Squelching my inner Scrooge
jane sanders illustration
Excerpted from Eve Crawford Peyton’s blog, Joie d’Eve, which appears each Friday on MyNewOrleans.com.
I don’t like being a negative person, but while the holidays seem to bring out cheer and joy in some people, they seem to make me crankier than usual. I’m a Grinch. I’m a Scrooge. I’m the exact opposite of people who put antlers on their cars and decorate their offices.
Sure, I like hanging up my sister’s wreath, and I enjoy the occasional peppermint mocha, but by and large, I don’t care about getting presents, I hate spending money, crowds make me anxious, and traffic makes me furious.
I have class parties to plan and holiday potlucks to bake for, and all of my crafts and cookies inevitably end up as Pinterest fails (my Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Nutter Butters a few years back looked so demonic that they would’ve been much more suitable for Halloween than Christmas).
And I have definite mixed feelings about Santa – I love watching how magical it is for Georgia, and it’s sweet, too, seeing Ruby get in on the act. I gave her the whole “Santa is real because we are all Santa” talk several years ago, and she takes her responsibility toward Georgia very seriously. I don’t, however, feel great about lying to my kid, and Ruby has enlisted her dad to play Santa over the phone for Georgia, which means my ex-husband is saying, “Merry Christmas, ho-ho-ho” to my kid with another guy, and that’s a level of awkward that I don’t really relish in my life. Besides that, Georgia is too smart to really be fooled.
“That’s your dad, Sissy!” she yelled at the phone.
“No, it’s Santa!” Ruby insisted. “He just … has a cold.”
“Uh, I have to go now,” said my ex. “Uh, be a good girl, Georgia. I’m going to go eat cookies with Mrs. Claus.”
Then his new girlfriend called back, adopted a goofy accent, and claimed to be Mrs. Claus, and Georgia ran in circles yelling, “Tell the reindeer I love them! Bring me a Bitty Baby! I love you, Mrs. Claus!” and it was adorable and so kind of both my ex and his girlfriend – but also bizarre, with a side of how is this happening in my life right now???
As far as shopping, the one toy Ruby wants is not available for online purchase or within 100 miles of me, and the toys Georgia wants changes every single day based on whatever unboxing video she’s most recently watched on YouTube.
Then, too, we have the fact that Ruby’s birthday is four days before Christmas, which means I have to try to figure out what’s even cool to send (she’s in middle school now, so she says cupcakes aren’t cool anymore) and also means that I can disappoint her twice by failing to get the one toy she wants that is not available for purchase online or within 100 miles of me.
Of course, though, I need to refocus. To get my head on straight and remember what’s important. We’re all happy and healthy this holiday season, even with the inherent challenges of blended families and the stresses of being a working mom and the shortcomings of the Target website.
I’m never going to be the kind of person who puts antlers on my car – although I love it if you love it – but I also am going to try to be less of a Scrooge.
It’s my December resolution.
God bless us, one and all.