A Fictitious Listicle of Christmas Complaints
The biting cold, the howling wind, the slippery roads, the snow piling up, and the enveloping darkness, make me want to roll up in a blanket with a jumbo bag of Munchie Mix and not poke my head out till spring.
I wiped out in a heap on the driveway yesterday and was pretty sure I looked like a beached whale and, if I didn’t manage to get up promptly enough, that someone was coming to helicopter me out to the Arctic and lob me onto a precariously thin patch of ice and set me adrift still lying there, essentially gift-wrapped walrus bait.
My neighbor’s house looks like a reindeer binged on 10 ugly Christmas sweaters and then proceeded to projectile vomit. You’d think looking at it would banish my Seasonal Affective Disorder forever, but I still feel like I need to go inside, dim the lights, and take an Ativan. I’ve started averting my eyes even in the daytime.
My 30-year-old, Zellers Christmas special, fake Christmas tree is now starting to look like a 30-year-old, Zellers Christmas special, fake Christmas tree. Even Charlie Brown and the gang couldn’t sing this pathetic, scraggly mess of glue and plastic back to life.
My attempt at making a cheery platter of whimsical holiday treats ended with me crying, dusted with flour and eating cookie batter out of the bowl, while tearfully admitting that I don’t have the dexterity to use a rolling pin, cookie cutter, or piping bag or the stamina to make six dozen cookies in one day.
The lines were so long at the mall and the people so grouchy, I started to blame them for everything that’s wrong with my life.
If I have to listen to Frosty the Snowman one more time, I might have to rent a snow blower and take out all the snowmen in my neighborhood, handknit scarves, carrots, and all.
I couldn’t find the wildly popular, obscenely overpriced, Christmas gifts my loved ones wanted, so there’ll be dampened sadness around the tree this year instead of joy.
I can’t afford this but I’m doing it anyway and I’m not sure why.
I got the ugliest ornament in the gift exchange at work. It’ll make a fine addition to my growing collection of ugly ornaments from Christmases past.
Too much cheese log equals one large cheese plug. 😛
With all these Christmas parties, my bowl-full-of-jelly belly is starting to overflow my pants by a couple of large dollops.
The turkey is dry, the gravy is lumpy, the Jello didn’t set, the guests are arriving, and I feel like a smelly, wrung out dish rag who just had her hand up a big bird’s butt.
How did reading these common Christmas complaints make you feel? Can you identify at all? Is Christmas for you a joy-filled time full of delicious things to eat, special moments spent with loved ones, and grateful celebrations of “God with us”, or is it a commercialized, overstimulating, stressful, bank-breaking, indigestion-causing, heartache-inducing fiasco? How did we ever come to the place where Christmas has become an ordeal we have to survive?
The angels heralded the birth of Christ in Luke 2:14, announcing peace to all humankind and Isaiah calls Jesus the “Prince of Peace” (Isa 9:6). Jesus said to his disciples in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” That’s a command. Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Will we take this to heart in this hallowed season or will we fret and fuss and exhaust ourselves in the pursuit of some “perfect” Christmas and collapse when it’s over? Does that sound like the kind of celebration that would honour the “Prince of Peace”? Are traditions and trappings taking our focus from the reason for the season? Jesus is calling, quietly, lovingly, in the midst of all our striving, above the distraction of decorations, gifts, parties, parades, and pageants.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28)
He invites us to peace, but we have to do as He says and come to Him. We can’t expect him to bluster in and force it on us. He won’t override our choices, however well-intentioned they are and our choices have consequences. If we continually overburden ourselves at Christmas time or any time, we’ll get what we deserve. Our bodies are good soldiers, but they can only handle so much strain before they cry out in the form of mental illness, pain, and disease.
I’ve always been the kind of person who writes her own rules. I view traditions more as suggestions, than must dos. When I was planning my wedding ceremony, I kept some traditional elements and let others go. I knew instinctively that it was my day to create exactly as I wanted it and my husband kindly humoured me. It’s up to each one of us to create a healthy, peaceful Christmas for ourselves and our families within the confines of our time, energy, and resources. We needn’t feel bound by the past. If you experience peace and joy doing what you do to prepare for Christmas, keep on, but if you’re starting to dread Christmas, maybe it’s time to let some things go. My husband’s Dad used to make a chocolate roll at Christmas time, an elaborate dessert that took him hours to prepare. When he passed, that tradition passed with him. No one in the family had the time or patience to pick up the practice. A peaceful Christmas might be had by:
- pausing every day to reflect on the Christmas story.
- making imperfect cookies with precious little ones.
- trimming the tree after enjoying takeout.
- savouring a mug of piping hot chocolate with whipped cream in your jammies while listening to your favourite Christmas music.
- purchasing store-bought cookies and desserts.
- having one less dish at the holiday table.
- catering your holiday feast.
- going out for Chinese food before or after attending a Christmas Eve service. My family of origin did this for years.
- inviting fewer guests for a more intimate affair.
- shopping online to avoid the crowds.
- buying less, or, better yet, buying less and giving more. Our church has been part of the Advent Conspiracy movement for years. Every Christmas, our congregants have diverted some of their regular Christmas spending to help those in need locally and globally.
- not bothering with any of it without guilting yourself or feeling like you have to explain yourself to others. Yes, I went there. Call me Scrooge, but there are times in life, difficult, sad times, when parties are too hard and not helpful and, therefore, not happening.
I’d encourage you to gauge your peace in the days to come. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” When you start feeling frazzled, remember, that promised peace from the Prince of Peace is only a prayer away. Take Him up on it. Settle into peace this Christmas, folks. It just might change your life.
All pictures in this post are my combinations and edits of pictures from Pixabay. Posts come out when I feel like it. 😀 Scroll down to the bottom of the page to follow me or sign up to receive my posts via email. Listen to my posts on Spotify. Follow me on Instagram. Take a peek at my Redbubble store: Pollyeloquent.redbubble.com. Thank you for giving me some of your precious time!