It amazes me that this time of the year causes so much stress and turmoil for so many. Instead of the holiday being a happy, peaceful time, people stress about buying Christmas gifts and fight with their family about where dinner is going to be held. Bank accounts are in the red with shoppers buying for everybody and their brother. A Christmas tree runs about $45 to $75 and unless you live in a rural area, you’re pretty much guaranteed it was cut in August and was dead before you bought it. I was lucky enough to have one such tree many years ago. Every time the front door closed or you stepped into the room, you could hear and see needles falling. The day after Christmas I took it down and there wasn’t a needle left on it. It was a full fledge fire hazard. It looked pretty pathetic laying in the front yard waiting for the DPW to come carry it away. I remember watching the guy that picked it up shake his head as he loaded it into the back of the truck.
I haven’t seen many folks smiling and humming carols. Instead, people are stomping around stores and racing to be first in line at the check out. In place of visions of sugar plums, it’s more like visions of running people over with a car or cart. I was at the doctors the other day and over-heard the receptionist say “I hate those damn bell ringers outside of Wal-mart! They’re so annoying! I wish they would play a different instrument.” I thought “Like what? The Flute? The Salvation Army Flute Players.”
A friend called the other day upset because her family is fighting about where and when their Christmas will be held. Another friend who, lost her job, is going through a divorce and has a child she cares for on her own, was told by her mother that “She better figure out how to get some Christmas presents for the family.” Crazy!
My advice to them and in general… email the fighting family members and let them know “Christmas will be at my home. All who can attend, great! Those who can’t… sorry to hear that. Hope to see you next year.” To the crazy mom… wrap up some of your old, hole riddled underwear and socks and put “To: Mom With Love: Your Daughter.” Make eye contact and smile when you see someone huffing madly towards you and say with gusto “Merry Christmas.” Let the racers ahead of you in line and cheerily wish them “Happy Holiday’s.” Thank the Salvation Army Bell ringer for volunteering their time to stand in the cold and ring that damn bell. Drop a few pennies in the bucket, even if they’re lint covered from your pocket.
Lastly, here’s hoping you’ve got a fresh-cut tree and a cupboard full of some type of alcohol.