Holidays

Blessed

Madea.jpgBuckle up y’all, this is a rant that started brewing around November and has come to head as Christmas cards and Year in Review things starts to rear their ugly heads.

I hate the term ‘Blessed’.  Yep, I said.  I know it sounds super salty but hear me out.  First, it’s everywhere and overused. For the last few years, one cannot walk into a Target, Walmart, Hobby Lobby or Michael’s without seeing a t-shirt , coffee mug or inspirational dust collecting sit around with the word ‘Blessed’ emblazoned across it.  The word is usually written in some really pretty cursive and with lots of glitter or shiny foil.  I guess that jazzes it up a bit, maybe adds some class, but it’s still everywhere.

Building off of overused, it seems disingenuous. I won’t say everyone I know that bangs the ‘Blessed’ drum is like this but the majority of the ‘Blessed’ loving folks I know are also some of the biggest bitchers.  There they are bitching about petty problems one minute and the next singing to the masses (usually on social media) about how blessed they are.  You rarely see a person who had a near-death experience and survived stage four cancer talk about how blessed they are. Again, I know it sounds super salty but I’m getting to the non-salty part, I promise.

Finally, and probably most importantly, aren’t we all a little blessed?  If you woke up on the right side of the dirt today, you are blessed. If you had enough to eat, weren’t evicted or had your car repossessed today, you are blessed.  If you aren’t at this moment actively dying, you are blessed.  And even if all of that stuff is happening today guess what, you are still blessed, because that stuff doesn’t happen every day.  No one person has the market cornered on blessings.  Do some people have more than their fair share of good things – absolutely.  But, that doesn’t mean that the next person isn’t just as blessed; maybe their blessings take a different shape.  It’s like trying to compare our lives to others.  It’s impossible.  No one’s life is like anyone else’s.  One cannot compare one person’s struggles with someone else’s struggles.  To beat your drum that you are “Blessed” (in my opinion) makes it sound like you are saying you are somehow better than the rest of us.  And, we all know that’s simply not the case.  So please, for the love of Madea and all that is holy, make that ‘Blessed’ shirt the one you clean house in and stop looking like an asshole.  Better yet, re-purpose it into an ugly Christmas sweater as I just read today is National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day.

P.S. If you like what you are reading please like and/or share. It would help me to know if this is reaching anyone. A good old fashioned text works good too.

Standard
Holidays

A Date with George Bailey

its-a-wonderful-life-bailey-family-05.jpgI was first introduced to the movie It’s a Wonderful Life by my mother when I was about 8 or 9 years old. Like me, she was a natural night owl and would often sit up watching t.v. long after the house was asleep.  The night of said introduction, she barged into my room long after I had been asleep and demanded I get up and come to her room.  She said this was a fantastic movie and everyone should watch it and so I knew I better sit down or face her wrath.  It didn’t matter she had to work the next day or I had school.  It seems weird now to think of staying up late to watch anything but these were the days before widespread cable t.v., VCR’s and movie rentals. Wizard of Oz only came on once a year and It’s a Wonderful Life had not started it’s yearly rotation at Christmastime.  

Fast forward to present day where It’s a Wonderful Life is shown multiple times on multiple networks throughout the Christmas season. If you don’t feel like watching it when it’s shown you can rent it on various platforms or even buy your own copy.  I have a copy in my own movie library.  After all these years it remains one of my all time favorite movies, not because my mother woke up and made me watch it, because I see myself in George Bailey.  Over the years I have felt more in touch with different parts of George’s struggle than others but the basic themes remain the same.  The desire to rise above our station or hometown. The thirst for adventure or just something more out of life. The sense of duty and obligation one feels towards  family, friends and their community.  The wonder of what it would be like if we’d never been born after a particularly rough patch in life.  George Bailey is every person and we all are him.  

So now I’m going to pull one of my Mother’s stunts. [Raises eyebrows and gives you the stink eye]  During this Christmas season go watch It’s a Wonderful Life.  Cry with George on his struggle, marvel at his strength and determination and consider how you are George Bailey. 

**Photo Credit – Lifted from a Google search. Thanks Google

P.S. I think I’m going to only post a couple of times a week unless I am just so moved by current event that I can’t keep my mouth shut. What with the holidays, low readership and everyone being busy I feel like it’s the way to go. If you feel differently, let me know.

Standard
Holidays

Bound to Happen

IMG_0536.jpgWell it was bound to happen, I missed a deadline. Let’s be honest, it’s really just a contrived, made up deadline but I missed it nonetheless. I didn’t write on Friday. No, I didn’t forget. I was busy making a birthday cake for my oldest. I officially became the mom of a teenager this weekend and that feels very surreal. And, like everyone else at this time of year, I’m busier than the best whore in the whore house on two for one night.  I love the holidays.  I hate the holidays.  It’s complicated.  In fact, I can see many blogs centered around the holidays in the coming weeks.  Oh hell let’s just get started.

