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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Embracing the Holidays / Wrestling with Guilt

I’m embracing the holidays this year.

I’m going to embrace them, wrestle them to the ground, pin them against the carpet and…

Well, not sure what happens after that.

I put up my tree last Friday. It is tiny and ugly and much loved.

I sing Christmas carols when I mute the TV during commercials. I am amazed at the number of words I remember. I plan on appearing in a church somewhere in the metro to sing along with the congregation. Provided of course I do not burst into flame or turn to salt once I step into the sanctuary.

I put those plastic light-up decorations in the front yard. They are all there: Santa (twice), The Snowman, and a Wooden Soldier. I broke the light bulb in The Snowman. I may get around to replacing it. (It's the the thought that counts).

So, I’m all set.

In years past… I hated the whole she-bang. I grudgingly went along with it, doing the bare minimum.

What changed?

I just got over it… the guilt.

The guilt that makes you buy things for people who you see maybe once or twice a year. And usually, on that occasion you give them a gift to make up for the fact that you haven’t seen them all year - the fact that you haven’t been the best brother or friend that you could of/should have been.

Well. To hell with all that.

Nobody’s getting anything this year.

If I didn’t see you all year, there is probably a reason behind that non-action - something that a really nice blender or a set of pots and pans isn’t going to make up for.

Also keep in mind – visits are a two-way thing. So are phone calls. So are cards and letters. And emails for that matter. Geez.

So, I’m just as guilty as you are. Stop trying to buy my forgiveness and stop trying to pretend that there’s nothing wrong with our relationship.

I am stopping. Nobody gets anything this year.

Except those I see everyday and help me out in every way. You get chocolate. Unless you're diabetic or allergic. Then you get a bottle of wine. Unless you're an alcoholic or a diabetic. Then you get a nice card.

The rest of you? If I do get to see you during the holiday season, yay! If not, then I guess the problem between us is bigger than we thought. If you want to do something about it, let me know. If not, cool with me.

At least I won’t feel like a fool in January when I get my December credit card bill.