The thing I, and many others, forget year after year is how rarely Christmas lives up to our expectations or memories. As adults we subconsciously expect Christmas to somehow be as wondrous as it was when we were young children, but that’s pretty unreasonable.
As adults, many work tirelessly to try to hit some picture perfect Christmas experience we think we’re supposed to give our families. Until we scale back our expectations, plans changing, illnesses, or other forces kicking in and controlling the holiday can be devastating.
If the Hallmark channel made realistic Christmas movies, they would mostly be people spending December 25th eating brownies over the sink, avoiding specific family members, or napping. Our best holiday moments may actually happen with friends and family in the weeks leading up to the 25th. THOSE are the holiday moments to treasure. December 25th is just the day you can finally relax because you made it through the season for another year and the pressure is off.
Take pleasure in being off work, watching anything you want, and eating things you might normally avoid. Leave the Christmas lights up until YOU don’t need or want them any more. My tree may come down, but I have candles and twinkle lights in my living room that I’ll light for a few more weeks, because *I* want that.
If you are having a bad or mediocre Christmas: you aren’t alone. And if you had a great one, that’s worth treasuring. Maybe use this as a reminder that any year could be the one where you wonder where things went wrong. If you do some advance planning to account for the expected or unexpected, you can spend December 25th spoiling yourself. And that can make all the difference to surviving the season.
Hugs to one and all. I raise my glass of eggnog to each of you. Excuse me while I finish this brownie.
I have some things I’m thankful for this year. Some things I’m not, but now is not the time for that. Talk to me next week for complaints.
My son, for finally learning where everything goes when he empties the dishwasher, and for being the one person who consistently makes me belly laugh. That sarcasm 101 class at court jester school really paid off. You are top-shelf, kid, which is, by the way, where the wine glasses go.
My iPhone, which serves as my connection to the universe, my way to shop, my alarm clock, my kitchen timer, my camera, nightlight and radio. I don’t know what I’d do without an automated way to crush candy.
My parents, for everything they do for me, whether I ask them to or not. I know I’m blessed beyond belief to have you both. But I also promised to not get mushy.
My spare kid, and the girls who formed a fan club fighting to replace him, for making me feel loved and appreciated and all-powerful. I do love each of you special snowflakes. If you are reading this, you are my favorite.
Last but not least, I am thankful for second dates, and boys patient enough to wait for you to come out of your silly fog. I am thankful I came to my senses before he gave up on me. And he’s better than a plate full of turkey (but not better than stuffing because let’s not get crazy, okay?)
I posted a link to the original St. Jody Day post back in 2009 (the first official St. Jody Day) on Facebook and Twitter. It is here. Go catch up, and then come back. I think in the 4 years since then, we have learned a few things and we should add more items to the list of ways to celebrate.
Therefore, on what would have been my 20th wedding anniversary if, say, I had remained married the last four years (oops) I declare an update to the St. Jody Day rules!
6. The wearing of the tiara. You don’t have a tiara? Well, there are malls all over the world. Most of them should have a tiara store. Look near the yacht store.
7. The plugging in of twinkle lights. Don’t have twinkle lights? And you call yourself my friend? I HOARD twinkle lights. But I’m not sharing. If you have a fake Christmas tree, put it up and turn it on. There is no excuse.
8. The faving and RTing of my work on Twitter. For goodness’ sake, people, why do I only have 425 followers? And why am I not more popular? On St. Jody Day, you’d better bust out the big guns and make me feel loved!
9. The slurping of mai tais and ice cream. My darling cousin Jacqui and her darling husband Ron helped me celebrate my first St. Jody Day by taking me to a chinese buffet, followed by ice cream at Kimball’s in Westford MA. Two mai tais during dinner guaranteed I would have to be carried to the window to order my ice cream. You may choose to limit yourself to one mai tai, but get an extra scoop on your cone.
Is that enough? Never, but I don’t want to overwhelm the newbies. I think this St. Jody Day will be legendary.
I have owned the bigdumptruck.com domain for 13+ years now. I use BigDumptruck as my user name on a lot of sites (including twitter and flickr). I also collect Department 56 Christmas buildings (I started with the Dickens Village, supplemented with a couple of New England Village houses but for the past 4 years or so I’ve become obsessed with the North Pole Series – the fun Santa’s Village buildings.
Last year I spotted a must-have: Dumpy’s Toy Trucks. It’s a dumptruck, tilted back! See the wheels and the cab and the hood?! It’s awesome, and was my choice for the house I could buy this year. I don’t think they’ll come out with one any time soon that I like as much (or is as appropriate for me).