“Bah, humbug!” No, that’s too strong
‘Cause it is my favorite holiday
But all this year’s been a busy blur
Don’t think I have the energy
To add to my already mad rush
Just ’cause it’s ’tis the season.
The perfect gift for me would be
Eight hours of sleep and no more sneezin’
So deck those halls, trim those trees
Raise up cups of Christmas cheer,
I just need to catch my breath,
Christmas by myself this year.
Ok Dadmissions added the line about sleep to the classic song by the Waitresses “Christmas Wrapping” but the rest is all theirs. And thirty years later, I’m still grappling with the same issue they sang about– “holiday overload”. Here we are two weeks from Christmas and right smack in the middle of Hannukah. We’re talking holidays and gifts and good will towards all… Right? People are rushing around all over the place. Cards are arriving. Shipments are being sent. So why am I having so much trouble getting in that holiday spirit. Don’t think I have the energy just like the song says. We haven’t gotten a tree yet. We haven’t sent out a card (bought them, haven’t sent them out). The kids have been sick. The wife has been sick and I think we’re all missing the holiday spark which usually gets us going. And yes, a low key holiday doesn’t seem like such a bad idea after a really busy year of kids, meetings, soccer, parties, and more. We just need to catch our breath. We’re parents. Damn don’t we deserve it!
In the song, she finds inspiration at the all night grocery when she goes to get some cranberry sauce and meets the guy she’s been dreaming about all year. It turns out, if you’re married with kids the inspiration might be more subtle but no less wonderful. And right now I admit it. I’m looking for the lightning bolt. I have a great wife, two wonderful kids, a good job so where is the lightning bolt? Where is that freakin’ holiday spirit? Cmon’ Saint Nick, lemme have it. So I do what I usually do now in situations like this. I turn to the wisdom of the kids. They always seem to know. I asked my 4 year old, “what does holiday spirit mean to you?” And then it happened.
She said it means Jesus’ birthday. I’m Jewish and my wife is Catholic so I was still proud of that answer. And then she said, “joy and fun”. I asked her why. And she said “Because I know it does”. Then my wife joined in. “The holidays to me mean well-deserved family time”. And she added, it means a time of forgiveness. It means Christmas carols too. So I asked my kids what their favorite Christmas carol was. And the 4 year old said Rudolph and she started to sing. Then the 7 year old joined in and started singing Rudolph and my wife started singing Rudolph… Everyone singing Rudolph at 7 in the morning. I don’t know why but somehow just that little song started to do it. I was feeling a spark. That’s it. I got a spark.
Maybe it’s not the hustle and bustle of the holidays but the simple joy of family we should be looking for over the next couple of weeks. The gifts will come and the gifts will go but the family is here for a lifetime. And I’m lucky for that. I have a week off over Christmas and I can’t wait to spend it with the wife and kids. I’m looking forward to sending out those cards to family and friends and hopefully surprising a few people who weren’t expecting them. And we’ll probably get the tree this weekend. Why not. I love going to the tree farm with the kids and picking up a tree. Tis the season. And I’m starting to feel that holiday spirit.
As the song ends:
Then suddenly we laughed and laughed
Caught on to what was happening
That Christmas magic’s brought this tale
To a very happy ending!
I guess you just need to be open to finding that holiday spark and then it will find YOU.
Here’s wishing us all that holiday spark.
Happy holidays to you from Dadmissions.