I’ve been trying to write a Christmas post for a few days now-not the angel gets it’s wings type post, but just something weightier than my facebook status of “I don’t care.”
I haven’t, but that’s beside the point.
I’m trying to get the girls into a tradition of doing nice things for their neighbours, so I cooked up a few batches of squares and we took them across the street to 2 neighbours who are regularly nice to us. One wasn’t home, but the other, she invited us in, her and her husband made us feel welcome and warm, even when the girls walked all over her carpet in wet snow boots. She had gifts for them even.
I had run into her a week before, on the bus, and she stopped me and said, “you know, a few years back, the first time you surprised me and came over with some cookies in a tin? I barely had the door closed before I started to cry because my son was in Korea and my daughter out of town and we were alone and people just DON’T do this for each other anymore and I was so touched! I don’t think I ever told you this, but you made my Christmas.”
And so it goes. The small things make the difference. I told her I wanted to start doing these things again, that neighbours should be neighbours. In my heart I wanted to scream at her how sad that my simple gesture would move her so, how depressing that we’re all so willing to drop money in a box or spend an hour or two with strangers, but we can’t name the people next to us, across from us. You can’t go next door and ask the dude to get your mail while you’re away, or rather, you won’t.
Maybe Christmas doesn’t seem to matter to me as much anymore because of lost my sense of naivete about the whole thing, because the shine is off the penny and it’s true-people just don’t care about other’s in their lives, and it’s easier to shut the curtain and never look out. Because it’s easier to be mean or rude or jaded than to accept some joy and wonder and hope into your lives. Because it’s easier to shun it all.
I put my daughters to bed tonight with the warning that Santa won’t come for little girls who aren’t sleeping. If they’re like I was, they believe this fully, to their toes. They go to sleep dreaming of red noses and presents, gum drops. They sleep knowing that anything is very much possible.
I miss that.
It’s not all gloom and doom. As 2008 comes to a close (and I WELCOME that after this year.) I look in a mirror and like who and what I see. I like who I’m finally seeing, becoming. I really do like her-she’s funny and warm, giving, cute. She gets checked out, people stop to talk to her.
She’s finding herself again, after being so lost, so swept under by a wave.
I feel strength building in me like I haven’t in forever. I have bad times still, but mostly, I feel a confidence growing higher and higher and it’s almost like being drunk some days.
Oh the joys of actually liking who you are.
I wouldn’t repeat this year for all the tea in China. But damn it has been nice to say hello to the person buried underneath everything again. A gift I suppose.
It’s 8:30pm here. If I can draw my sibling away from online poker, I’m about to get smoked at trivial pursuit and get slightly drunk.
Merry Merry my friends. Merry Merry.