The mom tries baking her grandmother’s delicious ginger spice cookies . . . but that doesn’t work. She turns on her Christmas CDs at full blast, but when Celine starts to sing Oh Holy Night she fears she will start to cry and never stop. She wonders if wrapping the gifts or finishing the holiday cards will put her in a better mood. What is it going to take to put her in the holiday spirit? She glances next to the tree and sees a stack of shiny Christmas books. Picking up the one on top, she begins to read How The Grinch Stole Christmas . . .
You want to know the truth about embracing the holiday spirit? I think you can handle it.
It seemed every person in Charlotte liked Christmas a lot . . .
But there was a mom in the mix who often did NOT!
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The mom despised the chaos of the whole Christmas season
Now please don’t ask why – surely you do know the reason:
It kept her head racing with details all night
And there’s no denying that her party dress was too tight
But I think that the most likely reason of all
Was that her holiday heart was two sizes too small!
Oh, she had lots of love for her family and friends
And even for the world and all the suffering therein
But by Christmas Eve she was plum near worn out
The parking lots alone made her want to scream and to shout.
And while she wanted to embrace all of the holiday bliss
She felt stressed with ensuring her family’s happiness
And something about the season always made her sad
When she remembered earlier times with her mom and her dad,
And her grandmothers and friends and simpler days
Full of people she loved and magical places she played
Fun memories of Christmas as a child; she was small then, of course
That was before her grandmother’s Alzheimer’s and her parent’s divorce . . .
Once she became an adult the season became sort of hard
Not like the pithy little witticisms on all the holiday cards
It was like Christmas came at just too high a cost
Not only in dollars – but also in missing all that was lost.
So she pinched up her heart and she put on a scowl
She muttered and puttered and was quick to call foul
When her children bounced around with holiday joy
She had no patience for that glee from her rough-and-tumble boys.
As she shopped and wrapped and cleaned and managed
Her family’s Christmas chaos she felt completely damaged
She failed miserably at being a jolly holiday elf
She ended up just feeling sorry for herself.
And that was ridiculous even she could agree
All of the blessings in her life were easy to see
But somehow this knowledge just made it all worse
How could she ever reverse her sad Christmas curse?
She decided to focus on someone else instead
To help get the crazy out of her holiday head
She spent a ton of time with her writing group crew
The smart lot of inspiring women made her feel as good as new!
One close friend in the group had a book in the making
A collection of holiday columns that came ripe for the taking
So she cheered on her friend as the book came to be
And happily supported her publishing journey. . .
And finally it happened – the book was for real
Soon to be in bookstores and currently one of Amazon’s deals
So she ordered a copy and smiled ear to ear
She just couldn’t wait for her friend’s tome to get here.
A few days later that first book arrived
She excitedly called the author and began to describe
Over the phone the details of how awesome it looked
The cover was the coolest she’d seen on a holiday book
All that you’d expect was certainly there
With an added bonus of sexy legs and electro-shock hair -
Then she opened it to the dedication page inside
Her heart skipped a beat, then she started to cry
What was this – impossible – how could it occur?
That a Christmas book could ever be dedicated . . . to her?
For helping me find my Christmas magic, it said
Why, it turned out the spirit of Christmas was not at all dead!
And that moment something happened down deep inside
Her heart grew to three times its original size
The woman who thought the holiday season was the worst
Now had so much love for Christmas she thought she might burst!
And that was a gift that just kept right on giving
As she joyfully embraced the life she was living
The truth is, when we feel like we are at our wit’s end
We just need to see ourselves through the eyes of a generous friend.
Want to get a better handle on embracing the holiday spirit? Sing along with that original holiday-hater The Grinch; reality check your blues with a poignant poem of legit holiday angst; and take a gander at the super-cool book Holidazed by Tracy Curtis that turned my Christmas frown upside down.