It’s Monday once again. It’s December 17th and holiday preparations are in full swing. School pageants, church socials, pop up Christmas markets, holiday open houses, tinsel and Christmas lights as far as the eye can see. …oh, and my favorite of all…holiday retail hours. Yours truly is working 8 out of the next 9 days. Perks of being a strong salesperson I guess. For many of us, the two weeks before Christmas can be exhausting for we have our own life and family responsibilities on top of all the other responsibilities and to do lists that accompany this time of year.
Usually my Monday Motivator’s are to cure your hair woes and ensure a good hair day on Monday and everyday. Today is to bring a smile to your face, some warmth to cure your soul and add some joy to your day. I have compiled my most popular holiday posts and “Tales of Truth” for you all.
Be happy. Take a breath. Take five minutes for yourself, to sip a hot tea, a crisp chardonnay, savor a Christmas cookie, text your friend a funny holiday meme, share this blog. Add some joy to your day and that joy will spread.
So here we are, on the eve of Christmas eve. As I sit here, I am seeing the twinkle of the lights on the Christmas tree, listening to my girl Adele and smelling the yummy dinner my lovely hubby is preparing for me and our girl who makes us three. Yesterday was Saturday, the last Saturday before Christmas and tomorrow is Christmas eve and I was and will be at the shop. Today was truly a day of rest for me. I know…you are thinking “yeah…so what…get on with it.”. Keep your hair on, I’m getting to the tale of the day.
I came to realize something today. You all have heard of my dear ‘ol Dad and my beloved grandmother Leah. I realized today, as she was picking up my girl to take her Christmas shopping for a gift for me, I have yet to tell you of my mother. When I think of my mother, I remember the smell of her perfume as she and my dad were heading out for a night on the town. I remember her heels all lined up in the closet and aching to wear them. (As I have stated before, our clan is vertically challenged, heels are a must…it’s the only way we can reach the first shelf).I remember her putting my hair in rollers and when I looked in the full length closet mirror door after she had taken the rollers out, I thought I looked like Farrah Fawcett and felt pretty. I also remember her kindness, towards me and my kin and also to others. We moved around a lot when I was younger and I was always the new kid, and let me tell you how much fun that was. Looking back I now realize how much my mother tried to make it easier for me. An extra cookie made it’s way into my lunch when I was the new kid in class, so I could offer it to a potential new friend. She would buy me something from the trendiest store so when I walked into the new school I wouldn’t stand out as much – didn’t last long though…once I opened my mouth, I stood out…that and my larger than life earrings and my “True Blue Madonna” coiffure.
As you know, my Dad was in the hospital. While visiting one evening, I was fortunate to witness another kindness bestowed on another by my mother. An elderly gentleman was one of my Dad’s roomies and he had a friend visiting. He was not able to walk or get up on his own so he had to use a bedpan. My mother had noticed that he and his friend had been holding hands earlier, so she went to the bathroom, got a washcloth with some soap and a towel and gave it to the gentleman so he could wash and dry his hands, so he and his friend could once again hold hands.
As you know, I believe beauty comes in many forms. It can come in the form of foundation and eyeliner, mousse and hairspray, paintings and verse. It also comes in the form of kindness, of consideration, of paying attention to the needs of others. My mother has taught me many things, from how to measure a level teaspoon to threading a sewing machine, how to blot my lipstick and how to draw in three dimensions. She has also taught me to pay attention, be kind, make memories not regrets. Thanks for the memories Mum.
So the Christmas season is upon us. I think Mother Nature has been hitting the holiday cheer a little early this year because we are not experiencing the typical December weather we are used to in my neck of the woods. School mornings aren’t filled with “Put on your toque!” ( hat for the non-Canadians) followed with the all too familiar “BUT MOM!!! It’s gonna ruin my hair!”. Not an “appropriate” footwear argument to be heard or a pout or tantrum over ugly winter boots to be had. There may be peace and happiness in the morning at households of school aged children everywhere, but it doesn’t seem to last. “It doesn’t feel like Christmas” is what I hear all day at the shop. After hearing it for the tenth time before 10 a.m. (we open at 9:30 a.m.), I found myself thinking about what I think Christmas is, and what I used to think Christmas was and how hard we as women are on ourselves and our image. (Hey, it’s Monday and I had 4 cups of coffee and have a teenage daughter – enough said).
When I was a child I firmly believed in Santa and the Baby Jesus. I thought they were related. I couldn’t wait to see Santa, that was until I got within 5 feet of the man and thought I was going to pee my pants because I swore he could read my mind and knew it was me who had cut my sister’s Barbie’s hair and had kicked many boys “where it counts” when they made fun of me…and he would tell the Baby Jesus. Fast forward to my twenties/early thirties. I was married when I was 22 and yes we are still together and we still love and like each other. I, as many women went through the “Norman Rockwell painting” phase. Oh come on…you know you did, hell, you may still be going through it – my condolences. The “Norman Rockwell painting” phase or NRP as I like to call it is when one puts so much pressure on one’s self to look perfect and act perfect that one does not enjoy anything and finds no beauty…anywhere. Not in their decorations, baking, family or their own reflection. I thankfully snapped out of that. As I type, I have a tree up in my living room with lights on it and that’s about it. Why? My daughter wants to help decorate it but she has too much homework so we will do it later some time this week…and guess what?!? The moon didn’t turn black and the earth didn’t open up and swallow us whole. Take that NRP. Now Christmas is whatever it may be. Last year it was beer and quesadillas. This year, I have no idea yet and it is glorious.
In the last week I have seen women fret and panic because the red polish they needed for an exact match to their holiday sweater set was on back order. I heard a woman call herself an idiot because she forgot her list. I have heard women say they were too old for a new cut. I have seen a woman’s lip quiver over deciding which flat iron to get. All of them had themselves on such a tight schedule, everything had to be perfectly timed – a timer should be used for baking cookies – not for your daily life. They were all trying to make it perfect. Ladies, it is time to ease up on ourselves, it’s never gonna be perfect. Souffles will fall, cookies will burn, nail polish will chip (if you use OPI ChipSkip it won’t but that is another tale for another time).
There may not be snow, there may be stress in your life, the nail polish may be on back order but it can still feel like Christmas. Play a game with your child, laugh at their jokes even if it is the 100th time you have heard it. Hold your husband’s hand and when you ask how his day was, mean it. Smile as you pass people on the street. Give to a local charity. Donate to a toy drive. Sing a carol in your car. Text a friend to tell them they are wonderful. Talk to your parents – in their living room or at their grave – they will listen to you either way. Next thing you know…it may begin to feel like Christmas.