Christmas In My Heart

** 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.


eclectic said...

Oh CK -- you brought happy tears to my eyes reading this! I love me some chocolate pecans. We are all together, just at different places. That's what greatest about the holidays. My love to you and your little circus!!

sharkey said...

That's awesome! Surprise presents are the best.

I know what you mean about finding Christmas. I haven't been feeling the spirit this year either. But last night at choir rehearsal we were all standing at the back of the church, waiting to process to the front. A solo soprano voice sang the first few lines of Once in Royal David's City, and I got chills. I looked at JP and said, "It's Christmas!" Until that very moment it hadn't felt like it, but now it does.

Merry Christmas CK and family!

Susie said...

Glad you had this, in the midst of family shtuff. Shtuff happens, and we can't do much about it. Chocolate? Oh yea, we can do something about THAT :)
Merry Christmas, dear Kelli and circus.

Mr. Bloggerific Himself said...

Oh, silly CK. Christmas was with you all the time. All you had to do my dear was click your heals together, three times, and say, "There's no time like Christmas, there's no time like Christmas, there's no time like..."

wait, that's not right is it?

Ortizzle said...

Sorry to hear about the family probs, but so glad you got your Christmas groove back!

Have a great Christmas with the Circus!

Nilbo said...

Christmas DOES find us, if we leave a tiny trail of breadcrumbs. And sometimes, even if we don't. I'm glad you found your Christmas, and my wish for you is that it stays with you not just through the holiday season but all year long. I can't think of anyone who deserves it more.

Merry Christmas to you and your family, CK. May your year be filled with all the joy you bring to the world.

Circus Kelli said...

Eclectic - Yeah, well... if I made you cry, it's all your fault! :) Love to you and your whole family!

Merry Christmas to you and yours, Sharkey!

Susie - I've been doing my best to do something about chocolate for a couple of weeks now... Merry Christmas to you and your lovely family!

Circus Kelli said...

Mr. B - No, I think that's exactly right.

Ortizzle - You have a great Christmas, too!

Nilbo - For all your "slapass", you can be mighty sweet sometimes. Thank you. Merry Christmas to the Ling family as well.

platypus said...

I'm glad you found Christmas, honey, and I'm sorry there's sad/difficult family stuff going on.

Like Nils said, keep that feeling with you all year. You do deserve it. x

Lynn said...

This is a great story, CK. Thank you for sharing it!

Doug said...

And also, a certain Sister named Kelli put much Christmas in my heart and soul. Bless you Sis.

LadyBug said...

God bless you and your sweet family, CK. Merry Christmas!

Circus Kelli said...

Platypus - Thank you! I'll do my best.

Lynn - back at ya, darlin.

Doug - I'm so very very glad to hear that. Love you!

LadyBug - Merry Christmas back to you and your adorable family!

Doug said...

Guilty of all of the above and have the pop gut to prove it !
But, oh is that stuff ever good.
Once I could build the biggest mashed potato volcano in our family -- and go back for seconds too.

You have clear to easter to recuperate you know.

Lynn said...

Merry Christmas, Kelli!!

eclectic said...

Hey, the way I eat on Christmas was supposed to be our little secret, okay? ;)

Merry Christmas, Kelli-dear!!

Squirl said...

That was a wonderful post. I'm so glad that so many are helping you have a wonderful Christmas.

Thanks for those wonderful tips that you gave about eating on Christmas. I will have to take that to heart. :)

Merry Christmas to you and the whole Big Top!

Circus Kelli said...

Squirl - Right back you, love! I followed those rules like they were law... *burp*

Eclectic - I'm just telling my OWN secrets here... I'm not pointing any fingers! :)

Lynn - Merry Christmas to you, Lynn!

Doug - I LOVE mashed potato volcanoes! Save some for me!

Thank you all so very much for the holiday wishes... I truly appreciate them!

Vajana said...

Happy Holidays!!

Mr. Bloggerific Himself said...


Bone Machine said...

If Christmas can find us, I guess the IRS can likely do the same thing. Damn the luck.

Sing us out, Willie...

mrtl said...

Happy Holidays CK!

Bucky Four-Eyes said...

Merry/Happy to you and all the jugglers and acrobats of your Circus!

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