Christmas, is it The Most Wonderful Time of the Year?
Christmas is out there, only days away, lurking in the bright lights of a day promising Peace and Love to all Mankind. Preferably bearing gifts. I am struggling to connect the festive dots and for this I blame Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving has not been part of our tradition. We cook our turkey at Christmas time and, talking turkey, once in the year is more than enough for me to be handling this little beast let alone twice in the space of one month. This year, with the help of the fabulous straight talker Mary Risley, I have no need to fear the turkey. I will simply follow her advice and do as she tells me!
In my time here in the US I find that what I enjoy most about the holiday that is Thanksgiving is a very comfortable feeling of detachment. I am happy for the millions of Americans for whom it is an important day, and I love that you all get together for that one day of gratitude, bearing gifts of food and goodwill to share amongst friends and family. And you do it all without the mad shopping for . . . presents, those magic tokens of life-bestowing transformation. You might drive to your destination in a Lexus but there is no burden to wrap one in a ribbon as the ultimate gift. To tell you the truth, I wouldn’t recognise a Lexus from a Chevy from a Ford from a whatever. They all look the same to me.
There is no soundtrack for Thanksgiving. I can tolerate Andy Williams in small doses but this year he is everywhere with that eternal smile in his voice suggesting to us that it’s the most wonderful time of the year. To reinforce this message, Macy’s has used it as their platform in promoting it as the most wonderful sale of the year. I miss Dean Martin.
My lack of Thanksgiving heritage also means I am free and I travel light. No scars, no memories, no family issues, no burdens of anticipation as to how the day will pan out, no hopes to be dashed upon the rocks of family relations. Not feeling bad, sad or lonely!
Therefore, If I can feel this way about a particular day, how possible would it be to transfer these feelings to the smoking gun that is Christmas? A day for us as children that was loaded in the expectation of not upsetting your mother! A mother who all she ever wanted for Christmas was quality time with her family. No fuss, no bother, no tension! Ignorant little blighters that we were we always failed miserably. Oh where was Mary Risley when my mother most needed some straight advice?
I am the mother now and I am more than happy to put the turkey in the oven and food on the table for friends and family but I am not doing it on my own. Most of us rarely do. Help comes in so many ways, it is up to us to recognise it, accept it and be grateful. The day eventually passes, as indeed does every day.
I have moved enough times to know that you can’t take everything with you, go easy on the presents. The presence of family and friends however is the ultimate gift. Difficult to wrap and put under a tree but always there for you when you need them. As indeed are you for them.
Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Happy Holidays, and Solstice Celebrations whilst remembering that peace, goodwill and best wishes, along with family and friends are not just for Christmas but for every day of the year! Careful what you wish for!