Monday, December 17, 2012

The Christmas Conundrum

This reminds me: Holiday baking! Gah....
In an email to friends recently I wrote that the older I get the harder it is for me to like this time of year....

It's not the snow; I like a change of seasons, thank you. It's the holiday commercialism. It's ads on television telling me to buy a car for everyone on my list. It's me second-guessing myself.

It's Time getting away from me and all of a sudden Christmas is here and I've got all of five minutes to get everything done. It's my kids having a million places they've got to be for the holiday and so I take Tumbledown off their list so that they're not run so ragged.

It's knowing my grandbugs will be spending almost an entire week opening gifts day after day from people who just want to see them smile. It's me wondering what that does to a kid after all....
Granted, when I was small I had a few places to be at holiday time, too. I was lucky enough to still have two sets of grandparents to visit on Christmas Eve. But I usually got a pair of handknit slippers or mittens from the one. (Did I appreciate them? Probably not, but I know I do now.) And I got something creatively bizarre from the other. (I still cherish the gecko pin with red rhinestones where its eyes should be.) The toys were strictly from Santa on Christmas morning. Unless I'm remembering it all incorrectly, it was never a non-stop, freaky, Gift Bacchanalia.

And now because I'm divorced, my ex has remarried, and my girls are grown up with in-laws of their own, my grandbugs have a whole litter of grandparents to visit. There are great grandparents, too, and great aunts and uncles. And godparents, of course. All of them with way more money than me. All of them vying to give my 'bugs The Perfect Gift.

And here's me with fifty bucks to my name, trying to figure out how I can compete and where I fit in. It's a safe bet that no one will give those sweetpeas something as dull as mittens.... 

Anyway, after I sent that email I realized that I've fallen apart like this every December since my first 'bug was born, and of course I've whined about it annually to the same group of people. Bless their hearts, the usual few email me back, saying things like:
"It is your mittens that will prevail in years gone by when the grandbugs reflect on their Christmases."
Once again their comments warm my heart and whump some sense into me. And make me tell myself that even if my mittens (or my drawings, or my stories, or my whatever) are looked at with confusion and tossed over the shoulder in favor of the electronic-device-du-jour, someday they'll be thought of fondly and maybe even inspire a future tradition of holiday giftmaking.

Who knows? One can always hope. 

And besides, as far as those electronic devices are concerned: that way madness lies. I think I'll stick with the simpler stuff.

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