I need to go drink coffee... I've only got an hour and a half before class.
The Tragically Hip are coming through with The Hockey Song and they remind me that I have to burn a new cd for our shopping expedition on Saturday. Mom and I went shopping on Sunday. Mom's an interesting character at Christmas time because something wells up in her that no a single one of us kids can pinpoint to save our lives. And she loves it. It stresses her out and she gets frustrated, but she loves it. She takes pictures and grins like an idiot and cries happy tears. She does it because she can.
When we grew up we didn't have a lot. But really, in perfect hindsight, not a lot of kids who are now our age, had a lot. We're from the land where big families roam and grandparents tend to get really big gifts. Not saying that we missed out on a single thing, because we didn't, but we come from a pretty big mix. Mom's the second oldest of 9 kids and dad is the youngest of three. The only trouble was that dad's folks died quite young and mom's side of the family was bloody huge because they were all procreators (Uncle Andy was the reason Smarts and I couldn't really date much around home - you never knew who for sure was the fruit of his loins. What can we say? He's a lovable guy.) Anyways, mom thinks that we lost out when we were kids. We kids do not feel this way. So Santa comes out our house and goes overboard. Hook. Line. Sinker. Mr. Smarts actually commented Christmas past, as we were sitting around Christmas morning, drinking coffee and waiting for the boys, I noticed him looking at the overflow under the tree. "I can't decide if Santa comes here to fill up, or if he came here and threw up!". I think he nailed it.
Mom gets a bit worked up. Granted, she does love Christmas - loves to stay up all night and wrap, the shopping expeditions with her sister Kate and brother Nick - they go and 'turn everything over' ,they're hard core and to travel with them is not for the faint of heart. I remember when Grammie was alive and they would take her and do it, everything, enough for a small army! all in a single night. Midnight Madness had never been so aptly named!!
So Saturday mom and I are going and finishing what she didn't feel like she got finished on Sunday past. I am the youngest of the brood and this is my 30th year 'round the tree and I tell her that she doesn't need to do all that she does. Consistently Smarts and I get together with our sister-in-law and say "we're going to keep it quiet this year, let's just visit with family". Every year we put this out on mom's doorstep and she always says "That's perfect. That's what I would really like. We could bake and visit." And every year she looks us in the eye....... and lies to us.
I guess I can't talk, because I love to shop and give too. It's fun to find that special something (or truckload) for that special someone - envisioning their face when they open it up. Through it all, there's something about coming home for Christmas - to be back in familiar territory for a celebatory season that makes you forget how stupid some people can be and the annoyances that pop up the other 360 odd days a year. We always have people in on Christmas Eve. We always laugh and eat and give thanks. Mom always worries about whether her floors are clean enough, and every year she gets the kids whoopie cushions for this special evening.
That's probably the most important thing of all - mom understands the importance and nuances of whoopie cushions.
At the judgement day a man will be called to acocunt for all the good things he might have enjoyed and did not.