so here i am, on my last real full day off from the job i hate and i finally finished making my Christmas cards. yes i said making. it’s silly and dorky and i’m aware of that. i don’t mind being the Queen of Dorkville today bc for the first time this year i was kinda in the whole holiday spirit. it’s weird tho. i only decided to make cards this year bc when i looked at my overstock of unused leftover commercial cards, i realized that i sent them out last year. damn it!! i’m too cheap (my mother prefers the term “frugal” bc cheap just sounds…. trashy, slutty…. i don’t know pick an adjective along those lines) anyway, where was i? oh yeah… i’m too cheap to buy a new box of cards. and yes that includes going to the Dollar Store and picking out some from there. but here’s the other thing about me…. i moved away from my pretty awesome place near the city so i could live cheaply in a larger place in the sticks. and it was all for the need of a room i could call an art studio. and when i say art i mean everything art. crafting, sewing, painting, wood-burning. it’s kinda ridiculous just how much i’ve spent in the last 10 years on art supplies and machines and such and it seems like i never use any of it. life in the last 5 years has been a bit of a shit storm and has really gotten in the way of my creativity. but for the love of all things awesome at Christmas time, today i decided to make my Christmas cards. 21 cards. almost half i used a spray adhesive and glitter which is now permanently stuck to one of my chairs…. ugh fuck. oh well. and i must say that i’m pretty proud of myself for having the foresight to listen to podcasts tonight instead of watching old episodes of the X-Files on Hulu. i was able to get more done bc i continuously worked and altho i like to think i do the same when i have tv on, the truth is i don’t. (which is why having my own business hasn’t taken off…..) anyway none of this is really why i’m writing. i made the cards and what i’ve realized is like writing a letter or even going out for coffee or having people over for dinner parties things i hold dear to me are becoming obsolete. no one writes a letter anymore. the only excitement i get at the mailbox is when my Netflix comes in. (yes Hulu and Netflix bc it’s still cheaper than trying to bundle cable into my already phone and internet bundle… living in the sticks makes my cell phone obsolete… hmm wonder if that’s kinda ironic?)
the whole notion of Christmas, in my family at least, was built on this whole tradition of celebrating the birth of the big JC, believing in Santa no matter how old you get and enjoying the family both close and extended. well most of that for my family went to shit over 10 years ago. my mom has upheld most of it but it still isn’t the same. the weirdest is the things like driving thru the town i grew up in and there’s no manger scene. there’s also no North Pole with the little hut that had a “Santa’s Workshop” sign attached to it. my youngest brother (there’s a whole lotta years between us) is having a “Holiday Spectacular Show”. WHAT THE FUCK IS A HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR SHOW? whatever happened to it just being a Christmas concert? and if you can’t sing anything related to Christmas then why even bother having a show? i don’t get it. i left the church a long time ago. and altho i don’t believe Jesus is my savior, i do believe that he existed. i believe that he had a beautiful msg for the world. i believe that people who need direction and feel lost should follow him. and i can respect those people who do. i’m not offended bc there’s a baby Jesus in a manger on the front lawn of the Town Hall. i’m more offended at the monstrosity of a fortress that that particular town calls a Police Station and the fact that they located it at 357 Main….. 357 magnum is more like it with those stupid sons of bitches but that’s another blog. and before everyone gets all Ferguson angry…. i have mucho respect for the PD, but that particular town…. well the PD is half the problem. i went to high school with some of those jack-asses so i can say it. anyway i digress…….
i guess the whole thing of it is is that so what if you don’t believe in Santa Claus, or Jesus Christ or the whole thing about Christmas since the start of this baby of a country. who cares if you don’t want to celebrate it but why fuck it up for the rest of us? something as simple as driving thru my old town and seeing the same old decorations that had been going up every year is comforting. the traditions of my family have fallen apart. new traditions were started and for the most part i do my best to not live in the past. but every once in a while the past sneaks up on us. when i see those decorations i get to escape, even if it’s just for a few minutes, to a time when we didn’t have all this technology and connectedness thru the internet. a time when you dealt with things in the here and now in person, not via social media. a time when Christmas was about family and traditions not about Black Friday sales and a day off from being over worked at a job. a time when sending a letter meant something and making a Christmas card was the most thoughtful thing anyone could do. it brings me back to a world i grew up in, something my youngest brother only hears about but will never experience and that saddens me. it’s saddens me how commercial Christmas has become and how politically correct everyone feels they have to be. Christmas warmed the heart and brought life to the soul. we didn’t leave our neighbor with no family to spend the day by themselves, we invited them to dinner. we baked cookies and gave to Toys for Tots and Giving Trees for those less fortunate. now tho, we buy whatever is hip to send as a msg of love and well wishes to our friends and family. we give to children bc it’s Christmas and they are entitled to gifts bc the retail stores say they are. we forget why the manger was put up in the first place. NOT to try to convert everyone to Catholicism but to remind everyone of a time of bringing peace not just to our neighbors but to our own souls. a time to celebrate family and friends. celebrate old traditions and starting new ones. a big reminder to remember the act of kindness and giving and helping those who are in need. but for me, seeing the baby Jesus lying in a manger and then across the way Santa’s Workshop at the North Pole reminded me of faith and hope and love; never letting that inner child grow up into a person like Scrooge. the simple act of believing in something good, whether it be a fat jolly man bringing presents to the masses no matter how much money they had, or a child who was born to grow up and teach salvation thru his own suffering and death. it’s the act of believing. having hope and faith in not just one another but of ourselves. that’s what all those politically incorrect decorations meant to me. and even as the years passed and they added Chanuka and Kwanza to the display, it never changed the feelings i got seeing them all lit up for the month of December. it reminded me that we all have our traditions no matter what the religion or where we come from and that Christmas, in this country should be a day to celebrate it. even if you don’t believe and don’t care, find one good thing in life and celebrate it. and instead of being offended by all the religious icons and the Santa myths, embrace it and enjoy it bc the way this country is going, we’ll be lucky if we even get Christmas Day off from work, never mind collecting a holiday pay.
so do something different this year. put the phone down and shut off the internet. make a loved one a card. invite that neighbor to dinner. volunteer at a shelter or soup kitchen. go and look at the lights and allow yourself to believe that we haven’t lost everything we hold dear to technology and commercial retail stores and entitlement without work or effort. believe. believe that we can take back and hold on to the spirit of Christmas, to find peace within ourselves and in doing so help bringing peace to others. so try it. what’s the worst that could happen? it’s Christmastime and i’m taking it back!! good luck! and Merry Christmas!