despite it all...all being life and money and shifting moods and such... i still have the eyes of a child. in the ways that most matter to me. i'm glad for it, because although it lends to being let down easily, it also brings the most amazing moments of joy. joy. that's a word you rarely hear, except at christmas. joy is underrated. and christmas is under-appreciated. people get all bent out of shape and decide they don't want to be part of it all, because it's too commercialized and too materialistic. as if the world isn't that way already, every single day? so why not just enjoy christmas as a reason for people getting together and giving a damn. make it your own. do it your way. let the fools stand in line at 3 am to get their kid a toy that every other kid in america has to have, because the ads told them so. i could say something here about natural selection, but that wouldn't be very merry christmas-y of me, would it.
truth told, my holidays are never what i imagine. but i imagine them, nevertheless, every year. for what they could be. in my mind it is small gatherings of friends or family in the evenings, in warm, low-lit houses with tables of food and drinks, and people are laughing more than people ever laugh collectively...it is at one of those gatherings, sitting in his lap just long enough to whisper merry christmas, baby, let's get outta here...it is baking and cooking with my friends, or my mom. she and i never had that tradition, though i wish we had. my mom, in all her fiery ways, is quieted by one thing—need. she will never ask for help. and although i always thought of offering, i could never bring myself to ask it aloud. i bet all these years, both of us were wishing the other would speak up.
recently i received a christmas gift from a friend who, like my mom, says very little about what she needs or wants. she'll drop a hint here or there, and if you don't pick it up quickly it'll fall among the crumbs in the cracks in the floor, and for a long time afterward you won't know what's going on with her, not until the next crumb falls. also like my mom, my friend will never pry. she'll ask how i'm doing, nonchalantly, and because i know her, i know it's her way of saying i'm ready to listen, but only if you're ready to talk.
her christmas gift, it was something i needed but couldn't afford to buy for myself. if it weren't christmas, she wouldn't have had an excuse to give me that gift, and i wouldn't have had a reason to feel grateful. the material gift was perfect, incredibly thoughtful, but it was a vehicle for a better gift. it's pretty amazing when people you care about show you they care about you, too. in small ways, big ways. it really doesn't matter to me. it's a moment of joy. i don't take it for granted.
so people can go on being resentful about christmas. i'll keep on liking it, every year. draw that line in cement.