Christmas used to be a rough time for us. When our daughter flipped her lid and disappeared, and our in laws started running their mouths, picking sides and throwing shots - our family disintegrated. Christmas was the only time I even vaguely missed them and it hurt doubly hard - everyone else was normal, right? Everyone else was making the holiday special and fun - and here we were with cinders. It's easy to start feeling sorry for yourself and I did just that. It's one of the biggest sins a man can commit.
But time heals and I began to look back on Christmas for what it was - a time of stress. There were all the presents to buy, the nutty crowds in the stores and at Christmas dinner - the even nuttier family politics. We couldn't sit down as a family and have fun - there was always the goading and cheap shots and veiled insults. The last few times I sat grinding my teeth, seriously considering getting up and leaving those people to themselves. Who needs that shit?
All that's gone now. My wife started dragging me to church this year and I was finally able to see this holiday as the celebration it's supposed to be. It's an incredible experience: I used to hear those sanctimonious bible thumping holy rollers yapping about keeping Christ in Christmas and think, 'Yeah, right. Screw that! Christmas is supposed to be fun!' I thought they were saying stuff like that to bring everyone down or something. In reality it's not like that at all - I think a lot of them see all this Christmas stupidity and are trying to tell everyone - there is absolutely no need for it. They're right about that too. There's a lot of beauty in the faith that gets lost in the shopping rush, the commercials, and the glint and glitter.
Last night I was almost run over in the Sobey's parking lot. Some kid ran a stop sign and turned while I was in the middle of a cross walk. He must have seen me, but he was stressed out of his gourd and I could see his old lady in the passenger seat screeching at him. He missed me by a couple inches. Like I used to be - he was mad at the world. His version of Christmas made him that way. He tore down the street and turned - and I heard more horns blaring and revving engines as he went round another corner.
If your family is messed up - don't get stressed. It's easy to say, but hard to do, at first. Do something that's good for you. There's a lot of families that don't work right anymore and there's not a blessed thing you can do about it. All you can do is forgive 'em, maybe throw a prayer out for 'em, and look after yourself. Hopefully they will do the same at some point and maybe things'll work out later.
Today I am going to take the dawgs out on a field trip and the Missus has agreed to come. I recently found some treasure right under our noses and figure today might be the day to take advantage of it.
This is YOUR day, one that your Maker set aside for YOU. Ya can't take care of anyone else if ya don't take care of yourself. Merry Christmas to you, in whatever shape or form that takes for ya.