The Weekend Before Christmas

cats christmas

It was the week before Christmas

And all through the house

The kitties were running

In search of their mouse.

They tore through the kitchen

And under the chair

Then disappeared down the hallway

As if never there

The stockings weren’t hung

I’m nobody’s fool

For all that’d be left

Would be shredded in drool

The doggies were eyeballing

The goodies I baked

They had full intention

of sharing my cake

The tree stood by waiting

For garland and lights

The statues and santas

Were stacked way up tight

Christmas cards were patient

For pen and for stamp

My list just kept growing

There under the lamp

I was cooking, I was cleaning

I was staying up late

Worrying about strudel

And empty Christmas plates

The kitties were wrestling

And howling at night

They were drinking milk from glasses

And causing a fright

Then what to my wondering

eyes should appear

But a Food Network magazine

And a bottle of beer

The recipes flowed

Like snow in the hills

With last minute tips

For stove and for grill

On Candy! On Cookies!

On chocolate pecans!

The holiday planning

Had only begun!

Another beer or two

And I was planning gourmet

Pot-au-feu and remoulades

And salmon pate

After the six pack

The tree decorated itself

The dogs baked a meatloaf

With the elf on the shelf

The cats were all dancing

To Jinglebell Rock

The ornaments were hung

On the dining room clock

The beauty of Christmas

Shown brightly that night

My head did a spinneroonie

But that was all right

The turkey and stuffing

Could wait one more day

I took two more aspirins

And called it a day.

The Fun of Snowflakes

paper snowflakes 023The “holiday” season is upon us. I put quotation marks around the word holiday, for, in this politically correct world, one is encouraged to sterilize most personal affiliations. Which, to my crone nature, is ridiculous. Being part of the 50s baby boom, I haven’t known anything BUT Christmas. While I have come to respect and enjoy Hanukah and St. Nick’s Day, I believe the best way to celebrate life in all it’s rainbow colors is to erase the squeaky clean “holiday” and celebrate each and every tradition that comes our way.

Did some Christmas shopping the other eve. Between empty shelves and too many shoppers, I stopped and asked myself what I was doing. Gift giving is alive and well this time of year, but I wondered why there is only one day of the year (besides birthdays) to spend your money on gifts that, for the most part, wind up in toy boxes or in drawers, only to be brought out now and then as a reminder of the person who bought it for you out of love (or desperation).

I know I sound like Scrooge’s sister, and I’m not. I might not have a lot of money, but I love buying things for those I love. (Is that redundant?) I embrace the sacredness of the season, the meaning behind the glitter. I enjoy the stories of Hanukah along with the mysticism of the Winter Solstice. This season, this day, is a wonderful stew made of all cultures, all sorts of traditions. It is a season of giving, of love, of modest means and decadent frivolity.

So what does this have to do with the word holiday?

Mostly that life is too short not to make every day a holiday. Christmas, Hanukah, Easter, all have sacred meanings behind the fluff. Halloween and Thanksgiving also have messages older than candy and turkey. I believe we should never forget where the fluff came from.

How much of a connection to the religious significance behind the “holiday” is up to you.  A choral concert in a church is a marvelous experience, whether you are Catholic, Lutheran, or Pagan. Giving gifts on St. Nick’s Day can make someone happy just as much as Christmas presents would. Celebrating the Winter Solstice brings the hope of birth and renewal to the soul just as much as any other. Everything from the lighting of the Menorah to a baby in a manger to twinkling lights on a tree make the season, the holiday, meaningful.

I love giving presents.  I tend to give them all year long. I don’t need a special day to celebrate my life or the lives of those I’ve loved. You shouldn’t either. But remember what real presents are. Give a lesson in cooking or color a picture together. Show someone how to make paper snowflakes or sit down and write a story with them. Those things will last longer in their hearts than the latest zapparoonie or blinkalot.

Now — where did I put my crayons?