(But 1st, a quick note: Brittany Murphy died. I wasn't that thrilled w/ her as an actress, but did NEbody else out there notice the songs she sang in the movie HAPPY FEET? Her versions of Earth, Wind and Fire's "Boogie Wonderland" & Queen's "Somebody to Love" were AMAZING! Her "Boogie Wonderland" beat the original. She coulda hadda whole 'nother career. HAPPY FEET has a great soundtrack w/ a LOTta good stuff on it....)
So this is Christmas. And what have you done?
Saw an AWFUL LOT of angry, stressed-out, in-a-hurry people at work over the wknd. Xchanged words w/ sevral folks on Sat nite, the angriest & most-stressed-out I've Cn people in quite awhile. I can only assume the stress was caused by this Bing the last wknd 2 shop B4 Christmas. Lots of people out spending their $$$ -- & things were grim enuf B4 the holidays....
Tho there were as usual lotsa folks in pretty good moods, there sure were a lot more than normal who were awfully edgy. 1 guy walked in2 the store SHAKING, he was so angry. He was just SEETHING w/ it, & it had nothing 2 do w/ me or NEthing I did. I even told him he could take a break, catch his breath, there was no rush. & he said "Yeah, OK, all right...." & he kept shaking. Like he'd spent all day w/ a screaming wife & children....
I even started thinking at 1 point that it was ME. 1 guy called me a dumbass -- 1st time that's happened. Another guy & I Cmd 2 B speaking diffrent languages. I knew we hadda misunderstanding, but neither of us could find R way out of it, & the more I said the worse it got. Finally the guy gave up & said "Never mind, I'm sorry I came in...."
1 slightly-stressed woman said something kinda catty about the customer in front of her, & when I suggested delicately that it's the season 4 Peace On Earth, Goodwill Toward Men, Good Tidings To All, & Bing On Good Terms With All Persons ... she said "FUCK THAT!"
& then we both laffed. But still....
I know the holidays R stressful. I've had my share of bad holidays, & I've ruined them 4 a couple of people I know. But I Don't Get why we make them MORE stressful. Why do we go out shopping on Black Friday, or wait until the last possible minute 2 buy presents, knowing it'll just put R stress level thru the roof?
Why do we do this 2 Rselves?
Is it cos we've just GOTTA HAVE the newest cellphone, the newest computer game? Is it cos we know we just won't B able 2 look at Rselves in the mirror if we don't get the kids the Newest & Best we can afford? (Even if we can't really afford it?) How will they B able 2 face their friends w/o the newest, best, hottest?
Why R people in such a freakin hurry? What's the rush? & when did they get so RUDE? & can't they B NE NICER?
...When's the last time U felt the Christmas Spirit? & I'm not talking about religion here. I'm talking about the wonder & joy of the season, knowing in your heart that All Is Right W/ The World & Everything's Gonna B OK, the joy that comes from having yr loved 1's around U, warm & safe.
Does that kinda feeling still happen? 4 a LOT of people?
I think the last time it happened 4 me I was about 12 yrs old, in 1971. I remember a warm house w/ cookies baking in the oven & lotsa presents under the tree, & 18 inches of snow outside, and weather cold enuf that we could play fake-ice-hockey on the frozen surface of the creek down the hill from my house.
My parents always tried 2 make Christmas special 4 me & my sister, no matter how broke my Mom & Dad were -- & I know some yrs they were lucky 2 have 25 cents in the checking account. We 8 a lotta macaroni-&-cheese dinners. But we were lucky.
I think the best Xmas I've had as an adult was in 1991, after coming back 2 America following 2 tough years in Turkey around the time of the 1st Gulf War. Part of it was we were just glad 2 B Back Home, but it was great 2 B in my in-laws' house w/ my wife & 2 kids close by, watching my son dig thru a mountain of presents.
But I've had some bad 1's 2. I know I've ruined a coupla holidays 4 my girlfriend Mary. Sometimes I'm suprised she still speaks 2 me.
My worst Xmas ever was in 1999 -- when my X-wife told R kids she was moving out ... about an hr after all the presents were opened.
My son has never 4given her 4 it. He thinks I went nuts 4 about 3 mo's after that. He's probly right.
I know Christmas can B stressful. I remember Bing up til 2 am more than 1nce, trying 2 put-2gether something complicated 4 the kids 2 B suprised-by on Xmas morning, & having my Significant Other tell me (after an 18-hr day of working, shopping & wrapping) that if I kept fumbling around the kids would B AWAKE B4 I got finished....
But I know some Christmas traditions R irreplaceable. I know decorating a Christmas tree isn't about DECORATING THE TREE, it's about the feelings yr sposta have while doing it. It's not work, or at least it SHOULDN'T B, if it's done right, it shouldn't B stressful at all. It's Tradition. It's FAMILY. It's about having everybody close so every1 helps each other, & U can kid the Tall Girl about how Only She's Tall Enuf 2 put the star on the top of the tree -- that's why she's around.
As I write this, my son is driving a semi-truck across the country somewhere, my daughter is in college a 3-hr drive away from me, my girlfriend is about 10 miles down the road & I hope 2 C her soon. I have Old Friends in California & Idaho & Boston that I haven't Cn in yrs & I've bn thinking about lately. & I'll B working a long shift on Christmas Day.
I hope yr loved 1's R closer this Christmas than mine (tho I'm not complaining, my life is Good), & I hope U get a chance 2 feel summa that Christmas Spirit this yr ... even if U havta slow down a little 2 do it.
& if by some chance U DO feel it -- take a break 4 a 2nd. Breathe it in a little. NJOY it. Cos it may not come back....
And so this is Christmas. I hope you have fun....