Christmas lights

Christmas lights

            Christmas lights by Coldplay is by far, my favorite December song. When you’re still waiting for the snow to fall it doesn’t really feel like Christmas at all. It’s December 24th, Christmas Eve and I think most of you are after the dinner already, no? All gifts unwrapped? I will get mine tomorrow, on Christmas Day. Very American, isn’t it? Yeah, it’s (please believe it) my mum’s idea. Why? We will get there soon.

            There is no denying that December and Christmas season is my time of year. I thrive, I am a sucker for all those lights, decorations, gift wrapping (I say I love it, but to be honest, when it comes that I’m summoning demons to help me, cause Lord is testing me with this goddamn paper – and this year I waited till today…), spending all day in the kitchen baking cookies (I made little baby-not-Yoda from The Mandalorian, I’m quite proud of those <3). I love the fuss, the quick pace of days going by only to slow down on Christmas week. I love cheesy Christmas movies (guess who will watch Love actually in a few! Sadly, this movie couldn’t make the list*), even cheesier Christmas song played 24/7 in the radio. I love decorating my desk at work and writing wishes to my friends, co-workers and clients. I love buying gifts for my loved ones, I love going to Christmas markets in Germany. It’s sweet and it’s soft, just the way I like it.

Because I am sweet and soft. I am, right? RIGHT?

But, like Rocky said, the life ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. And sadly, Christmas season ain’t all sunshine and rainbows either.

            On Sunday I heard a piece of interview on the TV, some psychologist said that during this time of year, people tend to lose ability to think logically. And I could not agree more. I’m sure you all are familiar with Family-drama-Christmas-special, right? Every family goes through at least one. And it doesn’t matter what is the reason:

“leave that food, it’s for Christmas” (sure, let’s leave everything for those 2-3 days, and eat it for the next 10 days),

“did you buy everything I asked? … you forgot about this, I need it like now!” (no mum, trust me, you don’t need it RIGHT NOW, five days before Christmas, it’s not like shops are closed yet, but sure, I will run to the store again, because it’s pointless to pick it up tomorrow, when I will be coming home from work),

there is no way we will fit 14 people here” (well, should’ve thought about it when you offered to host the dinner, but whatevs, why don’t we yell at each other, that will for sure, magically make 14 people fit);

“why do you make so many cookies? … you sure this will be enough to give away to everyone?” (well, excuse me but first of all, I don’t plan to make cookie packets for military, second since everyone is coming for dinner, what is the point of giving the cookies away?);

do you really have to meet with your friends now?” (now being Thursday-Sunday before Christmas, so yes mum, I do have to meet with my friends, because I love them and I want to have a life, even at Christmas),

“what do you mean you’re not going to the Church with us? It’s tradition!” (who’s tradition? Not ours for sure, I don’t remember having one like that. I don’t want to go, I’d rather stay home and watch Christmas movie. And I’m not driven by religious reason, I just don’t feel like freezing my ass of for two hours),

you’re not helping at all… there’s so much to do!” (I don’t know how about you lot, but I am a task oriented person. I hate figuring out what needs to be done. You need my help, just say so. I’m not gonna spend half an hour moping around kitchen just to annoy you, because I don’t know what to do. Just say what you mean).

The list could go on and on, right? *sighs* And here I thought it was supposed to be a joyous season for all! And for most of the time it is, it’s not that I’m complaining. There is nothing that will make me stop loving my family, but every once in a while, I’d really appreciate if everyone would just chill, and let it be. So what, that gingerbread is a little bit flat. So what, that kids will sit at another, smaller table.

            My mum had a surgery on December 9th, so three weeks ago. And it was quite serious – thyroidectomy. She should be resting, doing absolutely nothing. But no, being stubborn duckling she is, she keeps on pushing herself to the limits. My mum has a syndrome, that I like to call “I’m all alone in this world and only I can take care of everyone, prepare Christmas…” In the same time, my grandma had a surgery – breast cancer removal. Also serious. To give you a little context about my mum’s syndrome – both me and my brother were available to help, to drive to the hospital or home and help out. Now, what did I hear from my mum? “No honey, you have work”. Well, all due respect mum, but who gives a shit about work considering circumstances? I mean, ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?

But yes, that’s my mum. And trust me, I love her to the moons and back. It’s Christmas, so no buts. I really do love her and I wish she could see that I have my priorities straight. Family first, everything else later. But that’s not even the point, let’s focus on the Christmas angle.

            People keep on saying that they love Christmas. Everyone everywhere, united in love for Christmas season. So why the hell we are so stressed about it? Why do we lose ability for logical, strategic thinking? Christmas Eve dinner is no different than a birthday dinner. One cooks, sets the table, invites guests, has a good time with them. Is there a psychological term, theory that could help me understand?

You know why I love Christmas movies? Because they are perfect. Literally, even if there is a series of catastrophes along the way, in the end there is this perfect moment. But wait, am I not the one that keeps saying that there is no such thing as “perfect moment”? Sure there’s not. It’s a movie after all. But in life, we can take any moment and make it perfect. All it takes is to take a breath and just chill. And I know it can be hard, I really do. Some of us are perfectionists. Some are unable to decompress. Some hate Christmas, some just don’t care about anything. But I refuse to believe that my family is like that.

            It’s getting quite dark, am I right? My Christmas are not that horrible! I shared with you some deep regrets, but I really like spending Holidays with my family. We are together, and even though we have ups and downs, all that matters is that in that very moment, we are united. And I know that my mum will wish me to find a guy that will go for all the concerts with me; my dad on the other hand will wish for me to chill with the tickets ?

