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Christmas Wisdom

Last year after Christmas, I wrote a list of things to remember for this Christmas.

christmas 2007
(Photo credit: paparutzi)

Today I pulled it out to remind myself what to watch out for this Christmas:

1. Don’t get sucked into the world’s view of Christmas. Christmas will never be cinema-land perfect and trying to make it that way will just end up making you feel exhausted and disappointed.

2. Don’t over decorate. Just because it looks Christmasy, doesn’t mean it needs to be displayed.

3. Don’t overeat. Have a plan for getting through the holidays without gaining weight.

4. Remember “stuff” fades, memories last.

5. Some people won’t have a gift to unwrap at Christmas. Think about who they are and give them a wrapped gift.

6. Some people need groceries. Put a bag on someone’s porch or place a grocery store gift card in their mailbox anonymously.

7. Give people fruit, a waffle mix, a chicken pot pie or some new dish towels instead of sugary treats.

Chicken Pot Pie
Chicken Pot Pie (Photo credit: Renée S.)

Golden peanut brittle ready to enjoy.

8. Remember that on Christmas morning, there will be a lot of crumpled wrapping paper, empty boxes, and ribbons and a few small piles of what, in the end, is just stuff.  Everyone will take their stuff, assimilate it with their other stuff, and it will become ordinary in a matter of minutes. What will linger will be the moments of closeness, laughter, and the time we took to remember why we celebrate Christmas in the first place.

Family

Goodbye Summer

Summer 2012.

It’s officially over.

My girls have returned to college.

The house is quiet.

The bedrooms are clean.

The junk food is tossed.

Tonight will just be dinner for two.

My house feels like one of those deflated Snowman decorations at Christmas time.

You know, the ones that stand all puffy and bright at night, and then collapse into a big heap at the end of the night?

It’s not a bad thing.

It just takes some getting used to.

So to cheer myself up today, I’m going to list some of the things I won’t miss…

(Brace yourselves girls.)

  1. “Dance Moms” blaring from the TV.  Who invented this show and what is wrong with them? Who wants to watch a loudmouthed dance teacher yell at pretty little ballerinas and make them cry? And who cares about all the melodramatic mothers that like to fight with each other?  The minute I hear those screeching voices in my house, I cringe, complain and ask, “Why do you watch this show?” Well, now that you’re away at college, watch away girls. Fill your minds with that uplifting, educational program all you want.  I will thoroughly enjoy never hearing those carping voices again…until Christmas, at least.
  2.  “Criminal Minds” marathons. I admit I’m fascinated by crime solvers, and enamored with Hotchner, Derek, Reid and Garcia, but watching shows about sick, twisted murderers for hours on end can be disturbing. And you know the addiction has gone too far when you accidentally come across a quiz online that says, “Find out which Criminal Minds character you’re most like,” and you take it. Just for the record, I’m most like Spencer Reid, who is a genius, just saying.
  3. Sweet Frog frozen yogurt runs. Okay, I really will miss these little outings but it’s time to stay away from that place. A woman my age can only have so much pomegranate or strawberry yogurt with bits of fruit and even bigger bits of candy.

Now that I’ve reminded myself of what I won’t miss, I’m feeling a bit more cheery.

So, now, I think I’ll erase all the programs from the DVR that I don’t like.

I’ll gaze at the carpet in the bedrooms that I haven’t seen all summer.

And, I’ll dream of going to the beach in a few weeks while both of them are hitting the books.

Ah, Carolina Beach Retreat is waiting…

I’ll get by just fine, you’ll see.

Being an empty nester has its good points.

I loved summer 2012, and I’ll miss having a full, busy house.

But when I have those lonely moments, I’ll reread this list and make myself feel better.