We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. My daughter and her family came down to be with us (they do it every year) and the house was filled with noise and laughter and love and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I’m usually a real traditionalist, but this year I relaxed the rules a bit because the Redskins were playing Dallas and since our area of the country seldom broadcasts my beloved ‘Skins AND that’s the biggest rivalry in the NFL, we ate in front of the TV and it was grand. (Okay…if the ‘Skins had lost it might not have been quite so “grand” but it still would have been good.) I also decided that next year we would decorate for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving so that all the kids AND the grand kids can help. The grand kids were thrilled to hear this.
My children looked at me and said, “Who are you and what have you done with our mother?”
Fact is, I’ve mellowed in my old age. I’m breaking some of the bonds that tied me to old and ridiculous notions. I was a believer that if my house and my decorations were perfect then my life was perfect. That if I could just get the right china, the right tablecloth and the best turkey and make homemade everything…from scratch, Thanksgiving would be perfect. That if I could place all of the Christmas decorations just right on the tree and throughout the house, then everything would be perfect throughout the holidays.
And if everything was perfect on the outside, I didn’t have to spend any time dealing with what was on the inside.
What a crock of shit.
Now, I was never a momzilla when it came to the holidays. I always made it about the kids so they actually enjoy some of the traditions I set forth. For instance, we always have a least two trees, one with white lights and sparkly ornaments (most of them Lenox) and one with colored lights and hand made ornaments with hand prints and face prints and pipe cleaners and googly eyes and lots and lots of glitter. Now before you go all, awww…isn’t that sweet, you should probably know that part of the reason for doing that was so that all of those beautiful, hand made creations would not touch my “perfect” tree.
Not so “awww” now is it? More like, “Aw…that’s really fucked up.”
But they love it. I tried to change it a couple of years ago by buying a cut tree and putting colored lights on it and mixing up the ornaments. Let’s just say it didn’t go over well. I did manage to let go of the outside some years back hand it over to the hubs. We now look like the Griswolds. But we are also the most festive and happy house in our subdivision. Everyone else has boring white lights and our house just makes me smile and go all gooey inside when I come home at night. I think it’s beautiful.
So now at least I’m giving up control and letting others help me trim the tree and put up the lights and string the garland. It will be lovely no matter what it looks like because they did it.
Too bad it only took me 30 years to figure it out. Thank you God for keeping me sober so I could figure out who I am and what’s important in life. It’s not the things we accumulate and display, its the love we accumulate and share…and that, my friends, is perfect.