2.12. Tis The Season…To Be Enlightened

Most people consider this time of year to be a religious time. I’m not one of those people. No disrespect or disregard to anyone for their particular beliefs. As the mother of a young child, I view this time of year as a cultural celebration. My son may have a best friend who celebrates something different than him. He may love someone who doesn’t celebrate at all. Either way, he will be enlightened to show respect above all else.

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Three Kings Day, or some other unknown cultural celebration – this is your time to do so with pride and joy in your heart.

Christmas December 25

Hanukkah December 8-16

Kwanzaa December 26-January1

Three Kings Day January 6

I look forward to enlightening my son about the different meanings and celebrations surrounding this time of year. To have him be enlightened, respectful of others beliefs, and appreciative of what may matter to others. This season is not about materialistic possessions, money, or self-righteousness. This time is about the love of family, the desire to bring a smile to others faces, the sharing of stories, of food, of life, of laughter, of love.

If you say Merry Christmas to me, I will repeat the same. If you say Happy Kwanzaa, I’ll chime right on in. If you say Feliz Navidad, I want a hippopotamus for Christmas or hey F your face – you’ll get it back just the same. I’ll give you the same respect you give me…or disrespect if that’s how you want to roll this holiday. I’ll not say that one celebration is right or more relevant than another. Culture, not religion, is what allows our differences to shine. Allows us to meld and merge, co-exist and flourish as a unified display of individuality.

So enjoy the season for what it is…to you. But be mindful, the house next door might be celebrating something a little bit different. And that’s just beautiful.

 

1.79 – I Am Angry

Papa Bear,

It’s been five months since you left. I think about you every day. I have so many mixed emotions. Just when I think I’m through the grief; it comes back to me. it tackles me like a beast. There are times when things feel so hard, life feels hopeless and I wish I could call you. I wish I could hear your voice. I wish I knew you were with me. But I now have more doubt than I ever had about what lay on the other side.

If anyone could reach out to me, break the barriers and show me that something else exists…it would have been you. But I don’t feel your presence, Dad. You are gone. And that kills me. I don’t believe people when they say they “feel” their family members, spirits, ghosts, whatever. Why would something reach out to them and you don’t reach out to me? Where are you? why the hell did you leave? I want to believe that you watch over me. But now I doubt that. That kills me. I am angry. 

When things are good, you are not here to share in the joy with me. When my son does something wonderful, you don’t see it. You don’t hug him. You don’t hold him. You don’t tell him you love him. That kills me. You left us and I’m mad at you for that. 

I know I shouldn’t need you. I’m an adult. I should be fine. But I’m not. You broke your promise. You promised you would never leave me the way they did. You would never abandon me. But you did. 

I had to walk into the house you died in. I had to walk down that hall. I had to walk into your room. I had to see your empty chair. I had to see your empty bed. I had to hold the clothes you died in. I had to carry you in a box on a fucking airplane. You are a box. A wooden box.That kills me.  And I’m angry. 

Christmas is in two days. I won’t call you. I won’t send you a card. I won’t get the one present I want. I will watch the ball drop on New Years and for the first time, you wont call. I will visit home in February…and you wont be there. I am angry. 

I work so I don’t think about this. I write so I don’t think about this. I read so I don’t think about this. I wont drink because I know I will go off the deep end. And I want to know when this will end, Dad. When is the pain over? You will never answer me. And I am angry.

I know I didn’t get my shit together in time, Dad. I wanted you to come live with me but you couldn’t. Didn’t want to. I didn’t have the comfortable life you got used to. I’m sorry I failed. I’m sorry I didn’t progress quick enough. That kills me. 

I would ask you to watch over me, to help me make it to the next level, to succeed. I know that’s pointless. I am many things. But now that you’re gone…I have no parents. I am a 27 year old orphan. I am no longer a daughter. I am angry. 

I will keep the mask on, Dad. I will try to figure this out. I will struggle to be better. I will fight to give more to my son. I will promise to never leave him the way you left me. And I will fail. That kills me. And I am angry. 

1.77 – My Dad Was Santa Claus

Once upon a time there was a pig named Humphrey. I ate him. The end.

