The imperfection is made perfect. My ego and the ugliness of the season infected me and I allowed myself to feel disappointed. I know my family and I shouldn’t be surprised. I’m always hopeful though. You see I remember my childhood Christmases and would like my babies have fond memories of theirs.
Two weeks ago I asked my daughter what we were going to have for Christmas dinner. She didn’t know. My daughter and her children along with her father are picky eaters. A week later I ask again and she still doesn’t know. My daughter has a demanding job and she has a limited tolerance for me so I left it alone. On Christmas Eve I ask once more, what is for dinner. Thinking she had made a decision by now. I know I’m cooking since she will be at work. Her response is, you and my father can figure it out in the morning. I ask her if she has a tree. She said the kids were going to use her neighbor’s tree since they helped decorate it. At that point I allowed myself to get caught up in the ugliness. I cry myself to sleep. As I stated I want my grandchildren to have lasting memories of their holidays like I do from my childhood.
I struggled when I was raising my kids. I worked anywhere from thirty-five to seventy-five hour weeks. I know what struggle is. I didn’t always have a tree in my home but we would spend the day at my mother’s. My mother and grandmother always made Christmas memorable for all of us. I’m the grandmother now and I feel it should be my job to insure the grand kids have memories of their childhood Christmases. So maybe my feeling stem from being on a fixed income and can’t cover when my kids are having difficulties. I didn’t become disabled by choice. I am still young enough to have employment income. So maybe I was feeling inadequate as mother and grandmother.
When I woke up around two a.m. to make an offering to the porcelain god. I felt a calm engulfed me and decided to use one of the creative suggestions from The Chew. They shared how to make snowflakes with a glue gun and glitter. So my early morning epiphany was that I will use the same principle and make a homemade glitter Christmas tree.
When I arrived at my daughter’s and gave my grandchildren their gifts and the scarves I knitted for them. The scarves are flawed yet the kids love. As they settled down to play on their tablets I sat at the table and worked on our tree. My granddaughter helped by making little bows since granddad and my fingers are too fat. We created a memory and that is the important thing. We are together, talking and laughing. I am happy and so are they.
Now dinner is another adventure. All the local supermarkets are closed. The neighbor whose tree they decorated is Googling and calling to find an open store. The nearest store was a mile away. So granddad and the boys made the hike. Dinner is going to be steak, candi yams, broccoli, carrots, cornbread, rice and peas. I am making a 7Up cake for dessert. There isn’t enough steak in the store so they pick up a roast. The guys return around three o’clock and by six o’clock we sit down to eat. Everyone enjoys dinner. I ask my youngest daughter to frosting the cake. The cake is not only delicious, it is also creatively decorated.
After dinner the kids have cake and the adults have libations. Our Christmas turns into a great day. The children are happy with their gifts. The adults are happy with their drinks and I am happy that everyone is happy.
Earlier in the month I succumbed depression as I often do during the season. When I crawled out of that pit of darkness I indulged in the treats of the season and watched the Christmas movies and specials. I realized we had our own Hallmark premiere.
In closing I realize I was guilty of the same thing that disgusted me during the days leading up to Christmas. Not having a tree and having a silent tantrum over what we were going to eat I was falling victim to the same materialistic behavior I condemned. My greatest joy is always spending time with my family. If we ended up having beans and franks for our dinner it would have been fine because there would be a hefty dish of love at our table and that is satisfying dish I never tire of.
Thanks for reading.