Today I am holding the “World’s Worst Commercial Contest”. And the winner is…this one:
It was not nice of me to make you sit through that. I’m sorry. I saw this commercial the other day and it bad things to my brain.
I guess Walmart is okay. My mom and my daughter love going there. I’m not trying to be mean. But, I do admit to taking a preemptive ibuprofen any time I am forced to pull in to their parking lot. It is never a good experience for me.
Walmart in general is not my problem. Their marketing is my problem. I have been thinking about Christmas and wondering how I could pull it off again this year. I’m the guy in this commercial. We just want to drink some cider and listen to Christmas music. We just want a few days to hang out with family rather than work from before sun up until we drop in to bed at night. That’s all we want.
Then, you have that lady walk through the door with her awful bags. She’s there to remind us of all the extra things we have to put on our already unmanageable to-do list. She probably wants us to make homemade candy for our neighbors, send out 300 Christmas cards, set up a ceramic Christmas village inside and a nativity scene in our front yard. Then, just to make completely sure we are not just half-way annoyed, but all-the-way annoyed, she barks an order at her husband, “Go unload the car!”
Here is an aside. You should know that I’m totally pro-woman. I guess I’m just pro-people, actually. I’m no wilting violet. Strong women are my role models. But, am I the only one who has noticed that it is in vogue right now to portray women as bullies and men as their underlings in the media? “Hello, pendulum? You’ve swung too far!” It does not help our cause, is all I’m saying. But, now I’m totally in a place I did not mean to go.
What I wanted to say was that Christmas is out of hand. You know it is. I used to look forward to it so much when I was young. After Thanksgiving to Dec 24th took for-ev-er!!! Now, it feels like a trip to the bathroom would take longer than the time I have to prepare for the Holiday.
I told my kids the other day that I felt overwhelmed by Christmas. Eddie quickly responded, “Just don’t buy presents.” Do you realize how easy life would be if Eddie ran the world? We could all wear sweat pants to work, eat a sausage over the sink for dinner, drink out of the faucet, and then lay down on the kitchen floor and go to bed. Wake up, and repeat.
Well, Eddie does not run the world, Pinterest does. I like all the pretty lights, tasty treats and special traditions that are Christmas. I just don’t know how I’m going to make them happen.
This week I finally cleaned the entire jar of maple syrup that spilled and was super glued to the bottom of the fridge. That mess taunted me for a weeks before I could find time for it. When I did clean it, I was still in my work clothes, making supper, monitoring piano practice and signing a permission slip at the same time. I know my mom friends feel me on this. I’m not special. But, could someone please tell me where we are finding the hours for all of these grand Holiday preparations? You know, that whole blood from a turnip thing comes to mind.
Just because I don’t have time for all the fun stuff that is Christmas, doesn’t mean I don’t like it, I do. And, I feel like it’s my responsibility to create soft, cuddly Christmas memories for my family too.
Scott’s mom excelled with the Christmas memories. Tradition is her specialty. Her kids could take comfort in knowing they would enjoy the same special sights, sounds and tastes every year. They’re adults now, and she still finds a way to make their Christmas dreams come true. Last year she brought all their childhood Pro-wrestling figures to Christmas. She had been holding on to to them, waiting for just the right moment. This was the moment. She happily announced that they could take turns choosing the wrestlers so that they would be split fairly between all the children. It was a good thing she made them take turns too. Tantrums can really ruin the Holiday spirit. It was an early inheritance:
My mom made Christmas special too. She spread a little bit of money a long way and some how produced beautiful backdrops for our holiday fun. We didn’t have as many traditions as my husband’s family, but we had some. Like this elf:
Did you think that was just an ordinary elf? Oh no, my friend. You were wrong. To my sisters and me, that guy is the symbol of Christmas fun. We entertained ourselves for hours by holding the tip of his cap and moving him up and down so that he looked like he was running. (Wait a minute. Exactly how poor were we?)
I know these Christmas memories are important. I want to make them for my family. I do. I really do. But, then I see little pine cone people with hand knitted Christmas hats that some mom made with her children, and I know I just can’t produce and direct that kind of Christmas. Actually, first I think to myself that people who find themselves knitting or shopping for pine cone clothes may need to check into finding some volunteer work or something. But, after that mean thought I go back to thinking that this holiday thing has me beat.
My family knows me pretty well by now. They know my limitations. They know that even on my very best, most creative and nurturing day I won’t be stringing popcorn or making ornaments out of peanut shells and paper clips. What I will commit to is a celebration of some sort. I know, I’m setting the bar really high.
I’ll buy a few (very few) gifts on line. We will spend some time with our church family retelling the story of the birth of the God we believe is our Savior. Then, we’ll go home and light a fire, play some ping pong and Trivial Pursuit, and eat some treats that Chef Costco prepared. We will laugh and enjoy being together and enjoy being outside of our normal, grinding routine. We’ll sit by our one small tree and we’ll open a present or two. That’s it. THAT, my friends, is the Christmas extravaganza that I can pull off this year. That is also a Christmas I will happen to enjoy. I hope my kids do too. I just don’t want them to look back and feel ripped off by the missing homemade pine cone village.