I’m about as likely to tell my son this story as I am to tell him about Santa. You might think me a cruel mother. I’m not. I’m just one that thinks a lot about these types of things…the lessons I’m going to teach my son.

We teach our kids not to take candy from strangers. Then we take them trick-or-treating in which they knock on strangers doors and…take candy.

We teach our kids to dial 911 in case of an emergency but encourage them to sleep tight on Christmas Eve while a pudgy man slides down the chimney to walk about their house.

We teach our kids to not be gluttonous, to eat healthy, to never waste since their are starving children…everywhere and yet we cook abundantly for Thanksgiving only to throw away enough food to feed a nation.

We give our kids money for their teeth but what about all of the meth-addicts who lose their teeth? They are just misguided children trying to get some dough.

We stuff our kids with chocolate and make them search for eggs scattered about by a massive bunny for Easter. RABBITS DONT LAY EGGS! Where the hell is the Easter bunny getting these things from?

I’m the first to encourage a vivid imagination. It flows through the very core of my being to be imaginative. However, I don’t ever recall a time in which I believed in Santa. Santa was a story. A fun story. A story many people believed in. But one I always knew was just that: a story. Maybe its because I grew up on Gun Hill and Hull in the Bronx. There was no way you were ever going to convince me that a chubby white man climbed into peoples houses to deliver gifts and lived past apartment number 2. Not on my block.

To be honest, I don’t think I missed out. I don’t regret knowing that my dad busted his ass to get us all that he could. I don’t regret knowing that my father went without to make sure we had something to open at midnight. Why give credit to someone who didn’t exist when my father was my Santa? And my Santa delivered gifts year round. He loved me. He wasn’t a stranger. He was a jolly, pot-bellied man with a white beard and white hair. That is not a story. That is truth. A truth I have enjoyed thus far and a truth I will continue to enjoy.

In keeping with tradition, I will tell my son that story while simultaneously being my sons Santa. He can choose to believe in the realm of pure fantasy until his heart says otherwise or he can choose to enjoy the story and appreciate the reality.

1.75 – The Train Is Leaving The Station

As you can tell, I have a lot of pet peeves. Things that just get under my skin. I swear I’m a nice person…somewhere inside all of this mess. Here’s a pet peeve I am continuously subjected to.

The “I Assume I Know What You’re Going To Say/How You’ll React” statement.

Here’s an actual conversation:

-So, I’m going to decorate the tree some time this week.

Me – Thats kind of silly, isn’t it?

– What?

Me – Decorating a tree the week of Christmas when it’s been up with no decorations for three weeks.

– Well, I just thought you’d be pissed if you came over with all those gifts and the tree wasn’t decorated.

Why would I be pissed? I don’t live in your house. I don’t own your tree. I don’t even have a tree up in my house. Just be honest. You’ve been too lazy to decorate your own tree and you think putting in some effort 3 days before the holiday will score you some points. It wont.

How did I suddenly take the blame for you “needing” to put decorations on a tree when I have, in now way, ever mentioned anything about it?

It’s like people asking, “are you mad,” and when you say no…they insist that you are. You know what makes me mad? You assuming you know me better than I do. If you think you know every reaction I’m going to have – why not just talk to yourself on behalf of the both of us?

And FYI – If I use a word, in this case “sweet,” do not question my vocabulary. Because if you do, I’m just going to say, “I felt like saying it.” “Well you never use to say that.”

It frustrates me to even type that line.

Here is the deal. Who I was yesterday is not who I am today and sure as shit won’t be who I am tomorrow. It’s called growing. Growing up, growing out of bad habits, growing toward a brighter future, growing to be light-hearted, growing to be…everything I wasn’t capable of being yesterday. I understand you knew me for many yesterdays. This is who I am now. The train is leaving the station because I’m moving toward bigger and better things. If you cant appreciate that, please shut the f**k up and stand clear of the closing doors. Because I’m not going to stop evolving for the likes of you.

You like that?

Sweet!

1.50: XMAS XMAS XMAS XMAS

Tis the season. So I’ll start my rants early. Hell if there isn’t an abundance of inspiration.