My awesome aunt will keep pouring me wine and joyfully tell everyone, multiple times how smart and beautiful I am, how lucky she is to have me, again how smart and pretty I am, and tell his son that he should look up to me, if he wants to have a life. My brother will say “kid, never grow up. Thank you for being there for me, when I needed you the most!” … No, he is not so touchy-feely. He will go: “kid, I want to have a brother in law that I could talk to!!! Or watch a game with, can’t you hurry up?”. Asshole! ?

My grandams will wish me good health and good husband. My sister in law, and that I’m sure won’t say anything about getting a boyfriend. She will wish me to keep on pushing. And she will say that I can always count on her. My godmother will say that I should never change, never look back and stay on that track that I’m currently on. She will say that I should make all of my dreams come true and have fun doing it.

My uncle will say “May the Force me with you!” and I will freak out. My niece will hug the shit out of me, she will be charging my batteries all evening, and she will wish me luck and happiness. And lastly, my godson won’t say anything, he will steal my wafer and lots of my kisses.

You know what? It’s a pattern, because it all just happened. And it happens every year, just in different configurations. And I love it! I freaking love it, even when I know what to expect. I know that we will eat Christmas food for the next week or so, my mum will be freaking out that I went out for a movie or watched episode of Narcos or went for a run; my dad will get tipsy with my uncle, my aunt will praise the Lord for niece like me, kids will be so loud, my head will explode. But it want all of it. It’s how my Christmas always looked like, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything else.

            By now, you should be smiling. Are you? I hope so! See, we are much alike when it comes to family affairs. But hey, you are also probably wondering what’s with the gifts on Christmas morning? Ha. Well, let me give you a backstory: you already know that we’re hosting 14 people for Christmas, including 3 children. So, obviously it’s them who received all the gifts. In November, my mum said we can’t give each other presents on the Christmas Eve, because we would have to buy something for everyone and that’s pointless – to spent all that money and make everyone obligated to buy something.

And yet, she prepared some small “welcoming” gifts for everyone, making me, my brother and everyone look like fools. And well – I agree it’s a lot of people to give presents to, but… One can always give something very small, symbolic. Like buy tiny jars and put some tea in there. Last year she set “Family Christmas Gift Policy” – 50PLN for each gift, tops.

Guess what? She broke her own policy 😀 Typical mum, am I right? ?

            Lot, I just realized that I should re-watch The Mandalorian… So, Love actually has to wait. Did I tell you, that Star Wars movies are my favorite kind of Christmas movies? 😀 No? Oh, I guess I have to write about it then. Maybe tomorrow? But before I dig into Mando, let me share my Christmas wishes:

Get some rest. Find a moment to take a deep breath and reach full stop, in that “never-stopping” train of thoughts.

Find the droid you’re looking for! I hope, that all of you will spend this time with the ones you love. Family, friends, pets. Reach out to those, you miss. Look, I don’t always give away second chances, but some people are worth it.

Let go of what you fear to lose. End of year is time for reflection and summaries*. Don’t dwell on the mistakes, failures or misfortune. It’s in the past and it’s time to learn from the past. For 2020 I wish you HAPPY BEEPS ONLY!

Spread joy. If you can make someone happy, keep doing that. Appreciate. Praise! Good words, good deeds, good smiles. It’s not about changing entire world, it’s about making a difference in your world. And it starts with you!

From Jeaneen Conner Ingram FB page – girl I love what you post there!


4 thoughts on “Christmas lights

  1. Who just made my Christmas Eve acceptable? YOU DID!
    For a shitload of time I don’t even wait for Christmas. I make stuff in a mechanical way, like a checklist of things that have to be done so that other people are happy. 4 batches of dough for cripsy cookies & gingerbread cookies – check. Buy and wrap gifts – check. Smile to everyone even though you feel like screaming at the top of your lungs – check. Pretend you don’t mind your hometown while you hate it wholeheartedly – CHECK.
    Don’t get me wrong, I also love my family, but first of all, both me and my dad have strong characters so it’s like fighting fire with fire – when two flints knock, sparks fly around. Second of all, my mum is super stressed (she’s ill and also her godmother is in a hospital) and my dad doesn’t know when to back off so they are both mean to each other and I either tell them to stop that or leave the room. I am supposed to rest but I feel so anxious all the time that it makes me dizzy sometimes. So yes, Family Feuds: Christmas Edition is one of my least favourite series, right after Summer Vacation Edition……

    You are soft but you play hard at the same time so getting to know the soft side of you is, I think, a privilege.
    That’s why I am terribly grateful that you are my friend and that we went to Dresden together because for a moment I distracted myself and felt the Christmas Spirit.
    I wish people realised, on the one hand, that if you don’t do EVERYTHING, it won’t be the end of the World and, on the other hand, that other people’s lives are NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. You can give them a kind and sincere suggestion but you’ve never walked even a step in their shoes and never lived even a minute of their life so you have no right to JUDGE but you have the right to CARE and GIVE A HAND. What they do with it is another side of the story, but this is not your fault, if you wished them well.

    Ju, be calm this Christmas, get some quality time with yourself above all and set your mind in peace, at least for a moment <3
    Love you 3000!

    PS Nobody wished me a boyfriend so I guess I am a lost cause already (; #ForeverAlone

  2. Nice to know that Christmas is the same no matter what part of the world you live in. It just wouldn’t be the same without the chaos.

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