Humbuggery Revisited

humbug_cat

First of all, I’d like to thank each and every one of you who have taken the time to leave such uplifting comments on my last posts.  I can’t begin to tell you what a gift it is to know that others care so much.  You’ve touched my heart in indescribable ways.

Charlie’s Dad continues to take baby steps toward recovery.  There are still some niggling problems to be overcome, and he surely won’t be home for Christmas, but I believe we’ve all accepted that and continue to be grateful that the worst is over.  For my ex and his wife, the news isn’t quite so good, but if good thoughts can cure, she’ll make a good recovery.

As chores are accomplished and the day draws closer, things look a bit lighter.  It reminded me of a post I made last year before I joined Blotanical, and I thought I’d publish it again — as much a reminder to myself as to others.

*   *   *

Christmas. You either love it or hate it. Or, you love it AND hate it.

We all love the sights, the sounds, the smells that are distinctly Christmas: twinkling lights, traditional carols, fragrant gingerbread men. But in my mind, something has gone very wrong with the way we prepare for Christmas.

There’s a dark side to Christmas, if one dares to admit and express it. It’s a sort of desperation or torment that exists in the hearts and homes of most of us at some point throughout the holiday season: the lists that we agonize over…it’s such a headache trying to come up with gift ideas! You’ll find it in the conversations of fatigued shoppers who chat in long checkout lines, not so much pleased with their purchases, or anticipating the joy their gifts will bring to others, as they are relieved that this horrible chore is finally finished. The fruitcake, cookies and other savory dishes that I remember my mother taking so much pride and joy in baking now seem, to so many of my friends, to be just one more job to be crossed off the long list of Things To Do Before Christmas.

I don’t mean to sound too much like Pollyanna here — I’ll do my own share of grumbling and nail chewing over the next few days. But I ask you: if Christmas preparations are that much trouble…why do people bother?

Yes, yes, I agree. Christmas has become too commercial. We’re hardly finished with Halloween before being bombarded by Christmas advertisements, plastic store decorations, and such. But what sort of humbuggery has possessed us?

Christmas should be the celebration of love, benevolence, and kindness, and the celebration of the joy and peace that those things bring. Yes, we live in troubled times. Yes, many of us are so hopelessly distracted by jobs and other responsibilities that it is almost impossible for Christmas to not seem like a chore.

But I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s a choice we all make. Christmas doesn’t have to be perfect (and in fact, cannot be perfect) which was a hugely difficult lesson I’ve learned recently.

Since then, however, I’ve lowered my expectations, if only slightly. I’ll always be a perfectionist, I suppose. And Christmas will always be my favorite time of year. But I have let go of certain preconceived notions of what the holidays are supposed to be, and every time I feel a BAH, HUMBUG coming on, I resolve to focus on what’s really important: family, friends, good food, togetherness, conversation.

It’s a choice. Why, even Scrooge had a change of heart.

“His own heart laughed: and that was quite
enough for him.” – Charles Dickens

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4 thoughts on “Humbuggery Revisited

  1. I’ve been thinking about doing an entry on this, Nancy. I’m so laid back with it all that I’m barely standing. :<) I’ll explain in the post, I hope.

  2. I think as long as you hold what Christmas is really about in your heart and mind it will be exactly what it is supposed to be. Despite all the commercialism!

  3. Christmas has, TO ME, and IMHO, become so commercialized and busy and competitive that I have visions of greedy, Cheshire cat smiling, ruddy faced, fat corporation execs rubbing their hands in glee at the green rolling in more than I do visions of the true meaning of the season. Christmas (holidays, period) have become nearly devoid of their true meaing, sort of like the dollar isn’t worth what it used to be. It’s over-inflated, like those obnoxious blow-up holiday balloons that are dotting the landscape. It’s a money machine, and it’s up to us to bring the heart into it, into our own personal celebrations, and close the door to the commercialization as much as possible. I refuse to go to the malls and instead shop at my local, mom & pop owned stores in order to support them, and buy local as much as possible.

    Whoa…talk about humbuggery. I must have needed to get that off my chest. I feel much better now. Eggnog anyone?

  4. It is always a choice. The glass is half empty, or half full…it is still the same glass. So even though I have loved ones I miss terribly around Christmas I focus on those that are still here and blessing my life. I can focus on how much Christmas has changed for the worse with all the commercialism or I can start and carry on traditions that focus on the real meaning of Christmas.

    Finally I can worry about all the calories that those luscious Christmas foods have and let it ruin my holiday or eat, drink, and be merry and let the New Year worry about my waistline…I vote for the latter, lol!

    I hope you have a wonderful, blessed Christmas, Kim

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