The Thanksgiving Day parade ends with Santa Clause and the flood gates unleash. People are planning their Black Friday shopping like neanderthals, our poor ass economy suddenly turns into shopaholics anonymous and money is spent faster than it can be made.

Does it bother me? Nah. I don’t really care. At least not for this post.

I’m a writer. It is my 24 hour a day job. But it’s not the one I get paid for. I’m in retail. The lovely arena that is retail. Being in retail allows you to see the good, the bad and the ugly. Wait, lets nix that. I’m not in retail. I don’t sell products. Lots of people do but I don’t. I’m in customer service. That is my number one priority and that’s what makes me good at my job. Period.

Being in customer service, you deal with a lot of people’s opinions. A couple of years back, I had a customer correct me when I said Happy Holidays. “This is the season of Christ, you tell me Merry Christmas.” I’ve gotten that comment multiple times over the years, it’s really no surprise to me. I see people on all the social media websites “correcting” everyone on the use of “xmas” and “Happy Holidays.” I usually stay quiet about this.

Not today.

First of all, I don’t say happy holidays for you. Growing up, I decorated with a Christmas tree and a Menorah.  My father is of Hebrew descent and so we celebrated Hanukkah. No, we did not do 8 days of gifts. Because that wasn’t what it was about for my father when he shared this with me. It was the miracle of light existing when it shouldnt have. Whether you agree or disagree is quite irrelevant to me. It gave my father joy and so it gave me joy. Xmas and the festival of lights was my shindig and I’m one well rounded bitch because of it.

Growing up, Christmas was never about Jesus being born. Not in my house. Period. Do I regret that? Not one bit. Christmas wasn’t about gifts in my house. We were poor. We didn’t have shit. Christmas was about family. The rare time of the year when children kept their innocence, family united as best they could and smiles were had…even for a short while.

That being said…

I really hate people who do this whole “don’t take Christ out of Christmas” speech. You fucking hypocrite. Do me a favor. Before you start yapping about the sanctity of the holiday and downgrading other peoples beliefs, think about yourself for a second. Is Christ in Black Friday? In the money hungry materialistic self absorbed gimmie gimmie spirit you project or teach your children? Is Christ in every box of gifts you think you’re entitled to receive? Is Christ in the Christmas carols you sing? Is Christ in the holiday movies you watch?

Better yet…this Jesus guy sounds like a real giving individual. He cared about the sick, the homeless, the needy, the pained. When was the last time you spent your Christmas day at a hospital, a homeless shelter, an orphanage, on the streets with the less fortunate, at a battered womans shelter, with cancer patients, AIDS patients, the elderly, the mentally handicapped? When was the last time you sacrificed your luxuries and gave everything to someone else?

“I donate money and toys all the time. I give to toys for tots. I gave a jar of peanut butter at the grocery store. I give to the dudes standing outside ringing for the salvation army.” Put what you gave beside what you will receive and reconsider your influence.

I’m not saying religious people are wrong to rejoice in the day their Savior was born…although I thought he was born in October or July or something…but that’s besides the point right? Okay, lets say he was born, without arguement, on December 25th. Awesome. Rejoice on that day. It’s his birthday. But um…why are you getting gifts? Why are you giving gifts to your kids? To your parents? Your siblings? It’s not their birthday. It’s Jesus’ day.

He must be one layed back dude because if everyone I knew showed up to my birthday with no gifts for me, no signs of humanity, compassion, love, selfless giving of time and energy to those in need…if everyone showed up to my day with gifts for themselves, spread amongst one another…I’d be pissed! You know what I think? Thats SELFISH!

First four letters…SELF. Holidays are about self.

Feel free to disagree. I’m all about everyone having their own view. But be honest with yourself. When I go shopping for Christmas, I’m thinking about what will make my son happy. I’m not lying to anyone and saying its a celebration for someones birthday. Nope, just another reason to spoil my son. Period.

