NINE DAYS until Christmas?! It feels like just yesterday I was putting up the tree when in actuality, it’s been up for over three weeks. As I say at least once a month, time sure does fly when you’re having fun.
I read somewhere that the reason it feels like time passes so quickly is because when you’re five, for instance, a year is equivalent to twenty percent of your life whereas when you’re fifty, a year is equivalent to two percent. This seems to make sense. I also read – can you tell I’m doing research on this? – that it’s actually routine that makes time go faster because it prevents you from recognizing milestones and reveling in the little things, thus events blur together. This also makes sense.
Either way, what I wouldn’t give for the days of my youth when the time leading up to Christmas felt like it took FOREVER! As an adult, it feels like a mad rush to DO ALL THE THINGS! and make everything perfect so you can have a beautiful and wonderful Christmas.
Here’s a little secret: it ain’t gonna be perfect y’all! Inevitably, all the planning, all the pretty decorations, all the buying and wrapping and sending isn’t going to stave off the small and large disasters that await us all each holiday season. Maybe you can’t find the right gift for someone and end up succumbing to the lure of gift certificates, maybe that new dish you’ve decided to try ends up being awful, maybe the whole family ends up getting drunk and exchanging passive-aggressive barbs at each over the beautiful ham you’ve spent hours perfectly roasting.
It happens! It’s happened in the past and it will happen in the generations to come. The holidays are a strange dichotomy – they encourage love and warmth and happiness and coziness but at the same time, they set such high expectations that it’s inevitable some sort of disappointment may happen. Maybe not necessarily with your family or traditions but not one of us can claim that we have not experienced some sort of frustration and stabbiness throughout the season (I’m looking at you lady who cut in line and spends the next twenty minute finishing your shopping, adding stuff to your purchase and subtracting things because you haven’t calculated the amount beforehand – OH THE RAGE!)
My point is: remember, that this holiday season, we are all in the same boat and we are all trying to get to the same destination, regardless of what holiday we celebrate or whether we celebrate anything at all. We all want nice and peaceful gatherings with our family and we want to get there without feeling the need to punch someone in the throat. We want to share a delicious dinner and drink a lot of wine and rejoice in the reason for the season that doesn’t come wrapped in a pretty box, even though we like the pretty boxes too. And if you’re not celebrating anything or celebrating the way everyone else is, you at least want to go to the grocery store without having to be shoved aside and trampled by someone trying to get to the last ham or turkey.
It’s all about peace and goodwill on Earth, y’all! Stop the fights, stop the judgments, stop the guilt trips to family, just stop and thank whatever higher power you believe in that you’ve got another day to spend on this planet and hopefully you have people who love you and that you can love back.
And then eat a lot of food to absorb all of the booze you’ve already drank which helps subdue the glare from the millions of sparkly things you’ve added to your home and eventually submit to the long winter’s nap in front of a pile of discarded wrapping paper and The Christmas Story playing for the sixtieth time on TBS.
This is Christmas – in all it’s glory, in all it’s imperfections, in all it’s happiness and grace.
While this should be remembered the entire year, it is especially important this season: smile, say Hello and wish everyone Merry Christmas (or Happy Holidays if you’re one of those people who get up in arms about that) for no one seems to remember that a simple gesture like that can remind anyone that we are all in this together.
For an even grander gesture, join forces and hunt down the last hams together. It certainly is easier to trample the masses when you outnumber them two to one!