Whining for Christmas

Kelly Salasin, 2013, all rights reserved
Kelly Salasin, 2013, all rights reserved

“I can’t wait for Christmas!” my 15 year old says.  “How about you, Mom?”

I pause to consider this. “I can wait,” I say. “Christmas is as much about the preparations for me.”

Then I laugh at myself. If this is true, why do I agonize over the preparations, and take joy on Christmas Day?

Labor and birth come to mind, and pregnancy. Perhaps suffering the preparation, even if its treasured, isn’t so absurd.

How then might I be gentler with myself in this knowing? (And how about others, do they deserve less of my griping too?)

My mind flashes to a classic birth scene–a screaming woman, a tightly gripped hand, the accusation: “You did this to me!”

I wonder what Mary had to say to God.

I think about her son. Reluctant to help out at a large family gathering, even with the smallest of miracles, distracted by his own purpose, like my boys.

Two Decembers ago, I sat the family down and asked: “Are you consumers or collaborators?”

I even prepared a visual aid.

There’s been some “wine-making” as a result, but Christmas, like all holidays, is still a Mommy show, and this Mommy is 52, and her children are shaving; and her husband… well, let’s just say, she’s threatened to haunt him if she dies anytime soon, and he doesn’t continue the family rituals, like sitting down to dinner, and reading poetry and sharing holiday traditions.

Lately, I find comfort in this mantra, offered to women everywhere, by the Angel of Vulnerability, Brené Brown:

Choose discomfort over resentment.
Choose discomfort over resentment.

I’m not sure what this means exactly, or how it helps, but it has inspired me to pause and consider before each thought or expression or action.

Three more days ’til Christmas.
Why wait to be joyful?


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