I don’t know about the rest of the world, but there are radio stations here in the United States that … at the stroke of midnight Thanksgiving day … begin playing non-stop Christmas music until midnight on Christmas night or New Years Eve. I would think this would be a resounding reminder to musicians & the entertainment industry as a whole not to release a new single in the month of December, but I digress. As one of those individuals who will put on a holiday related album in July I adore the music of the season and being unable to find a radio station without ‘Jingle Bells’ is not normally a huge nuisance for me. This year, however, things are different. Tis year the ‘Little Drummer Boy’ might as well be doing the “pa rum pum pum pum” on my skull along with the rest of the Christmas tunes as an ongoing reminder that I am NOT prepared for the morning of December 25th.
“I can understand people simply fleeing the mountainous effort Christmas has become... but there are always a few saving graces and finally they make up for all the bother and distress.” ~May Sarton
By now I have usually done a fair amount of the shopping necessary to appease my children on Christmas morning. At the time of this publication ... I have purchased nothing. Nothing! Obviously I won’t be up for nomination on any “Mother of the Year” award lists for 2007. It’s not that I have not wanted to shop for my children (although I do detest shopping), my excuse is much simpler: I don’t know what to get them! Well, maybe it isn’t that simple. There are other factors involved and I will now list them for you regardless of whether you care or not:
1) I am unsure about the perfect gifts this year. The boys have made lists, but those letters to the man at the North Pole are inevitably filled with the frivolous requests such as movies and video games. By now I have typically had a resounding epiphany about the greatest gift for each child that can not be found on a list. I am listening, but there have been no clanging cymbals … except that which I hear in the never-ending holiday music.
“Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts.” ~Janice Maeditere
2) This year I do not want to feel as though I am in competition with their father but somehow those feelings are creeping in. It is stupid. I confess. Yet, it is there.
“He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree” ~Roy L. Smith
3) I have a wee bit of a complex about the fact that I COMPLETELY outdid myself in 2006 and I just don’t think anything I do will “measure up” this year. Odd that it isn’t about money at all, but it is about meaning. Example: Last year one of the gifts given to Big K (my oldest child who is currently obsessed with the solar system) was a star. I went to the International Star Registry and named a star after him … “The Orb of Coinneach." Slam dunk! Two points! The gift brought tears to his eyes and more excitement that morning than the iPod “Santa” had so graciously dropped off.
“Christmas is for children. But it is for grown-ups too. Even if it is a headache, a chore, and nightmare, it is a period of necessary defrosting of chill and hide-bound hearts.” ~Lenora Mattingly Weber
Now what? Well, I still have to decide what to get them. I still have to go shopping. I still have to listen to all ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ as they remind me how pitifully prepared I am this year … like the “pa rum pum pum pum” on my cranium wasn’t causing me enough of a headache.
‘And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow,Stood puzzling and puzzling: "How could it be so?It came without ribbons! It came without tags!"It came without packages, boxes or bags!"And he puzzled three hours, `till his puzzler was sore.Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before!"Maybe Christmas," he thought," doesn't come from a store."Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!"’
~Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas