I have a lot of things to say about Christmas and none of them have anything to do with one another, but the element of holy day. Holly day. Jolly day.
First, Christmas freaks me out. It's a big ol' clusterfuck of all the things that make people with ADHD (okay, perhaps I shouldn't generalize and we'll just apply this to my situation) freak out. Too much to do, too little money to do it, which requires extra time and money management, comes right at the time of year when heating prices go up (for those of us in northern, freezing-ass cold climates), it's an assault of the spiritual senses as we have to digest a multitude of equally baffling versions of what people think "it" means, crowds of people (families) get together and make lots of noise in one place and demand each others attention from 5 sides of the room at once, people who don't give a crap about charity the whole rest of the year can suddenly tell you what the world needs now...wow. It hurts my brain.
Last night I had a nice night with mom, dad, sis, sis's boyfriend, and my husband and the kids. It was really a great night but I will say this, holidays are simply overstimulating for me. Sonny commented that I seemed a little off. Correct on two counts. One, I am still recovering from a horrific version of the stomach flu that required me to be hopsitalized overnight last weekend and two, there was way too much going on. People talking everywhere, too loud, 800 kinds of food, moving mechanical dolls, children yelling and playing and laughing, two dogs running around like maniacs. I DID enjoy myself, but I am always aware, in situations like this, that I am overstimulated. Well now wait...I wasn't ALWAYS aware, I used to just feel weird and not understand why and it freaked me out. Now I get it, so even if I'm overstimulated, I'm not freaking out. If it's too much I go lay down for a bit.
Here's what I like about holidays:
Working retail. I love being busy and thinking on my feet. Voila...you have the retail holiday season. I'm speedy at the register and don't mind running from one end of the store to the other looking for ridiculous last minute shit.
Big hunks of meat and fatty cheese from faraway lands (or local, equally smelly versions). I used to be a vegetarian, but I'm hypoglycemic. Hypoglycemia plus ADHD=moody bitch. Big meat and cheeses=I can think, and my taste buds are happy.
Olives and pickles.
Those little, weird, almost unnoticed sad moments that most people gloss over. I feel weird ignoring them, so I don't. I say hello to homeless people. Melancholy is part of reality, even at the "happiest" time of the year. Someday I would like to do away, altogether, with the "Christmas Magic". It feels like we ignore what's really important for 11 months, and then we really REALLY ignore it for the month of December in the name of being jolly. Weird.
That said, Sonny bought me a gorgeous original painting. I love it. It was my favorite painting from an exhibit of a man who lives here in town. He moved here with his wife and children, from Iraq. They left because their oldest son was kidnapped and they'd given their life savings to buy his freedom...if he was taken again they would not be able to afford his freedom and he would likely have been killed, so they left. The father and the other son are truly gifted painters. The painting is called "The Seamstress". A beautiful woman, rendered in vibrant color, holds a sewing machine over her head. She's strong, she's empowered...she embodies everything I love about sewing.
Sonny also showed that he pays attention to his lady's ridiculous culinary and spiritual peculiarities with the following stocking stuffers:
chocolate-covered Spanish almonds
There's a Christmas story from the Little House on the Prairie book series, where the Ingalls family gets a visit from their friend, Mr. Edwards. The visit itself was a big deal in those days, because travel was such an ordeal, especially in the midwestern winter. But he brought an orange and a penny for each of the children and they were ecstatic! My mother pointed out, when I was a child, that the value of things can change depending on your situation...but that it's important to be grateful for even the little things. When I was a little girl, we always had an orange in the bottom of our stocking as a reminder. Orange: check!
And...I got a remote control helicopter from the kids. Superficially, this may seem like a cute gift that THEY really perhaps wanted for themselves, but no...no my friends...this was a special request. I wanted one bad. I crashed it about 12 times out in the yard before admitting that I really need to read the directions.
So it was a nice holiday. Step-daughter suggested that we have a food drive. I'm going to help her make that happen. What with the "Christmas Magic" out of the way for the year we can get around to making the kind of magic that the world really needs. And, as I've said throughout this economic downturn, you never know when YOU might be the person that needs the magic helping hand...