holiday landmines…and other thoughts

Today was the day I had slated to address our Christmas Cards. It will have to wait until tomorrow. I hit a holiday landmine this afternoon.

I received a few Christmas cards, and ever the Christmas card addressing procrastinator, I thought I would open them. Well one was a note from a friend who lost their spouse. They said something along the lines is the problem with looking at photos is you can’t hold hands with it.

That just made me stop. So beautiful and yet so sad and heart-breaking and tragic a sentiment. It made me remember the breadth and depth of their love. And I know there are others out there in my friend group who is having the same emotional struggles right now.

So I thought to myself, tomorrow is another day and I will do the cards then.

It made me think of last week when I was getting out more of the Christmas ornaments. Every year I know these boxes containing some of my late father’s ornaments are in a certain ornament tub in the attic. Every year the boxes fall apart a little more, and the handwriting fades a little more. And every year, I am a puddle for a few minutes all over again when I see them. And I remember when the boxes were newer and sturdy. And the handwriting bold and definite.

Christmas is magical. And often bittersweet. And sometimes it can be sad within the beauty of the season. I know quite a few people this year who will be spending the holidays with one person down in their lives. Someone who completed their circle in some way.

We need to take a beat and pause during this time of year. These are the things that are actually important — those who remain and those who have left us. Christmas memories. Keeping old and good memories and making new ones while remembering those who are no longer here.

All of this occurred to me today as those twisted Stepford Wives in the local chapter of “Moms for Liberty” who released their book burning list I guess recently (or it surfaced again in time for Christmas?) The list includes The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, Outlander by Diana Galbadon, Forever by Judy Blume (which they were flipping out about when I was a kid), Beloved by Toni Morrison.

The funniest bad book was 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James which literally made me laugh because the kids are probably stealing it from their mother’s bedside table – and yes that book is total trash. And of course all of the books that are geared towards kids who may be LGBTQIA are always bad, and well let’s sprinkle the world with extra racism at Christmas to show how Christian they all are. But let’s not forget as soon as you tell a kid something is BAD, they want to know all about it.

All I can think is how can these people have such sad, narrow-minded lives? And then my mind goes back to people I know who are struggling this Christmas season. As my friend Tom said:

“The most moronic group name I’ve seen in a while. They don’t know what they want to believe and others to follow. Liberty defined is, “the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views.” So by asking authority to impose restrictions on freedoms is insane.”

I don’t know what it will take for people to wake up in our world and realize being different is what makes us unique. It makes us individuals. It makes us human. And these oddly empowered people who worship still at the altar of extremism in politics Just.Don’t.Get.It.

People in this country and in other countries have lost so much over the past couple of years, can’t they just take a beat, take a breath and remember what this season is supposed to be about? They are as bad as the Scrooge neighbors of Castlebar Lane in Willistown who were nothing short of miserable at the meeting the other night where the township announced the settlement agreement with Wildflower Farm.

I just don’t get people. I want to think some of these people may also find the holiday season difficult except they seem to be like this all of the time, right?

Christmas is in 10 days. Can we be kind and supportive of those who need it and stop all the extraneous B.S.? (And that includes the crazy rage-o-riffic impatient driving patterns everywhere.)

But oh yes! Before I forget: HUMOR. The Christmas star on this local tree has had too much Egg Nog, apparently:

That reminds me of the tree we had as a kid that my mother swore had spinal meningitis. It looked all perfect on the lot and we got it home and it leaned at such an angle that my father put it in a corner and kind of leaned it against the wall so people didn’t notice as much!

Personally, I miss my father and my great aunts and my brother in law and my maternal grandmother at Christmas. These are the people who loved Christmas even more than me I think. And they always made it fun…even if decorating a tree with my father could be maddening because he had a specific ORDER to adding ornaments to the tree. And I just realized now that I *think* I do the same thing. So that just made me smile.

Well that brings another rambling stream of consciousness to an end.

Try loving one and other for at least a short while? Life is short, it’s Christmas.

Bah humbug to all Christmas crabs and to all a good night.

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