Christmas is over.
And I'm officially sick of it. I have had a nice Christmas this year, as far as my stress level goes. Things are good with my family and I have much to be grateful for, and I am grateful. Very grateful.
However, I have noticed a lack of gratitude with my daughters this year. Part of it is that they are teenagers and part of it is that I think they have been overindulged this past year. This is the first year that they've done nothing, absolutely nothing, for anyone else. Well, there was that one night this week that they both babysat for me while I went to see a movie with a friend. I made it through the whole movie without one phone call or text. How nice. Found out today that the reason for that was because they were busily unwrapping and re-wrapping each and every present under the tree.
That explains the stench of disappointment that hung in the air when they finished opening their gifts this morning. Stinky.
Tomorrow, I think I'll drag the tree, ornaments and lights and all, down to the curb. I want it out of my house! I realize you can't left the selfishness of others spoil your Christmas, but it's not just that. I am sick of the commercialism and the pressure that Christmas brings. Isn't that the opposite of what it's supposed to be about? Or do we even truly remember what it's supposed to be about? I'm not sure I do, honestly. I get caught up in it just like everyone else does. But why in the hell should we focus on love and relationships and giving this one time of the year? Shouldn't it be this way all year long? Wouldn't it mean more if we did? No lights, no reason, just because? And let's face it, I know we who are Christians say it's about the birth of Christ but it isn't really, not anymore, if it ever was.
It's about a whole lot of expectations to make everything perfect which is completely unrealistic. And when it's not perfect, there's a tremendous letdown. Because life isn't perfect. It's messy, unpredictable and the beauty comes in everyday, mundane life. It comes in the things that surprise you, the moments that you don't plan for. It comes without boxes, ribbons or bows, thank you very much, Mr. Grinch.
Every year, I realize, I have this competition with myself to make this "the best Christmas ever!" and I always lose. Because my emphasis is on the wrong thing. The almighty dollar. Screw that. This year, my son is back with us, laughing, being the life of every room, because that's who he is. He makes us laugh. He's whole again.
And my daughters will eventually get over the disease known as teenagerism. They're good at heart, I just need to get them back to the basics.
And then there is Mr. Wapkaplet...sweetest boy on the planet. Loves unconditionally and easily, smiles constantly and hugs and kisses freely. He and Jess were the Christmas spirit this year, they kept me grounded amidst the commercial carnage.
Next year, I think I might skip Christmas. Or at least, do my best to experience an alternative Christmas. One that only gives in ways that have absolutely nothing to do with money. Especially for the sake of my girls, who seem to have lost their way a little bit this past year.
Please, dear reader, remind me of that next year when I start stressing about finances and Christmas lists. Let me rewrite that, christmas lists. I'm not even going to capitalize it anymore. Seriously.
So here's to the next holiday in line, New Year's! A drinking man, or woman's, holiday! A philosopher's holiday, a time for reflection and having fun.