Taming the hectic holidays


Let’s face it, the holidays can bring out the worst in us – beginning with Black Friday when otherwise normal people turn into stampeding lunatics.

leaning gree

It continues right up  until the big day when loved ones gather around the Christmas tree and exchange gifts.  At last, we can experience that warm fuzzy feeling that keeps us repeating the process year after year.

Never mind that the tree is leaning slightly and two strings of lights have burned out.  You probably ran out of wrapping paper and Scotch tape on Christmas eve, so some of the gifts are wrapped in newsprint held in place by band-aids.

You never had time to purchase stocking stuffers so the children look a tad disappointed when they dump out their loot and find an onion, a minty container of dental floss and a toothbrush the dentist gave you on your last visit.

Let’s face it, the Christmas rush can turn gentle loving people into brats! I know of which I speak because I witnessed my own bratty behavior this week brought on by a sugar overload no doubt. Everywhere you go you are met with cookies, candies, and eggnog, and your “inner brat” tells you to go ahead and eat everything you want – after all, it’s the holidays, and you deserve it.

This year my Christmas preparations have been a little more problematic than usual. I got a late start and had to drive all over town hunting for a string of red lights.  I was informed  that all the lights in town had been snapped up weeks ago – well, all except the huge supply of hot pink lights at Fred’s. There were plenty of them left.  Avant-garde as I pretend to be, hot pink doesn’t say Christmas to me.

After being told for the sixth time to get over it, there are no more red lights in the entire state of Mississippi, I burst out in hick-upping sobs, accompanied by some foot stomping.

I couldn’t help it.  In my warped mental state, I was convinced Christmas was ruined because of the lack of red Christmas lights. No doubt everything else would go downhill as well.

My mascara had run down both sides of my face giving me a sort ‘woman on the warpath” look. People went scurrying away, afraid of what I might do next. I cleared the store in about two minutes which certainly facilitated the remainder of my shopping.

Back in the car, I took a deep breath and was surprised to find a strange peace had replaced my devastation.  What a great cry – maybe the best ever. It was made even more effective because I had an audience.


That out of the way, I headed home to finish decorating (minus red lights) and begin cooking for Christmas dinner.  Peace and joy reigned again. Don’t you just love Christmas in all its messiness?

Here’s wishing each of you all the joys of the season …and if you feel a a tantrum coming on, I recommend that you go to your room.  Just remember, faith makes all things possible, hope makes all things work,
love makes all things beautiful, and may you have all the three for this Christmas. (I borrowed that from a Hallmark card.)

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