The Day Everyone Loses Their Sh*t

photo cred: JD Hancock

I know when the Christmas season is ready to climax. It’s a stench. It’s a mixture of alcohol, Christmas cookies and pungent cinnamon potpourri.

I was finishing up the holiday shopping yesterday as a sales clerk asked me if I was ready for Christmas, my eyes lit up and I smiled. I sure am! I felt a little like Buddy the Elf when I did it too. So over the top with my answer, the sales clerk really appreciated the lack of self loathing I brought with my answer.

What am I exactly getting ready for is the question? Answer: The inevitable holiday tension. Here are some popular reasons we all just love to lose our shit during the holidays:

The Food

If you have a traditional Christmas where the same people bring the same things every year, there shouldn’t be any hiccups in the Christmas catering system. Except for that one sibling, the one who just has to be a non conformist. They ruin everything. They are the type A’s worst nightmare. They are usually the ones to bring ice, really good bourbon, or cheese and crackers. How hard is it to bring the ice??? Surprisingly to someone who hates to follow expectations, it can be downright torture. Before you know it, there is no ice, the cook has left the house and the HAM IS BURNING!! Who wants to take shots? Find that bourbon.

The Schedule

Who’s gonna get the shaft for holiday family time this year? Is it your in-laws or your Grandma? Someone is gonna be disappointed. It’s like we need to cram in as many stops in one day just so we can prove we are still alive to our loved ones. ET phone home, the telephone still does wonders for keeping a connection to plenty of important people. I think we just need to relax a little bit and enjoy who is able to make it at the present time. If I can’t maintain composure in one day of visits without screaming that Christmas is cancelled, then I’m missing the whole point of spending time with loved ones.

The Gifts

Shopping. The lines and body odor smells. The screaming babies that should be in bed, but Mom’s still finishing up her shopping for the neighbor’s kids. Why?? Why all this pressure to buy buy buy?

Inadequate gift giving, it is a bitch. The build up to opening presents is so energetic and then the day comes and the presents are opened, the reactions are sub par. Disappointment. The leather gloves don’t fit, that sweater is waaaay to tight, our insecurities are revealed. How could you not pick the right size???? What kind of husband/sister/lover are you? This is bullshit.

Then there are the gifts that are too creative. When folks are so poor they paint pictures and have a DIY extravaganza. This is acceptable when everyone is poor, but when there is an imbalance of poor vs. not poor, someone’s eyes are gonna roll at the thought of a crafty Christmas gift. My son made me a paper ornament and I think it’s fantastic.

The Loneliness

I saved the best for last. This is a tough subject because the holidays remind us of what we have lost as the year has come to an end. Relationships have ended, loved ones have passed, someone forgot to send you a Christmas card. Everyone shoves in our faces the joys of family and abundance. It’s only natural to feel forgotten. But I won’t buy into that fear.

Someone wise told me, we are never alone. All you have to do is imagine the feeling of being loved and it’s the same as the real thing being right next to you. It is what I’m channeling this very day.

The Challenge

A profound sense of challenge arose in me this week. It’s like I know when an opportunity arises to spread cheer, something I happen to be good at when the chips are down.

Just when everyone expects you to lose sight of what’s important. To feel loss and sadness instead of fullness and joy. I won’t have it, I take it as a challenge to raise my spirits and look for the good in humanity. Even when you see disappointment, make a joke of it, try to point out the humor in the situation. It’s just a day and when the season ends, it’s back to living life.

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