So, if your Jewish and you wanna spoil yourself and those you love: HAPPY HANUKKAH! If your African descent and you want to spoil yourself and those you love: HAPPY KWANZAA! If your buddhist and you wanna spoil yourself and those you love: HAPPY ROHATSU (insert palms together hand gesture here). If you’re Islamic and you wanna spoil yourself and those you love: RAMADAN KAREEM! If you just celebrate the solstice and you wanna spoil yourself and those you love: HAPPY YULE! If you’re Catholic or Christian and you wanna spoil yourself and those you love: MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Stop searching for reasons to get offended. If you’re that uptight, wear a freakin’ button that says “I’m Christian and I celebrate Christmas.” Then, I will know what to say to you. Until then, shut up!

I officially hate anyone who says the “don’t take Christ out of Christmas line.” You are allowed to say that if, AND ONLY IF, you are truly capable of taking self out of the holiday season (and this includes spoiling your kids. Sorry parents, but saying I only shop for my children is not justifying your hedonistic material obsession).

AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!!!!!

I now return you to your regularly scheduled program, The 25 Days of ChristmasKwanzzHanukkahRohatsuRamadanSolstice (Insertyourholidaythingyhere), already in progress.

1.44 – FB, Holidays, & Stuff I Hate

Warning: I slap someone with a tampon in this post.

Before I get started on my intended post for the day, I’d like to give a shout out.

People who put pictures of random people with some sort of socially unnacceptable physical attribute on their Facebook for the mere pleasure of it are assholes. I don’t care how pretty you think you are, your soul is ugly.

That being said, I’m now going to go down the list of things I feel like covering. I know that was vague and I don’t really care. Deal.

The holidays are fast approaching and I’m really in no mood to go through it this year. In fact, if I had my way, I’d fast forward to my sons birthday in February and continue to fast forward until March or April. Just so all of the chaos was over.

It’s an emotional chaos: this is the first time in eight years that I have lived alone. (Long long long story short, my sons father and I are seperated and it’s the best for all parties involved and we are getting along just fine as we are and if you don’t like it, shut up.) Nonetheless, it takes a lot of getting used to. This is also the first holiday in which my father is no longer with us. I’m sure I will mention him a million times over the season, death sucks, period.

Friday is the last day I spoke to my best friend who passed away on December 9th of last year. That’s nothing to look forward to.

Besides death, yeah, I guess it’s not so bad a time of year…

Oh hell, who am I kidding? I hate the holidays and here’s why.

The greedy people become even more greedy. It’s a gimmie gimmie time of year. No ones grateful for anything except the upcoming sales. It’s a self-indulgent time for a self indulgent species. Look for the upcoming “10 shoppers I Hate” post.

Movies suck. Do you notice they start the 25 days of Christmas on November 26th. THAT’S NOT 25 DAYS. Speaking of which, Happy Feet is featured on that list. That has got to be one of the most MORBID movies I’ve ever seen. The penguin looks like he wants to commit suicide when he’s in the zoo. Having a bad day…DON’T watch that movie. It’s for your own sanity.

Traffic is stupid. People can’t drive as it is and now I’ll have to deal with those dumb shoppers rushing to the mall and sitting on the highway during snow storms. Ugh Kansas for your unpredictable weather. 66 degrees today, possibly 22 tomorrow night.

Grocery shopping is horrid. I don’t want to wait in line behind the woman who is preparing dinner for 30 people. I just want to get some diapers, milk and eggs. And yet, I’m at the store for 45 minutes.

It’s cold. I hate the cold. I hate the cold so much, if the cold was a person, I’d slap her with a used tampon. Seriously, I know thats gross but I’d do it, twice, on film, youtube it and call it a day. The cold is a nasty hooker of a bitch and I hate her. I hope she dies. A lot.

And lastly, I hate the fact that everyone talks about visiting their family. Shut up. I don’t care. My family is 1300 miles away. And since I can’t get to them, I will dislike you instead. Intensely.

I’m really not a grinch, I promise. I’m putting up a tree and doing my shopping like the rest of the drones. I sing Christmas carols and get into the spirit, if for nothing else than to give my son a memorable experience. As long as people don’t annoy me, which will never happen, I’ll be fine.

Yeah, I know. See you on the next post in which I talk about people I hate.

I now return you to the 25 days of Christmas which lasts for 4 months, 23 days and 14 hours…already in progress.