Finally, the holidays are over! Ummm, yea. It has taken me all of this time to finally have all the holiday paraphernalia boxed up and put away in storage!
Speaking for myself, the holidays went by happily and smoothly. No drama, no fights, no uncomfortable dinner . . . well just “poquito.” I did not have issues this year with any immediate family, ex-girlfriends, ex-boyfriends or any ex-in laws, and let’s not forget business related exes! But I definitely can’t say the same for what I have observed with other people. Every year it is the same. Holidays seem to bring out the worst in people and relationships.
My mother always said, “How can we expect peace in this world if we can’t have peace in our own families?” I have to admit that there is much truth in her wise words. When I ask other people how the holidays went for them, they roll their eyes and say things like, “I wanted to kill my sister the entire time” or “My mother was very difficult!” or “One more day of holidays and I would have had to be placed in a mental hospital!” And, of course, I heard multiple times, “I am glad the holidays are over!”
It’s true that familial relationships are hard. Sometimes our friends are closer to us than our own siblings. We can find understanding, compassion and simple friendship in others before we find it in our families so it seems. The stories I hear about people’s in-laws are mild compared to the stories written by Stephen King! As human beings we are such unnecessarily complicated creatures! Most of the time we make our own situations worse than they need to be. We hold grudges from years and years ago and around Christmas times these grudges all take a bigger shape that looms over us and clouding up the festivities. They are hidden scars, deep inside our brains and hearts and they keep us from enjoying ourselves. They leave us emotionally exhausted and we wonder what the hell is happening!
The great irony is that ultimately we all want the same things: to enjoy ourselves, each other, to have and to be enough.
The Universe chose that I be raised in a country, city, school and family that was very Catholic. My Christmas memories are actually very joyful ones. I remember the big nativity that we would put up in our home. I would envision what it would have been like during the time that Christ was born. I remember the grandiose and moving Christmas Mass at Church. My school used to put up “Posadas” various nights in December. It was so festive!
But, it is not fair for me to compare those memories with what my eyes witness now as an adult. Adulthood changes everything. We become involved in the conflicts and the tensions. As a kid, you are oblivious to this. As adults, we have the pressure of being responsible for the presents, holiday dinners and decorations. We have to make a decision if we are going to do the Canyon Rd walk or not?Or just the lights on the Plaza or dinner first? Or dinner after? Should we go to midnight mass? No time? Where should we open presents? In the car in between one dinner and another?! It’s too cold out to walk. I don’t have the right shoes like you but I am hungry!!!!! ARGH!
Just for a minute let’s forget about all of the holiday issues. Close your eyes and remove the holiday parties. Remove the conflicts. Remove the pressure to buy gifts. Remove any decorative decision making…..….We are 11 months from the next Christmas. Dowe want to change any of these things? You know what?! I don’t think so! It wouldn’t be the Holidays if we didn’t have all that. It is what is! Just embrace and enjoy!
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