What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store? ~Dr. Seuss

Yep, I could have been a Grinch. I was born for it- two days before the big day, no less. My hospital shot is my wrinkled newborn head sticking out of a giant stocking (that my Mom still hangs by the chimney with care every year without fail). Yes, I get stiffed on birthday presents. Yes, people tell me they’re going to buy me “one big present,” and no, it’s never really that big. No, I never got to take cupcakes to school on my birthday, or get balloons from my friends to carry to class. I could resent the whole red and green shebang with a “bah humbug” for everyone I meet. But, I’m grown. I’ve dealt with it. And despite never getting a birthday proper, here’s the best of the best: why I grin and better than bear Christmas every year:

  • putting up the tree and my motley collection of ornaments as close to Thanksgiving as the fiance’ will stand. We compromise- this year it’s most likely going up tomorrow after my pleading for three weeks.
  • corny and wacky Christmas tunes- my Dad’s mp3 collection of random kitschy holiday songs grows every year.
  • actually remembering to light the scented candles around the house- apple cider and cinnamon. Yum.
  • the gingerbread latte at Fourbucks.
  • spotting the perfect gift for someone.
  • snacks and cookies and treats people pile up on every surface in their houses, at work, in the stores.
  • the cookie tour in Lawrenceville and all the recipes.
  • falling asleep by the light of the tree or the plug-in window candles.
  • writing out my ever-growing list of Christmas cards and propping the ones we get up on the mantle.
  • the annual visit to see the folks down South.
  • that my Mom still buys all of us pajamas to open on Christmas Eve and sleep in… and that mine are ALWAYS too small but I wear them anyway.
  • the whole family dozing off by the fire watching A Child’s Christmas in Wales.
  • The food: Southern at my Granny’s- ham and dumplings and salty green beans. English at my Grandma’s- roast beef and Yorkshire pudding that she always finds some fault with.
  • Christmas crackers and goofy pictures in our paper crowns.
  • The one time out of the year that my grandmother dances- along with the mechanical singing Santa in her living room.
  • the tiny plaster snowman with the paint chipping off that I got in high school from an awkward boy I was kind to, even though when he came to give it to me I refused to come to the door because I was embarrassed. It reminds me to be a better woman than I was that evening.
  • the large Whitman’s sampler and $100 I get every year from my Grandma as a belated birthday gift.
  • watching the childhood Christmas video of my sister the Hippie at age five dancing to a song called “Baby Beluga.”
  • pumpkin, and gingerbread, and pine, and sugar cookies, and cinnamon, and egg nog, and all the other scents.
  • the crystal angel candleholder I treated myself to when I was too poor to afford her.
  • sneaking away with my adult sisters to sneak cigarettes at holiday gatherings.
  • my mother’s face when we are all there and happy on one morning of the year.
  • my dad’s obsession with photographing his food once he’s arranged his plate.
  • pretending to be above it all, and sneaking Christmas tunes when I have the house to myself.
  • hanging the wreath I made when I worked a minimum wage job at a crafts store.
  • Silent Night.
  • watching every single classic Christmas special on t.v. that comes on.
  • that after last year, my stocking will always be the spot where I found my engagement ring- three days early by the light of the tree, bended knee and all.

All those and a thousand more. And that, one time out of the year, I can wish for Peace On Earth without being branded a raving liberal. Bless us, every one.

It's A Wonderful Life... Merry Christmas!


1 Comment

Filed under Family, Lists

One response to “What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store? ~Dr. Seuss

  1. Pingback: Coming soon to Eleanor’s « Eleanor’s Trousers

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