I am positive that the epiphanies I had over the summer and the realizations I have had about life and my purpose here are all correct. Why?? Because this is the FIRST Christmas in YEARS that I haven’t felt really bad or depressed. I know some of you worry about me…I read your messages and your emails. I appreciate it, but this year I am filled with a sense that everything is as it is supposed to be. I feel content in many ways that I never have before. True, I wish that I was somewhere else right now…but I’ve also realized that part of my current lessons in life are about patience. It’s a hard lesson to learn. I have never been a patient person, partly due to the ADD brain of mine, I’m sure. Still, I can be better and this year I resolve that I will.
This is the first Christmas in many years I have not cried and thought about Christmas’ past. It’s the first year I haven’t gotten melancholy thinking about my parents or my childhood. This is a good sign to me that I have honestly, finally, moved beyond so much of the traumas that I kept a secret for so many years. I’ve stuck my neck out a lot this year. I have stood up to some people. I have made decisions to say things that I knew would be controversial and may be met with opposition. I’ve stood my ground, I’ve looked inside of myself to learn the answer to the age old question, “who am I?” and I think I have finally gotten answers for the first time.
As I sit here in a McDonald’s, being thankful I could eat something totally awful today, I am watching three little girls who are sitting in a booth. They are very good girls and I am sure that they are the children of one of the woman working here today. I imagine she is a single mom. Her girls are dressed nicely; very cute in fact. All three girls have their hair braided, they are wearing dresses and converse sneakers. They are beautiful girls, obviously mixed because they have the gorgeous golden colored skin that I have always thought was such a perfect color. They are playing with their new Christmas ‘toys.’ The oldest has a laptop (I am guessing she’s about 12), the middle child is about 9-10 and she has what looks like a Kindle Fire and the youngest child, who looks about 5, has one of the pads for kids, for reading and games. I am sure that their mom worked countless hours for these gifts and the girls seem well-deserving. I just wonder if they couldn’t have gotten these any other time of the year? Why the big push to have these sorts of gifts under a tree? What about the mom who is working on Christmas Day today, probably to pay for these gifts? What sacrifice is enough that these girls spend their day sitting in a booth at McDonald’s to be able to spend time with mom and the fact that no babysitter would stay with them while mom had to work? These things make me very sad.
I can see my RV, across the street in the Walmart parking lot. Th only other thing there is a Walmart truck, parked right in front of me. As I sit here, I am thankful to not be a part of the madness of Christmas this year. I’ve had a growing disdain for the holidays for a few years. This year it is safe to say that it has all come to a head. I’ve never seen so much chaos. The commercialism makes my stomach turn. This year I saw countless things to make me despise the holidays. I saw two fist fights in the Walmart parking lot. I have seen about 3 shoplifters arrested in stores. I’ve seen hundreds of children having meltdowns, being drug around well after 10 pm at night by parents who seem to not understand that quality time with your children is more important than making them suffer so you can buy them a present that lights up their face one morning, one day out of the year! I have heard no less than one dozen couples having arguments right in front of their kids. Most of which included profanity that my parents NEVER uttered in front of me…and believe me, my parents both swore like sailors. My father NEVER called my mother a bitch. My mother NEVER called my father a dick. NEITHER of them EVER said the F-word. I’ve heard all of that and more this year. I’ve also heard CHILDREN saying things that would have gotten me back-handed right then and there! Now, I’m not advocating that people should be smacking their kids across the face because I don’t think that is necessary. I will say that a swat on the butt wouldn’t hurt and that washing a mouth out with soap once in a while will shut that lil’ mouth too.
I look at society and I wonder where in the heck it all went wrong. When did we start caring more about things and less about people? I think my Christmas next year will be vastly different than the one this year. I have a good feeling that I won’t be quite so alone next year. I still will not spend one dime buying Christmas presents next year. (Sorry honey!) I’d rather shower you with little things all year long and then spend some quality time together baking, snuggling and watching old movies. Decorating a tree is a wonderful tradition, but I don’t fill it with packages underneath. I might make you a little something special and slip it under the tree, I might take you to see a movie on Christmas Day, but I am never going to do the holidays like this ever again!
I hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas day. I’d like to shout out to my friend Skye Isono, who got the real spirit this year and caught the meaning of Christmas. Skye spent her morning getting warm clothes out the homeless people on the streets of Houston. THAT is what Christmas is about. Please, let me remind you that the program called 26 Acts is happening this year. If you agree with me, that the world could be a better place, and if you feel that Skye is a great example, join me this year in committing 26 random acts of kindness, in honor of the people who died at Sandy Hook this year. It shouldn’t be just for that reason. Kindness should be shared from a place in your heart that so many of us have lost touch with and really need to find. If you pass on anything to your children, let kindness be the thing they remember you for. Amen. Merry Christmas to you all.