Happy friggin’ Holidays! Joyous Kwanzaa, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, etc. etc! I’ll say them all to cover everyone I can think of. The made up war on Christmas has not dampened my Christmas spirit. I have been super duper down in the dumps lately. If you want to know why, read Trying Out the Roller Coaster to get the gist. It’s intense, but it chronicles the ridiculous pattern that is my life on a daily basis. Not much goes my way these days but this holiday season? Oh, I’m taking back my holiday comfort and joy!
Did you read my Jolly Holiday blog last year? Oh if you didn’t, read that first: It’s a Jolly Holiday with Cari. It explains how holiday obsessed I am. I don’t look forward to the snowy, chilly, fight with your relatives drama that the holidays may bring; I’m searching for the magic in the air and the way it makes me feel closer to the people I love so much.
As of late, I’ve been trying to not be the biggest Debbie Downer and I’m failing. I see it with every negative comment I make to my husband as he tries to cheer me up. It’s time to snap the fuck out of it. I’m sick of hearing myself complain and what better way to get me to chill out and enjoy than the holiday season? It’s time to BAKE. It’s time to decorate and have people over. It’s time to buy people things that will make them smile. It’s time for me to say what I need and when this holiday, to really savor it. This year I’m going places where I will be happy, welcomed, and loved. This year I need a little Christmas like no other. I should have started last month like Lucille Ball! It’s never too late to start!
I don’t consider myself a people pleaser, but my holiday spirit is sometimes dampened when I go places where I feel I SHOULD go during the holidays. Does anyone else hear me? You know when Auntie Mary says you have to have just one glass of eggnog and four hours later she is still yammering on about her back surgery last summer. Cousin Esther says be on time for dinner or don’t come at all with her usual McBitch attitude, mumbling something about what an ungrateful little shit you are. Aunt Leslie’s new boyfriend Creepo McBallsac hits on you so she pulls a Teresa Guidice and flips a table. Spoiled little Bitchy O’Betty already has the toy car you bought her and proceeds to dry heave and cry until she vomits all over your Christmas outfit. The family dog pees on your present. I mean, emotions run high and shit can happen when everyone is together but as for me? I’m saying PEACE OUT. I will no longer be a slave to where I will be and when this year. I got nothing but love for people around this time of year but no time for bullshit and tears. I want to go places where people love me, are excited to see me, are happy to celebrate the holidays, and who want to have fun. If not that, then what for?
I cannot wait to bake more cookies and get ready for my annual cookie swap with some of my favorite people. We make a fancy Christmas Eve dinner and I’m adding a piecaken, the newest baking craze this season, and maybe some homemade pasta too! We get so excited to give gifts— I think I nailed it this year and I am almost done on the 2nd day of December. Oh yeah! I’m going to deck the halls of my home in red, gold and green until I don’t have another spot left. It’s not about where you are; it’s about who you are with and that is what really hits home this year. Goodbye weather change blues, adios bad luck, and sayonara Debbie Downer! Buzz off, bitch.
Thus begins a list of some of the things I love about the holidays, just like last year!
*Cooking and Baking. This is the one time of year I cook and bake without a worry in the world for calories and time. You make the time to create something sweet, savory and delicious. Those tastes given to family and friends are the best gifts made with pure love. The tradition of food makes it feel like the holidays when you know that special dish you love is on the menu. I always know pot roast is what we make Christmas Eve with brunch at my mom and stepdad’s the next morning. My friends at work know that rainbow cookies will show up in the office the week of Christmas and be gone before lunchtime. It brings you all closer to share a yummy meal or a delicious holiday infused cookie. There is no better cheer than that, no more love than that. If that’s wrong, then I don’t want to be right.
*Wreaths. There is nothing like a pretty or gaudy or huge or sparkly wreath hanging on someone’s door or house. I love the light up wreaths, ones with big bows and especially those that smell like pine. Add some ornaments and berries and I’m in heaven. I made myself a wreath this year with our initial in the middle. I wish I had a picture of it but it’s not done just yet. Needs more holly.
*Lights. Crazy Christmas lights sparkling, pumping to music, or simulating snow. Magical. It reminds me of what it would be like to see Magic Kingdom every night of my life. Sigh. I love driving around to see the houses that have gone all out.
*Snail mail! I never get mail. I don’t count bills and countless credit card offers. Snail mail aka Christmas cards are awesome. How cool is it to see how kids have grown from one year to the next? How nice is it to send warmest wishes to those near and far especially if you don’t see them often? It’s a thoughtful reach out to people you hold dear.
*Music. Music is my life. It truly means everything to me, overwhelming me with a beautiful cadenza or a meaningful chord. The lyrics and melodies of Christmas songs live and breath in me like no others can. I never remember lyrics to songs that I don’t rehearse but with Christmas tunes, I just always have the words. 106.7 radio station starts Christmas all the time from Thanksgiving until the big day and I love knowing I can listen to them anytime I like. A few years ago I fell in love with this song and always weep like a toddler when I hear it.
The holidays bring a special flavor to everyone’s life whether it be joy, distaste, relief, grace, or gratefulness. This year I’m grateful for what I have and hopeful that the calm of the seas is coming after a whole bunch of waves. I’m using this Christmas season to cheer me up. I’m smelling the yummy smells of pine and buttercream, listening to the sweet melodies of a Christmas carol, and choosing goodwill towards men and women. I choose comfort and joy, mine, my husband’s, your’s, and everyone’s. Be well, friends. Be good to yourself this holiday season and remember what it is all about: love.
And if you can’t, watch the cheesy Lifetime movie below that I adore. It always gets me in the spirit! Best of tidings to you all!