Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Charlie Brown Christmas

My husband and I celebrate Christmas our own way.  We sort of mirror my favorite Christmas movie, A Charlie Brown Christmas.  A few years ago we decided to stop buying gifts for people.  Also, we stay home for Christmas and no longer visit with family.  It all started on a Christmas day at my mom's house - there were so many presents in the living room, you could not walk into it.  The both of us saw how stressed everyone was and the sense of obligation that people feel suffocates me.  I don't want anyone to feel obligated to buy me something or do something for me.  If they do, the act loses its meaning.  I hate the commercialization of Christmas and it breaks my heart to see the people I care about stressed out.  That defining Christmas, no one ever mentioned the wonder of Jesus Christ or God's mercy.  It was all about gifts and obligations.  Neither my husband nor I could take it any longer - we weren't being authentic by feeding into the frenzy.

The first year we stayed home felt weird and my family did not understand.  We've had to deal with hurt feelings and disappointment.  I completely understand where others are coming from.  Society defines what is normal and when one deviates from that, they are ostracized.  I love my family and friends.  It is because I care for them that I don't buy them gifts - they have one (two counting my husband) less person to stress about during the holidays.  I'd rather show my appreciation for them through acts of random kindness during the year - I don't want to define my relationships by material things.  I really feel that the overindulgence of material things and stress during Christmas overpowers the true meaning of the day. 

My husband and I decorate our house and we have a tree.  I'm sending my family a gift that I made, we bought an elderly couple we know gifts, I bought the little boy I mentor a couple of things (one was a Charlie Brown Christmas book) and my husband and I did buy each other one thing that we really wanted that we've been using for about a week now.  For Christmas day, I made my husband a surprise gift and he's still working on mine that he's making.  We are not stressed out one bit.  I think that we will get up early and walk around downtown before the tourists come out and we might even go fishing.  Our turkey that we are going to cook will feed us for a week and we'll watch another favorite Christmas movie, It's a Wonderful Life.  We did buy Floyd a big bag of Beggin' Strips and we'll definitely take a long walk on the beach. 

I'm happy that people celebrate Christmas their own way as I know everyone is different.  I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and blessed day full of joy, relaxation and reflection.


Saturday, December 3, 2011


I've been working on my blog and glanced at my profile.  I noticed that it still read that I am was in my early thirties.  When exactly does one transition from her early thirties to mid thirties?  Because, I think that I am there.  I've never really cared about age - mine or other people's.  My husband is 13 years older than I am, I have friends who are in their 50's and 60's and I have been known to hang out with a few 20 year olds. 

For some reason, realizing that I am in mid-thirties is lingering over me.  The thing is, I still feel young.  I love really loud hard rock music, I'm a bit of a gypsy, I'd have lots of tats if I didn't work in a professional environment and I still have many different adventures to go on.  I don't know what 34 is supposed to feel like but I do know that I don't feel 34.  The reality is, I am getting older - in both good ways and not-so-good ways.

So, for the not-so-good ways:  I can't sleep on my right side because my shoulder will start hurting; a 5th grader I work with joked that I could be her mother and, after I did the math in my head, I realized that she was correct; I am using my tweezers a lot more often than I did a few years ago; I'm really appreciating the power of push-up bras more and more; even if I become pregnant today, by the time I'd deliver I would be referred to as "advanced maternal age"; staying out until 10:00 p.m. is a late night; college students call me ma'am; and lately when I look at my feet, I see my mother's.   

Now, for the good ways:  the older I get, the less I care what people think of me; I am more confident in myself than I ever have been; if I forget my ID when I go out for a drink, it won't matter; I am no longer naive; I've become more patient and understanding; not only have I learned to say "no" but I'm comfortable with it as well; I have my own family; I've found true love; my husband is my best friend and I wouldn't have it any other way; I only dress up when I want to, not because I feel obligated (hell, I wore flip flops on my first night out in Vegas); I appreciate the art of reflection; and I am becoming much more spiritual.

I want to embrace all aspects of aging - the wisdom, patience and compassion along with the wrinkles, cracking joints and moments of forgetfulness.  I feel that those who rejoice in becoming older are beautiful and strong.  This life on earth is so short - God would want us to be happy.  As Bette Davis said, "Old age is no place for sissies".