I had a very BBW Christmas, complete with the obligatory, totally unnecessary family argument...
No need to share what that was all about, but it did put a damper on my holiday spirit, if such a thing ever really existed for me anyway. A long time ago I gave up on the notion of a perfect holiday, so along with that pipe dream I guess I gave up on some other stuff too (such as sanity).
But then this morning I did something that made up for EVERYTHING--the last minute shopping, the cooking, the gift-wrapping, travel, broken bottle of wine, etc. I got to watch my baby niece open her presents for the very first time. The joy of those few hours is beyond words. And it proves my theory that Christmas really is about children and pets. Nothing else generates as much good vibrations as a cute kid and/or pet pawing at wrapping paper and getting excited about empty cardboard boxes.
Anyway, my resignation to the fact that there is no perfect Christmas does not mean that I will give up my pursuit of that ideal. One of these years, I will get my shopping done and my cards will be in the mail before the first night of Kwanzaa. My house will be completely decorated and ready for visitors who will enjoy sips of home-made coquito while admiring my whimsically decorated tree. I will serve a fabulous dinner and every guest will be dressed for the occasion (meaning they will all be wearing real shoes and not bedroom slippers). We will be entertained by our favorite holiday fare and will end the evening with the singing of such holiday classics as "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" and will remember that there were six geese a-laying in "The Twelve Days of Christmas" and not seven. No one will need to return any gifts and no one will end the night wondering about the need to get together when getting drunk at home alone requires a lot less effort.
Unlikely. Nevertheless, I am blessed to have the type of made-for TV family drama that keeps the Hallmark channel on the air. Perfection is a worthy goal, but it is overrated. Chaos is far more interesting. Just as positive, feel-good news stories are bad for the ratings (CNN), a good old-fashioned family meltdown means that everyone is guaranteed to show up again next year to see who loses it first. Christmas is like rubber-necking on the interstate.
Perhaps I can settle for a near-perfect Christmas...I think I'll buy the baby niece a puppy next year.