The holidays are stressful and require copious amounts of liquid holiday cheer delivered by @Starbucks or @Franzia and I'm Here. For. It.
If you're a mom who can decorate November 1st and have a Hallmark-ready home while ringing in the holidays with all the cheer, I raise my glass, but I'm very aware that I am NOT that woman.
Christmas was happy when I was a kid. Like most, I was completely oblivious to everything my parents sacraficed to make those moments magical.
I don't have memories of fighting with my brother to take a decent family photo. I don't remember my mom's anxiety moving behind us to spread out the globs of tinsel we had just thrown onto branches in silvery clumps. And I have no recollection of wrestling my cousins into submission over the absolute stupidest things because we were all home for winter break and it was our jobs to drive our parents clinically insane.
My memories are of racing downstairs to the twinkling tree lights and gifts piled what seemed to my little kid perspective as floor to ceiling. I remember hours of laughing with extended family over card games and finger foods at my grandma's.
But friend, as a mama, this season is BALONEY!
I'd like to know the return policy on holiday cheer, please, because I am NOT satisfied.
After a fender bender on our way home from visiting family out of state for Thanksgiving costed us a hotel stay and nearly $1000 in car repairs, we are sitting in parked traffic on an interstate in NoWheresVille, WV and I'm just plain over it.
We won't get home in time to watch Christmas movies, jam to Mariah on repeat, or decorate our tree. There won't be time to hang stockings or put twinkle lights on the mantle.
I'll be going home with fussy kids who will go to bed late, need lunches packed from the randomness that is left in our fridge and pantry after cooking barrels of stuffing and mountains of desserts last week. I won't be able to unload my Black Friday finds and don't even ask me about when I'll wrap them because that'll be after midnight sometime likely the day before I need them.
This year I've had friends lose their babies way too early, battle infertility, lose parents, get divorces, and have health scares or failed businesses. I feel completely overwhelmed and over it. I cannot imagine how those I love feel shouldering such heavy burdens amidst the otherwise joyful and triumphant.
As an adult, the holidays seem more about mess than magic. Christmas feels more like doubling debt than decking the halls. It is endless chaos and schedule disruptions, school plays in the middle of the day, Christmas parades in freezing weather, and gift exchanges with people I barely know.
Will I give up on Christmas? Of course not. But this year I may have to deck my halls with boxed wine and endless coffee to make it through.
Cheers, dear friend! We're in this together.
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