Ah, the Christmas season ...
Yes, you read that correctly. No, I don't mean Advent. Christmas. Because, while it is liturgically still very much NotChristmas, it is, based on the decorations that have been up in my office since the Monday after Thanksgiving, the price of air flights, and the attitudes of shoppers everywhere, Christmas in our hearts. At least, I guess that's why we're all toddling in and out of the stores during our lunch hours and dinner hours and coffee breaks with short, quick steps, tight lips, wide eyes, and a demeanor that whispers, "Will not panic will not panic not panic not panic panic panic still lots of time lots of time of time of time time time time time to buy gifts for the kids buy gifts for the kids for the kids for the kids kids kids kids kids panic time kids panic time kids panic ..."
That's what Christmas in our hearts looks like? Gee, give me Lent any day.
No, really. Because there are two themes that keep coming up in the blogs I read. (Hm. Maybe I shouldn't read blogs? Or at least should read different blogs?) The first theme is the terrors of family shopping, outlined above. How does one keep the Christ in Christmas with half a dozen whinny-mouthed, drippy-nosed, smellily-diapered, giftily-demanding (demandingly gifted?) children hanging onto your denim jumper? How, indeed. Not even a Ph.D. from the JPII Institute on Marriage and the Family could sort that mess out.
The second theme is how miserable The Season is for single people. All those parties, stag. All those family dinners when Uncle Fumble shuffles up and asks whether you've "found anyone." All those cold winter nights alone. Etc., etc., and so forth.
I have a solution: All the readers of the Mommy Blogs should start checking out the Singles Blogs, and vice versa; and then everyone should be able to throw up their hands and cry "There but for the grace of God, I!" and live happily ever Advent. To paraphrase Danny Reed, those who drift from out of one pasture expecting the next one to be greener generally end up finding spinach.
Personally, I have always rather enjoyed Christmas. But then again, I am constitutionally lazy, possess chronically low expectations, have almost no responsibilities, and am addicted to homemade eggnog and fruitcake. Bring the season on!