Have a Very Ativan Xmas

December 2nd, 2012

I believe in getting messages from the universe via graffiti and street signs rather than the usual phone call or Instagram. I hope that doesn’t mean I’ll soon be wearing tinfoil on my head  and insisting I’m getting transmissions from outer space. If you see me swathed in a Reynolds Wrap, walk on by.  On a walk downtown last week I saw this graffiti stencil on a parking lot pillar by the local Starbucks. Given that there is never anywhere to park to get to that particular Starbucks, maybe the person who left  this was just verging on undercaffinated hysteria, but I took it to heart. As Christmas approaches I feel a perfect storm of holiday panic rolling closer and closer. The first thing I see on my bedside table every morning is an ongoing list of what I have not yet done to ass kiss the god of annual retail guilt. So I get a subliminal message of “You’re a loser” every time I look at it. No matter how many things I cross off, more get added.  I haven’t purchased the exact number of things for my kids and grandchildren. The stockings I always intend to fill with quirky, adorable little thingys and ship are not done and probably won’t be.  Every time I’ve ventured out on a shopping trip, I’ve ended up buying stuff for myself and feeling even worse. I don’t have room for a tree. I’m afraid mice have eaten the ornaments. I should have a party but I’m paralyzed by the decisions I’d have to make to do that. Wine and cheese? Beer and wine? Champagne only? Heavenly Ham?! Half the strings of twinkle lights on my porch are burned out.  I haven’t been charitable enough. I’m not bottling homemade mustard to give with personlized handwritten notes. If I have tape, I don’t have boxes. If I have boxes, I’m out of tape. My gifts always look like a beaver cut the wrapping paper with its teeth and something without opposable thumbs did the actual folding and taping. As a child, I had magical Christmases for a few years, thanks to my grandmother. When my parents and aunts and uncles divorced almost simultaneously, our holidays were fraught with anxiety. Would our father call this year? Would my mother be invited to the traditional Christmas breakfast? Would my brothers and I regain our trust in life and love and a two parent family? Nope, nope and nope. Because of that I’m always struggling to recreate some cozy movie moments, but if I’m in charge, they generally have more in common with Bad Santa than It’s a Wonderful Life. But the Christmas miracle is that  year after year I never stop hoping, and this year, when my family will be far away, I’ll get those raggedly wrapped gifts in the mail on time. I swear!

4 Responses to “Have a Very Ativan Xmas”

  1. Donna M says:

    “Have yourself a merry little Christmas.”

    Take every word of that iconic phrase to heart. Stop with the overdoing. Focus on the meaning and the joy.

    A few years ago my sister was facing some financial difficulties, so instead of buying gifts for each other, all family members contributed cash to help her out. She’s better now, but the no gift giving trend has continued. And we are all happier! We love each other lots – no gift required. I give more to charities now instead. Last year I put some wreaths on the door but no tree inside. When I tell people this they look at me w/ pity in their eyes, but I don’t care. I enjoy the season, but not ALL of the doings that go along with it.

    Yes, I still give gifts to the kids in the family, and I honestly do my best, but I don’t stress over it. I’m sure they shake their heads and say “that Aunt Donna” over a few of them, but hey, I’m not the star of this particular show. I am going to do a tree this year and have some people over, but it’s because I want to. Next year I might go to Hawaii instead.

    All said – “Have yourself a merry little Christmas.” Solider on!

  2. nikki says:

    Almost went to Hawaii this year for xmas and I hope next year will be the charm.

  3. Tori Walters says:

    LOVE this post! I can relate to it so well. Hope we both can figure something out. Have a wonderful Christmas anyway.

  4. nikki says:

    Thanks, Tori!

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