We’re an interfaith family. That means the Coffee King and the Noodges are Jewish and I’m not. I’m trying to make the dog a Catholic, but he keeps eating the Communion wafers at the wrong time. Being Interfaith also means we’re knee deep in Hanukkah and with Christmas around the corner it always feels like we slide head first into the end of the year. Another year over, another year older and I have the lines on my face to prove it.
What is the meaning of this time of year? I know it’s not supposed to be about the rush through stores trying to pry the last Harry Potter Board Game out of the hands of some unsuspecting woman. (That actually happened to me. Well, the strange woman didn’t put her hands on me, but she was ready. She wanted that game and thought it was the last one on the shelf.) It’s more than wrapping presents in pretty paper, but my mother is the best wrapper I’ve ever seen. Between her cleaning skills and her wrapping skills she’s a tough act to follow, let me tell you. This time of year is more than baking cookies and pies even though I love to bake. I can’t wait to make my egg nog pound cake even if no one wants to eat it.
What does this time of year mean? Is it peace on earth and good will toward men? That’s one of my favorite meanings because it includes everyone. I love the idea of peace on earth. No more crazy people who strap bombs to their bodies or fly planes into buildings or shoot someone just because they’re mad or angry or confused. Every person filled with kindness and intentions of goodness toward others. No more, trying to be right instead of trying to be kind. No more fear and hatred. Yeah, that’s the kind of earth I’d like to live on.
Of course, I know this time of year is about the birth of Christ, but we’ve come a long way from that don’t you think? Trying to celebrate someone’s birthday for 2014 years is bound to morph into something else. I like buying gifts because I love to see the look on someone’s face when they open up something you tried hard to find for them, that special thing that says, “Hey, I saw this and thought you’d like it and giving it to you will bring you joy which brings me joy.” I watch too many Hallmark commercials, I know.
I’d say this time of year is about spending time with family, but most people don’t want to spend time with their family so that doesn’t count.
This time of year could be about saying thank you. “Thank you, for delivering my mail every day. Thank you for choosing to be in my life. Thank you for talking me off the ledge.”
Or maybe it’s about hope. Hope for a better year next year. Hope for peace on earth. Hope for that job, that special someone to arrive in your life, hope that your kids will stop driving you straight to the liquor store, hope for more readers, another chance to write a good book, hope for a new friend, and hope that people will stop showing you their crazy side. Hope that Santa does exist.
Whatever this time of year means I’m surrounded in red, green and gold. The air is filled with pine, cinnamon, and nutmeg. A fire pops and cracks under the mantle hung with stockings. Presents are in the closet waiting to be wrapped.
I’m thankful for you, my faithful reader, I hope your holidays are filled with blessings, joy, and… a few cookies.
Happy Holidays, Stacey