I was sitting on my couch, trying to figure out how I was going to accomplish everything I needed to do over the next 11 days while struggling to retain a small bit of space on that couch because our 100 lb American Standard had managed – I still don’t know how he does it – to push me into a tiny corner. I was also forced to breathe through my mouth in order to prevent any imminent brain damage from the noxious gases emanating from his back end.
I was gazing at our Yule tree while figuring out how I was going to pull of the, seemingly, Herculean tasks that lay ahead when it hit me; “Why, the hell, was I obsessing over details?”
Yes, this will be an emotional holiday season. The first one since Mom left us on May 12th. The first one with absolutely no matriarch or patriarch in attendance but…well, while this will be very, very hard for all of us – we have an obligation to ensure that this holiday season is a joyous one.
You see, yes – Mom and Dad are both gone. My father-in-law is no longer with us but all of them put great stock in the true meaning of the season – family, sharing, love and thankfulness for all that we have.
If it weren’t for these 3 people, Dave and I would not have all the wonders that enhance our lives, every day.
While the coming week and a half will be busy, will be exhausting, we have the privilege of that list of “Things to Do.” I have the right to work, to earn money. I have the right to drive to the stores, to stand there, gobsmacked, while trying to figure out a “perfect” gift. While I am not a Christian, I will have the right to attend mass Christmas Eve, in honour of my mother and my father-in-law. (There may be quite the lightening show – keep your eyes peeled toward the heavens on Xmas Eve as the Pagan enters a church). I have the right to create this blog. All things, that in the hustle and the bustle and the “This will be Visa” time of year, we forget.
Yeah, it’s commercialized, it seems to have lost its meaning but only if we allow it. So, big deal, some of us only seem to give to the less fortunate at this time of year – I don’t care, as long as they give. So this Jesus guy wasn’t born on Dec. 25th. Who cares? It is the feeling that the holiday creates. If good will toward men is only possible in our society one day a year? That’s still one day more than if there was no Christmas.
I remember being dirt poor and when I say “poor”, I mean no food in the fridge, no material gifts to give; I remember what that is like. I also remember in addition to the sadness, there was love. I had my son with me. I remembered that there were parents, out there, on this planet called “earth” who did not. I remembered the parents who were watching their children die from starvation and disease. Parents with no Charter of Rights and Freedoms to protect them.
Things, out there, have not changed for the better. Things have changed for me, for mine, something for which I am thankful every single day. While we are still grieving the loss of my mother, we have a duty to ensure that this holiday season is a happy one, one that pays tribute to all the sacrifices our parents made and their parents before them; so that we can all sit down and enjoy the meal, the companionship of that Christmas day. We will celebrate Yule next Saturday evening – I will look at the faces of my children, their partners and my grandchildren and I will be thankful, my heart will swell with love for all of them. For, I am here, to see these days – to witness the incredible bounty that my country allows me to enjoy. The intangible gifts.
I wish you all a Happy Yule, Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah – be thankful for all that you have and blow the naysayers a big old raspberry because they totally miss the point.