For the longest time I was scrooged at Christmas time. I just could not get into the spirit. Do not get me wrong, I loved the faces of my children opening gifts. The smell of the yummy baked goodies. Wonderful food at every house we visited. Gifts waiting for each of us. Celebrating the birth of sweet Baby J. The sights, sounds, smells and more importantly the reason were not lost on me.
I think the slow decent into Scroggery happened over the years. No one thing in particular. There was no straw that broke the reindeer's back. It just kind of... became. I will say that the commercial influence has contributed. Christmas crap in stores before Halloween is over. Music blaring before the turkey has been carved. These things have hurt Christmas for me.
This year money is tight, as is usually the case in my house. Single mom. Two kids. One paycheck family. And a fackin partridge in a burning bush. Or something like that. It just never seems to add up. Especially during the holidays. This year both of my children have three...count them, THREE gifts from me/Santa. I was a bit bummed. Then I checked my mail and my other mother (mother of The Surgeon) sent three boxes. Filled with gifts of varying sizes and shapes all neatly wrapped in their Christmas joy. Those three boxes meant the world. As they do every year. And every year I forget they are coming until they get here. This is a new thing. You see, The Surgeon is Lil'K's Godmother. 'Tse Nan as she has been affectionately coined in our world. Most of my family is Cajun. MahRah is Godmother in the cajun language. And she is small. So 'Tse is added to that. Most GM's in our family are Nan, NanNan, MahRah, Nanny or 'Tse Nan. She is a surgeon, hence the nickname, and at this point has no children. She was beyond delighted that she was titled with Lil'K's Godmother. In our family, your Nan is very important. There is always a bond there between them and the child. So a couple of years ago we started heading up to the Big D (Dallas for those of you NOT from the greatest state in the nation) and spending time during Christmas with my 'other' family. The last two years we have not been able to make it, and Mother of The Surgeon has sent packages. I cannot begin to tell you how appreciated it is. This year it made all the difference.
The fact that my children are only getting three things was really not what bummed me, as they have enough. And we are all well aware that there are millions out there with much less. It is just that I cannot give my children everything that I want to. That is what bums me out. But I am still happy with this year. I am OK. This year, the first time in many years, The Scrooge did not hit me. I was actually happy to see the holiday season slide in. So happy in fact, that my tree went up way before it usually does. I have friends whose tree goes up the day after Thanksgiving. Any given year we are lucky if ours goes up a week before Christmas. This year, I was all kinds of on top of the tree business. I did notice though, that this will probably be the last year for this particular tree. It is leaning. And in general just old. All of our ornaments are either handmade throughout the school years by the kids, or wooden ornaments that the three of us have painted. I love my little ghetto Charlie Brown tree. It is very fitting. Next year we will have to upgrade I fear.
I have made a decision this year, even with the un-Scrooged heart and Christmas present miracle. Next year I believe we are going on a trip. I have great memories of Christmas as a child. But the center of those memories would be the togetherness of my family. Not the presents, tree or even the food. It was that we were all together. I just feel that maybe next year a trip might would serve us better. We rarely get out of the house, nonetheless the state. I think it would be a great change of pace. All together. For the holidays.
This holiday season will find us at over half a dozen houses. Logging more than 300 miles on my car. And tons of hand stamped cards. But it will be enjoyable. And happy. Full of family and loved ones. Great food. Badly sung Christmas songs. And most importantly, the Joy of being together.
I do hope you all have a wonderful holiday season. No matter how you celebrate, who or what you believe in and where you will be.