I hate the word 'should'. Don't 'should' all over yourself. Don't 'should' all over anyone else.
Don't 'should' all over your Christmas.
Here's a crazy thought.....
What if, what if, you didn't do something for Christmas unless you wanted to? What if, you made enjoying Christmas a priority? Think about it. Put down the elf on the shelf and the piping bag and think really hard about that.What don't you enjoy during Christmas? Then, then, after you decide what you don't enjoy, then decide not to do that this year.
Hate making a turkey? Fine, make a ham, buy a cooked turkey, ask your aunt or cousin or mailman to bring a turkey. Instead of being up unitl 3am making Santa themed cake pops from a pintrest recipe, stop at the grocery store and buy them. Hate wrapping the teachers gifts? Have children? Done. Dreading the family Christmas picture? Then don't do it! Or have a friend come to your house and take pictures of you and your family jumping on the trampoline or walking the dog.
Hate all the shopping? Do you have a spouse? Have you asked him to help? Let me clarify this one, I'm saying for you to be vulnerable and turn to him with sincerity in your eyes and say, 'I have too much on my plate and I need your help." This is NOT, "OMG YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW HARD BEING A MOM DURING THE HOLIDAYS IS! WHAT THE FUCK AM I SUPPOSED TO GET YOUR BOSS HEY? WHAT? FORGET IT! I WILL JUST DO IT, AND EVERYTHING ELSE BECAUSE I GUESS BEING THE DEFAULT PARENT MEANS THAT I'M IN CHARGE OF EVERYTHING!" Stop doing that to your partner in crime. Stop making him suffer for your shitty to do list decisions. He's not going to read your mind and offer to mail the cards. He can't read your mind and let's be honest, you don't want him to. If you ask for help. He will help. It is that simple. Get off your martyr cross, save that for Easter.
I know, I know it's hard to let go of the control of Christmas. We want things done our way. Christmas has become a presentation of status, social standing, wealth and mothering skills and that's bullshit.
Your worth as a mother and a wife is not decided on one day. Your value is not in the sugar cookies or the ipad under the tree or the matching napkin rings made by hand. You are more than your Christmas and if you have people in your life who judge you by your wrapping or turkey basting skills, get them the fuck out of your life. That includes that little voice that sits in your medulla oblongata that whispers evil things to you. The voice that tells you the turkey is dry or the gravy is cold or uncle john didn't really like his gift and the people down the street had better lights. Shut that little voice down.
I say this every year, it's a new tradition. Mary gave birth in a fucking barn. Think about that. Think about your birthing experience with the medical equipment and the staff and the operating theatre five feet away. Think about that and then think about giving birth to a baby who, even atheists will agree, is one of the most influential humans in the history of mankind, and you give birth to that child three feet from a pile of cow poo. After Mary did that, she wrapped that newborn in some spare cloth she found lying around and was still, literally, the happiest woman that has ever had a baby of all time.
There isn't a clearer message about the simplicity of Christmas. It's not where you are, what you are wearing or what you have bought. It's about who is in the room and how much you love them.
The measure of a mother is not in a perfectly set table or a homemade bow. You need to know that. Because everyone else around you already knows that. Your spouse would rather be sitting in a bare house with a picture of a tree taped to the wall than have you break down in tears while putting lights on a blue spruce. Ask him, go on, ask. I dare you.
Your children may say that they can't live without the newest toy. But they are lying, the can live without the toy. They don't want the toy though if it means that Mommy is in hysterics on Christmas morning because the wrapping is making a mess. They don't want it if you don't want to have brunch for fifty people twenty minutes after they get it. It's true. Don't ask them though because children are inherently selfish and will lie to you in the hopes of getting the present. Adorable little assholes.
You have to decide if you are worth it. And let me whisper something new in your ear, you are. You are worth letting some things go for your own sanity. Do the things that give you joy, that you look forward to each year. If that's making homemade cards, and you have time, do that. Enjoy it. But don't stay up frantic until four am because everyone expects a homemade card from you. Don't do it because you feel you should because that was never the intention of Christmas.
Pick one thing this year that you don't want to do and then just don't do it. The world will not end. Jesus was still born, the fat man will come and you, you, the maker of the magic, the owner of the secrets and the joy and the sweet sweet love from your children and partner, you, will actually enjoy Christmas. You will enjoy the time because you deserve to.
Merry Christmas to All
Posted by Laurie Lyons at 09:09