Saturday, December 21, 2013
......with gritted teeth....
.....I took the high road....
I picked up the phone and invited my mother and her friend Fred for Christmas dinner after talking to my mother in law. It is the right thing to do despite my deep reservations.
Each year I am asked (ever since I can remember) what I want for Christmas and the answer has never changed 'nothing'. I was never asked why I chose to answer this way....I suppose in the beginning it was because I felt that I didn't deserve anything or knew my parents couldn't afford much but then it became a standard answer because I really didn't know what I wanted for myself. I knew what everyone else wanted. Perhaps I was afraid that Santa wouldn't get me what I wanted because he thought I was bad? So I accepted all the gifts that came my way and was grateful for whatever I got. Christmas was not my favorite holiday and probably because I couldn't make the connection as to why we were giving gifts on a day that was clearly not our birthday but in fact, someone else's.
I loved the atmosphere and the window dressings, but the crushing crowds and the obligatory gifts you had to pick up for everyone on your list and for anyone who might pop by through the holidays escaped me. What if you forgot someone? What if they knew you forgot them in your busy life? And then I had children.
The gifts chosen for them were always what they asked for, wrapped with love and tagged with their name. They would know that I loved them and that they were good and cherished like the child born millenniums ago and whose birth we celebrate today. Yes, Christmas has become commercialized and gaudy in some respects....but it is also a time near the end of a calendar year to reflect back on our year and of the people who made it special. I am blessed to have children, in-laws, siblings and yes, parents (difficult as it may have been growing up with them) and dear friends to celebrate our lives together again under one roof.
While I may have extended an invitation through gritted teeth, it was done with the spirit of the season and with a good heart. T'is the season to be gracious and hospitable to all. I wish each of you a wonderful Merry Christmas spent with those you love and grace towards those 'not so much' relatives amongst you. Christmas should bring out the best in families. Peace and goodwill to all.