** Update at bottom of entry... **
They said there'll be snow at Christmas
They said there'll be peace on earth
But instead it just kept on raining
For the last few weeks, I've been running around, working on crossing things off my lists, and getting things done, in addition to the normal items that needed to be tended to on an every day "not just during the holiday season" kind of way.
Life's been crazy around the Big Top... I don't just call our family "the Circus" to be clever. That's life, though, isn't it? Life is crazy. You can't plan some things, and you can't predict some things, and sometimes, when it rains, it pours.
Today, I got a call at work about some stuff that's going on with the family that raised me. It's "shtuff." There is nothing I can really do anything about, and the situation is a crappy one. As I hung up the phone, I was feeling pretty low. I looked at the paperwork on my desk, looked at my computer screen, then looked out the window at the rain and fog. I had to get out of the office, even if it was just for a few minutes.
I hopped into the flameless Mommyvan, cranked the Christmas music and drove over to the post office to check my p.o. box. There were some Christmas cards in there which made me smile in that little kids "oooh! Mail for ME!" kind of way. There was also a key. The key is for the bigger p.o. boxes/lockers, and it meant I had a package that was moved to a bigger box for me. Kinda like a mini-treasure hunt.
I took the little locker key in my hand, hunted for the right locker number and opened it. There was a lovely little cardboard box with "wrapping like" decoration all over it. I grinned from ear to ear. I *love* surprise presents!
I opened the present right then and there. There was chocolate! There was a card! There were a couple of really neat little gifts, and there was a picture. The picture made me laugh out loud. I'm pretty sure the people immediately around me at the post office thought I was a little nuts, (and rightly so) grinning like a loon and laughing at a picture, but I couldn't have cared any less about what they thought... *I* had chocolate covered pecans! They didn't! Nanny-nanny boo boo! The unexpected gifts, the silly picture and the card enclosed did wonders for my dreary mood.
I packed up my goodies, smiled at the other post office patrons, and climbed back into my flameless Mommyvan. Once again, I cranked the music and smiled to myself. We're not alone. We just have to look around sometimes to see those around us. They may be further away, but they're there.
Back at my desk at work, I opened the other Christmas cards and smiled and laughed at the newsletter one of my friends sent. It was clever! It was witty! I felt like I was right there talking with her about her adorable family. (Her family *IS* adorable, too! I can prove it! I have a picture!)
In that moment, I wanted to call all my friends and laugh with them. I wanted to find the perfect gift for each of them and send it *right that instant*. I wanted them all to smile and laugh and know that they're cared for and someone is thinking about them.
That's when I realized it... Christmas finally found me. NOW I had Christmas in my heart... and it was about damn time...
I wish you a hopeful Christmas
I wish you a brave new year
All anguish pain and sadness
Leave your heart and let your road be clear
Another thing that made me laugh my tuckus off:
Rules to live by this holiday season...
1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.
2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. Like fine single-malt scotch, it's rare. In fact, it's even rarer than single-malt scotch. You can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!
3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.
4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car, .......with an automatic transmission.
5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?
6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.
7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.
8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?
9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.
10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.