Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas. The good, the bad, the ugly

I made a list a while back (and I'm checking it twice!!) of things I blogged in my head. This was one of those topics, and while I've changed my mind and re-thought most of my ideas, I still have lots to say.
Christmas, the good. I love Christmas. Really, really love it. Last year, I finally put a number of ghosts to rest (I blogged about it here) and this year, I've managed to avoid the mood swings. I love the decorations. I wait all year to put up my tree. When I move into a new house, one of the first things I think about is "Where will I put my tree?" The music comes out, the candles get lit. Shopping for kids is more fun than I ever thought possible! I like the friends coming over, the quiet evenings, the food, the whole thing.
Christmas, the bad. Refer to the blog link above. There are always hidden thoughts, skeletons in the closet and past holidays to contend with.
I do NOT enjoy the forced charity. I don't mind giving to charity. I don't mind helping my fellow man. I do mind being asked every day for some cause or another. I don't like being made to feel bad when my pockets run empty and my mood of giving ends. As a teacher, I get asked by my own students, the random students I meet in the halls, and the parents of other kids to buy overpriced chocolate, ugly ornaments, stale popcorn, and tickets to events no sane person wants to see.
As a teacher, the last week before Christmas break is pure hell. Nobody wants to work. The principal says "No movies, please." I agree with him, and then discover that I am one of the very few teachers still teaching that week. The kids are dealing with their own Christmas issues, which for some include questions like "where am I going to get food once the councellor is gone home for break?"
Christmas, the ugly. Nasty shoppers. Drunk drivers. Tacky decorations. More tacky stuff. The inevitable fights between families, all wanting to spend the best moments with each other, but not willing to get through the worst moments.
For now, my terrors are small. They haven't yet figured out that Christmas is when they should demand toys, toys, and more toys. Hubby and I like to spend time together. Our families are far enough away that we don't have the option of fighting with them. As for the tacky decorations? Well, lets just say it's a good thing Martha Steward isn't invited to my place. It's all just the way I like it!


for what it's worth said...

You know, I have felt the way you do. In fact, I think in part I still do. I have had issues at Christmas that combined with the stress of the season almost took me to the brink.
And, on a selfish note, I have wished for things to happen or be given or be done and have been sadly disappointed. All the work for one lousy day. Harumph as Pooh says.
But, as I get through each year, I learn a little more and given our struggles the past few years, I have learned that family is what I want. I don't want things, I don't want to do things, I want to be with them. We play games, watch movies, snuggle by the fire, eat way too much and when we want we go visiting and when we don't, we stay home.
I think we all have our skeletons and ugly memories of years gone by, some more raw than others, but, if we focus on what we have now, today and try to enjoy that one day for what it is, then the skeletons have less of a voice than they used to.

Enjoy your holiday with your Terrors and your husband. Enjoy the break from school and most of all, enjoy yourself.

Anonymous said...

I have felt pretty disenchanted with Christmas for many years, and my decorations have been getting to be less and less. I gave a whole bunch of them away to my daughter before I moved. I too get sick of giving, giving, giving, for crap stuff. Then I saw the Oprah show last week. I'm not normally a fan, but it was about the $1000 she gave out to all the audience members last month and they reported back in with what they had done with the $1000, as the stipulation was that they had to give it away. I was blown away by the whole event...people turned their $1000 into much more, or stretched it farther than I could ever expect. Then I read a story where someone who watched the Oprah show decided to do a similar deal at their workplace...and they refer to it as Pay it Forward, just like the movie. My faith in humanity was once again restored...

Breathe will all be over before you know it. I am jealous of you in some ways...I no longer have small children to spend Christmas morning with, as mine has long grown up and now lives on her own. I hope the day finds you well, and sane! :-)

Mary P. said...

Just popped by to say Merry Christmas. I'm taking a few days off. Enjoy the time as is best for you!

Mary P. said...

Just popped by to say Merry Christmas. I'm taking a few days off. Enjoy the time as is best for you!

MotherPie said...

I don't like forced charity, either. I also don't like beggars who get in your face. NYC has a lot of those.

I love a white christmas, though. And making gingerbread men. And. and. and. all the rest of the wonderful parts.