In my next life I’m a guy, for one, and devoutly Jewish, for two. There’s a gender- and culture-specific kick in the ass about this holiday that makes me manic and unpleasant, and I’d like to avoid that when reincarnated. For several years I have said I will, I will, I will take more time off before the holiday next year, and ultimately I do take some time off, but only in response to a last-minute panicked review of all that needs doing before guests are due to arrive at my house. Did I say guests? I mean family— so, if family, why so uptight?
Growing up, our drab, dull, charcoal and brown and 1970’s decor sloppy messy house was, at Christmas, made special. Good smells, brighter lights, Bing Crosby and a blinky candy cane at the front door. There was candy, there were cookies, there was a swollen feeling of plenty. Good cheer seeped throughout that ugly house. I enjoy remembering that even now.
I want that for the prince. And I’ve learned that I’m not my mom, with her blithe talent for taking humble bits and making them, McGyver-like, into classic confections and charming decor. I have to work at it, sloppily, badly, gracelessly; I have to buy more to compensate for the lack of organic tradition and natural talent. That takes time. That steals sleep. That creates panic.
It’s not the portrait of the perfect family, the facebook photo, that I’m after. I don’t care how this LOOKS– I’m wanting the prince to feel a certain way, and to remember this in thirty or forty years.
(…hopefully he remembers the effect, not the grouchy grimace of the queen of bad planning…)
…thanks all for checking in from time to time, and best wishes for a Happy New Year…!