Friday, December 08, 2006

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas...

Like so many, I am full of such mixed emotions at Christmas time. Since I have kids and a desire to always make Christmas special for them and David, my biggest and foremost emotion is anxiety. That is to say, I'm anxious to plan and work and make things great. It's not completely negative.

My second emotion is excitement. You see, David and I often plan to make big, exciting purchases at Christmas, and I get almost as excited about my KitchenAid Food Processor as Sophie gets about her play kitchen or DVDs. (This year, I'm craving a Palm Tx, which we'll be saving up Christmas funds for. It's a little expensive - as in $250-$300 expensive). Of course, this excitement is coupled with materialistic covetousness, which is then added to by extreme guilt over the covetous nature I suddenly have at the most precious and would-be spiritual time of the year. Of course, those emotions are now a three-some and no longer a couple (if you ignore anxiety and craving).

Okay, so the tally so far is:
Excitement (often considered a simile to anxiety)
Covetous materialism, or materialistic covetousness (I think these are both terms I just made up)

Okay, moving on. (By the way, thanks for your indulgence on my syntax and grammar.) So, the next emotion is melancholy. I have always been and always will be without someone very dear to me at the holidays. Aren't we all? When I was a child, my biggest wish at Christmas was presents. Now it's family. This is going to be a very special Christmas, because it will be the first Christmas in years since I've been able to be with my mother on Christmas Day. I'm so excited. Of course, I'll be away from my Dad and my sister and their respective families. In all families, and especially in families with divorce, being with one person or group means not being with someone else. Marriage and in-laws only compound the issue, no matter how wonderful they are and how much you love them.

I'm going to stop on the emotions, at least the negative. I could elaborate on jealousy, loneliness, frustration, stress, etc., but what a miserable Christmas we'd all have if I decided to go into one of my wordy (to state it lightly) discourses on the negative emotions connected with the holidays.

My positive emotions include hope, joy, mirth (is that an emotion, or is it more a state of being?) My greatest emotion right now is gratitude. I'm so grateful I get to be with my Mom at Christmas. I'm soooooooooooooo grateful that David is on vacation from school until January 2, and that he'll only have 6 more months of school from that point on. I'm grateful David is employed and supporting this family so well. I'm grateful that my kids are healthy and extremely gorgeous, and that I have the blessing and privilege of spending my days with two people that I love so intensely. (And then I get to see the love of my life at night). I'm grateful to be thinner this Christmas. Here's hoping I can stay thinner and lose even more after the holidays. That makes me grateful for my elliptical and American Idol, a powerful combination. :)

I'm grateful for Christmas music and decorations, even if we've yet to get all of our decorations up. I'm grateful that even though I'll be missing some people this Christmas, I'll still be able to be with family that I love very much (particularly my Mom, but also my lovely in-laws; and I really do love them all very much). Because of the circumstances, I'm especially grateful for phones, the USPS, and the internet.

I hope that my short and incomplete list not only helps some or all of you feel more grateful, but that it communicates how much you each mean to us. Life and family are about compromise, and we'll always have to compromise at the holidays. It's part of really enjoying the people we have, though (as in - not blaming them for not being someone else). But, all of you who will be far away are truly missed.

In that extremely sappy spirit, I'd like to dedicate a Christmas song to you. I'll be singing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" tonight at our church Christmas party (in a VERY deep and husky, still-recovering-from-a-cold voice). I purchased and printed the original (though not first draft) version sung by Judy Garland in "Meet Me in St. Louis." (Judy will be proud of my husk!) I forgot how melancholy the piece is. "In a year, our troubles will be out of sight." "Until then, we'll just have to muddle through somehow." I love the song, but to that I say, "Phooey!" I have no intention of muddling through anything.

So, I'd like to dedicate the more popular lyrics to you all (from the Frank Sinatra version), despite my purist nature. "Through the years, we all will be together if the fates allow. Hang a shining star upon the highest bow, and have yourself a merry little Christmas now." I'm just starting the get the last word of the song - now. Not yesterday or tomorrow, but now.

Love you all and Merry Christmas!