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Twas the Day After Christmas

and all through the house, 3 little creatures were stirring. The kids are having so much fun with their new toys! Sean is playing his new Indiana Jones 2 video game, Maddie’s been scootering around the house, and Gracie’s been practicing on her new roller skates. I hear them now, playing with their new Princess Tiana dolls. And Daddy and Sean are going to check out the newest Star Trek movie he (Daddy) got.

I’m sitting here, drinking coffee, trying to wake up and take it all in, and remember this feeling of magic that happens at Christmas time. Despite what some people feel about Christmas being too secular or too commercial or too whatever, it still is a magical time.

On Christmas Eve, I was in a BAD mood. I got caught up in the last minute hustle to get presents for the kids and the husband because I hadn’t allowed myself time to do it beforehand. Nothing says Christmas more than being at Toys R Us 3 days before Christmas at 10:30 at night. Add to that, some general snippiness on the part of the husband for the same reason, and the kids bouncing off the walls, and you get a stressful situation.

So, before getting started with the day, I hopped on facebook for a few minutes. This was a bad idea. While most of my friends were posting “Merry Christmas!” messages, there was one person who was leaving extremely bitter and angry updates. I couldn’t resist responding. I tried not to sound mean or accusatory, but I wasn’t sugar coating the fact that I thought his anger at people wishing each other Merry Christmas could be better channeled at helping rid the world of the very injustices that he was so angry about.

Well, rather than really answering my post, he said he “knew who I was” and that I was pampered and had no idea what I was talking about. I can’t quote him word for word, because after his response to me, I decided I didn’t need that kind of negativity in my life, and deleted him from my friends list, and blocked him completely. (I’d been thinking about doing it anyway, since every post of his is negative and angry.)

Now, I’m not a callous person. I would hardly say I’m pampered, but I haven’t had a hard life. I’ve had difficult times during my life, but I am very lucky to have a wonderful family and friends that have surrounded me all my life and helped me through the rougher times. I know that I’ve got it good, and I try to give back. I also understand what it’s like to feel passionate about something, and to get upset about the injustices in the world. However, I don’t think that yelling at people is the way to change things. Chastising people for enjoying the holiday season and wishing their friends a happy day is just petty and serves no one but yourself.

Christmas may have gotten out of hand in some respects, but no matter what anyone says, for us it’s a magical time. For my children, who believe in magic – it’s about miracles, baby Jesus and Santa Claus, cookies, family, and presents. While my kids are enjoying the toys and presents they got from Santa, Mom & Dad, and other family members, I don’t think that’s the MOST important thing to them.

In fact, last night at bedtime I asked them all what was the best part of Christmas. Maddie, the 4 year old, first said, “Presents!” but then she added to her answer. She said “my family.” I asked the other 2, separately. Their answers were “spending time with my family” and “Grammy and Grampy coming to visit.”

So, while they got toys and games and ate candy and cookies, they recognized that the best part of the holiday season is spending time with the ones you love. What more could I ask for than that?

Though it would be wonderful if that same feeling could last throughout the entire year, we do see flashes of it here and there. We’re trying to teach our kids that there are more important things in life than money. That people, and being kind, and helping others is important, and as they get older there will be more opportunities to teach them how to do just that. But for now, we do the best we can, and give them what we can and teach them what we can, and enjoy the hell out of them. And we’ll revel in the Christmas spirit and togetherness, and feel badly for bitter, angry people who can’t stand the thought of other people being happy.

Merry Christmas.

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