By Emily Lundy
Last week I read an “expert’s” analysis of Christmas, especially on the one doing the most to make Christmas happen for the household or for some other group. “Do you find the Christmas holidays blessed with peace, good will, fulfillment or do the days preceding keep you frantic, redoing gift switching, waiting for the late arrival of a late gift, baking too much,decorating too often, trying to keep the house in order, working yourself into a frenzy of collapse?”
Living in a Texas home that has seen all kinds of people for a multitude of reasons, I believe I might be one of each style in Christmas preparation.
Usually on Christmas Eve or at a really meaningful program somewhere, I receive the first feeling with all problems melting away. Whatever will be will be all right.
The latter role has me in its grips the weeks before December 25. I must do more for those who have little chance of celebrating the outer auroa. Peace can come from love and nearness in a simple setting. A few gifts never hurt, no matter how humble.
Every year I’ve planned to shop earlier, cook starting December 1, decorate by Thanksgiving, send cards timely, collect myself at all times.
It’s just not going to happen. Interruptions, trips, auto availability, right ingredients, noise … all pull me into my old persona. My household and even me are held together by a glue gun and its ammunition. How did we live without this hot wax to stick quickly and efficiently.
My glue gun on outdoor Christmas figures fights the wind and rain. It makes bags un-openable as I don’t wrap gifts but use gift sacks. Pictures on the wall that slide a tad with every train going by won’t if a touch of glue is hidden somewhere under the picture. I’ve thought about keeping a stubborn earring on a lobe with a touch of cooled glue, but I don’t want to take a chance on when that would be.
My annual Christmas letter has to include photos with the heads in pictures of similar size. I found a print shop that can reduce and enlarge people. I wish they wouldn’t hide when they see me coming. Then I have to write something that won’t anger anyone in the family. Grown children are too sensitive, and I wouldn’t know where anyone kin to me got that quality.
Good happens. There was the year, long ago, when I realized it was better to give than receive. What a blessing. Then came the day of epiphany when I realized gifts coming my way didn’t matter at all. Christmas was wonderful realizing precious memories, hilarious occurrences past and present, surprise appearances. Usually, someone has to say, “Mama, you haven’t opened any of your gifts.” I don’t reply, but my gifts are whoever is in the room, anyone who has ever kissed me bye or hugged me tightly or asked if I need any help or simply was born years ago.
Christmas is a wonderful day with speedy days leading to it. Suddenly, others are much more important than self, and I want to give, give, give, and listen to timeless carols all day. I’m happy thinking of what really counts from the birth of a babe so long ago, and how one day in winter jolts us into the reality of it in the form of giving and loving all we can. Every month needs a Christmas; soon it could be the day it was meant to be without Black Fridays, the lights, maybe just a humble tree with letters addressed to family members under it and simple conversation. Peace could rule and be justified more often. We would be nicer folks.
Merry Christmas. And I have just one last gift to buy for someone I overlooked.