Why are the holidays so stressful? Every year I say I’m not going to stress out but every year it’s the same.  I try different things to minimize the stress – less presents, more online shopping, less stores, less baking, only X number of outings a week, no Christmas cards, blah, blah, blah. I’m starting to think holiday stress is a function of being an adult.  I don’t recall much holiday stress as a child.  All I can remember being responsible for was making a Christmas list/letter to Santa and trying to stay off the naughty list.  Wait, now that I think about it that was pretty damn stressful but I digress.  As kids we don’t have to worry about offending the in-laws or making both sets of parents happy.  We don’t have to worry about who’s house we are doing what holiday at and if we bought enough presents for everyone on our Christmas list.  Kids don’t have to worry about making sure everyone has a good Christmas that includes meaningful memories that will last a lifetime and not nightmares. (I’m looking at you scuzzy mall Santa.)  And all that stuff I just mentioned is chump change if you are short on money.  That’s the ultimate holiday stresser of all.

Maybe if we just acknowledge that the holidays are a hard time and just keep reminding ourselves that fact maybe we can talk ourselves off the ledge another day.  Who knows, if you are reading this and you are stressed maybe just knowing that there is someone out there just as stressed out as you are is validation that we can get through yet another season without drinking ourselves stupid or decking someone’s halls for getting in our face. Or maybe, we all just need to ask Santa for a case of our favorite Christmas cheer and a punching bag for Christmas.

P.S. No copy write infringement intended for the meme I lifted using a google search.

P.P.S.  Said photo has nothing to do with this blog post, I just love Cousin Eddie.  Let’s face it we all have an embarrassing black sheep in our family.  If you don’t know who that black sheep is then it’s you. Embrace your crazy.

Standard
Holidays

Opinion Validated

I love it when someone with more clout agrees with me.  I mean don’t we all? It’s so nice to be validated. Am I right?  So imagine my surprise when I log on to the interwebs this morning and find none other than Heather Land, the “I Ain’t Doin It’ lady saying pretty much the exact same thing as I said yesterday. She doesn’t know it but we are best friends.  Like we share a brain.  I have agreed with her on every single video she’s made except maybe the pumpkin spice one.  Actually, I agree with her on that one too. Contrary to what some people think, you can over do pumpkin spice – but I digress.  Check out her hysterical take on Elf on the Shelf below.  Incidentally, she and my cousin inspired me to try Snapchat – which is a whole other conversation.

 

P.S. My kids don’t think these videos are funny.  Clearly they haven’t reached enough maturity to understand good comedy.

P.P.S. My daughter calls this the Gollum filter as she says it makes everyone look like Gollum from Lord of the Rings.  She says it’s just too creepy to watch.

Standard
Holidays

What Have I Gotten Myself Into?

That title phrase can be applied to many things in my life.  I can think of about a dozen right off the top of my head.  It was the initial thought I had on Friday after I o-fficially told the world about this blog.  Actually, it was more like, “What the hell have I done and how am I going to keep this up?”  But, here we are.  It’s Monday and I’m writing.  Today’s theme is holiday related.  I’m gonna be talking about this A LOT over the next couple of weeks.  However, the ‘What have I gotten myself into’ moment for today is Elf on the Shelf.

Yes, I know a large portion of my readers love this tradition. I can already hear the responses I’m gonna get for this.  Let me save you the trouble.  It’s a beloved tradition that promotes being good and encourages imagination and whimsy.  Yeah, Yeah, Yeah.  Bullshit. See this cute little meme?  Belt on a Shelf.

That’s what I have to say about encoIMG_0499.jpguraging good behavior.  That and the whole you’ll get exactly nada, zippo if you’re bad because Santa doesn’t bring presents to bad kids.  Isn’t Santa enough to encourage imagination and whimsy?  Isn’t Rudolph and Frosty enough? We already have plenty of fun and imagination building beings for this holiday.  As for traditions, I’m all for them.  Like many families in Texas, we have tamales on Christmas eve.  We make a point of reading the Christmas story out of the Bible and The Cajun Night Before Christmas every Christmas Eve before bed.  We have Monkey Bread and Mimosas every Christmas morning.  We light our Advent wreath every Sunday in Advent.  We have a countdown felt tree the kids decorate each day.  If we want to add a new tradition we can but there is no need to do so as we have plenty of traditions that didn’t include buying a creepy AF doll for the low, low price of 19.99.

Having said all that… After literally YEARS of my daughter begging me, writing letters to Santa and asking anyone else who would listen for one of these damn elves, I caved.  She wore me down.  She broke me.  I bought the damn elf.  My daughter named her Snowflake. I had to rIMG_0511.jpgesort to Pintrest to help me find non-messy/low energy ways to have that freakin’ elf interact with our family.  Now fast forward a few years to yesterday, the first Sunday in Advent when the Christmas season officially begins.  Guess who made an appearance?  Yep, Snowflake.  She always shows up on the first Sunday in Advent – it’s a tradition.  Even though my daughter is no long a believer, she informed me that Snowflake still needs to come out so out she came.  My daughter now thinks it’s everyone’s responsibility for moving her. I have politely declined but she did rope me into firing up a sewing machine to teach her how to make clothes for Snowflake.  I needed a Xanax and a quiet room after that little ordeal but we managed to come up with the evening gown she is wearing on her date with our toy soldier.  Is she humping his leg? Dirty elf.

I know in the years to come Snowflake’s draw will fade.  One year Snowflake will be carefully packed away not to be taken out again until my daughter moves out and has a family of her own.  When that day comes I will shed many tears but I can safely say I won’t shed one drop for that elf.  What did I get myself into indeed.

 

 

Standard