Christmas thoughts

There’s only a week or so before Christmas and any of us are already in that panicked state that seems to define the month of December. We are beginning to anticipate the gatherings of friends and family, and dread them at the same time. We toggle between giddy happiness and glowering resentment. Old hurts and regrets that we hold at bay the rest of the year loom large now.

Maybe we should let go of childhood beliefs. There is no Santa Claus other than the generosity of our own hearts. WE carry Santa around with us.  Next time you pass a ringing bell for the Salvation Army, drop in a dollar (or whatever you have clinking in your pocket) say Merry Christmas and feel better. I’m not here as a spokesperson for any charity-the pont is to give. To everyone. Don’t keep a little notebook in your pocket to mark down what you got in return. I mean it. Just give. Give your smile, a kind word, hold the door. Help carry the garbage to the curb, make those last copies so your coworker can leave with everyone else, help your classmate edit a  paper so they can enjoy the holidays too.

Do you see ways to help but think, “oh yeah, if I start that he’ll expect me to do it every week and what is he going to do for me?” Stop it. Just stop.

Those of you who are lucky enough to have jobs that give you the holidays off, appreciate that. Now take a look around. Those people in the convenience store? They don’t get Christmas off and no, they don’t get extra pay either. Even if they did, they’re making $8 an hour…big deal. Those people who brought you that holiday special? That nice cold beer? They aren’t getting the holidays off. They’re working overtime. TIP them. Acknowledge that because YOU want to go out on the holidays these people are required to work. The guys who own the businesses are often at home with their families, but not the employees. Please, don’t take it out on them because you have to put up with your mother-in-law for 3 days. Be kind. It’s not that hard. Really.

You’ll feel noble and maybe the holidays won’t seem so dreadful anymore.

Happy Holidays!


2 responses to “Christmas thoughts

  1. Good words, Katie, and wise ones too….and compassionate! That’s the most of importance of all three.
    We have no family to celebrate Xmas with: My father is dead, my brothers under the malicious influence of a mother with a nasty personality disorder, and my husband’s parents, though loving and kind, are dead these 6 years. I miss these people who were not stinting with their love.

    We do have our son, off in the Navy, and my husband’s son, and miracle of miracles: they are here with us for the first time together. This is the first time since childhood…..5 decades ago, that we celebrate Xmas with family.

    We also will have a gay couple from across the street at our family dinner: something that would not happen with the fundamentalist “Christians’ in my birth family. I feel good that this is a step in the right direction: inclusive, living this ‘unconditional love’ that we are called upon for this season, if not for the rest of the year.

    Seeing the young Mormon (husband’s kid) in our house, at our table for the first time, and seeing his inclusive attitude towards our gay guests, helps dissolve the taste of the narrow and chiding morality of these other ‘Christians’. in our ‘family’.

    We have reconstituted our family with more open and loving elements. That is the Miracle of Christmas for me….

    Merry Christmas, dear heart, dear Katie.


  2. katiewritesagain

    A therapist told me once (when I was in my thirties) that our true family was our family of choice. THAT family is the one that will love you unconditionally, support your dreams, be there when the night is darkest. Some of those poeple will be birth relatives, some will be people you have developed a bond with over time. The point isn’t that you share DNA-but that you share love.

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