With no sarcasm whatsoever, I can freely admit that I adore the Christmas season! In addition to fact that we celebrate the birth of someone who died so that we may all have eternal life, there's the added benefit that overconsumption of both wine and cookies is not only accepted as the norm, but it's encouraged as well! It's like...if you're not drinking a bottle of Pinot Noir each day and scarfing down a plate of unwitting gingerbread men, people look at you like there's something wrong with you.
I love listening to Christmas carols, particularly the traditional religious ones like George Michael's "Last Christmas" and that one by The Waitresses where they both forgot "cranberry" and end up falling in love at the all-night grocery. And in all seriousness Bing Crosby's "Christmas Waltz" always makes me feel sentimental, giving me an almost irresistible urge grab someone both homely and lonely and mercy smooching them under the mistletoe.
And then there's the task of moving our creepy elf who is plotting to kill us.
There's nothing I like about this part of Christmas.
But one thing I do love is remembering the meaning of Christmas, which is Christ's sacrifice for us, and whether you're a Christian or not, whether you believe in the guy in the sky or the pie in the sky, there is no human being that doesn't believe in gratitude. So moreso than Thanksgiving, (when I spend my time avoiding the dry, tasteless meat that is turkey) the Christmas season makes me remember all the things for which I am thankful. So here's my list.
In no particular order, I am grateful for:
1. The 2015 Ford Explorer. (And no, they are not paying me to plug their brand). It kept my twin sister safe when she was in a terrible car crash just hours before she delivered her twin infants by emergency C-section.
2. My brand new niece and nephew. They are healthy and strong and I very pleased to report that, unlike most newborns, they do not resemble plucked chickens. I am also grateful that every time Little T makes a face it looks just like the bald guy from The Princess Bride and we all yell "INCONCEIVEABLE!" I am also grateful for my not-so-new but equally fabulous older niece and nephew who I love like my own kids with the addition of getting to spoil them rotten and having never to discipline them.
3. My children. When they're not trying to slowly and skillfully make me lose my mind, they are treasure troves of wonderfulness, but specifically I love how Big A is such a gentle soul and a loving, loyal friend. Every time I see some little shit bullying a smaller child, I'm grateful that although God made Big A physically huge, my little man has come equipped with sweet nature and a conscious. I am grateful that my daughter is so tough but also has a voice like one of the munchkins from The Wizard of Oz and is BFFs with her grandmother. I also love that she is the nosiest person in the universe and DOESN'T MISS A TRICK. At three years old, she's already questioning Santa's toy manufacturing practices.
4. My sisters. They are simply the best and I can't write more in a public blog without making everyone uncomfortable. I would be a (bigger) mess without their love and support. There are two of my greatest blessings. All I'll say is we could quote the entire movie of Teen Witch. Well, two of us can.
5. My mom and dad, whose love knows no boundaries. And nor does their every day interactive skills. But one day I will miss them dropping by the house for no reason, gassing up my car when I didn't ask them to, buying me stuff from Cost-co and coming over to tape all the tablecloths down to the tables before I throw an outdoor party. In all honestly, they are the best parents anyone could ask for and the lucky bastard that won the parent jackpot happened to be me. And you are the gold standard of grandparents! Your love for my little critters knows no bounds. (Mom, I know Dad will never read this so can you please paraphrase and leave out the cuss words?) Thanks for putting up with me.
6. My friends. I adore the love and laughter you funnel into my life. Whether we met in high school, connected at WINGS or were forced together because of our kids (realizing with some delight that we actually liked each other and play dates were about to become much less tedious) I am very lucky to know such warm, loving women and men. And one amazing person whose gender I am still not sure about but still, we make it work.
7. My husband. I am grateful that he never comes home, flops on the couch and pops open a beer. I love that he has a passion for life and is so down-to-earth and authentic. I love that he has never actually used the word "authentic". I love that he is so tender with the kids. I love that he tells me he loves me and I am beautiful even when I'm drinking an entire bottle of wine and a eating a platter of cookies, often at the same time. I love that we laugh together and occasionally, have cried together.
So, of my list of the 7 things I am grateful for this holiday season, one was an automobile and the other 6 were people.
Cheers to that! Pass the eggnog. And the cookies.