Monday, 10 February 2014

Christmas Goodies....or Maybe I'm a Bad Person

Merry Christmas Everyone!

I hope Santa wedged his way down your chimney or hauled his butt through your front door to bring you all that you wished to receive this year.  I can't say that I could have wished for any more (realistically anyway) or that I would have been "happier" if the jolly fat man had brought more stuff into my world.

I really do (sometimes) like Christmas.  There are times (like this year) where I wished the earth would swallow me whole and swoop me away to a magical place that was HOLIDAY FREE.  Just a few days, was it really too much to ask?  Apparently the answer is YES.

You see it's not Christmas I dislike per se, it is the commercialism, perceived gluttony, greed and oh-so-many mixed messages that we are bombarded with once the USA's Black Friday has come and gone.

Let me start with the commercials.  The suits on Madison Avenue or wherever the f$*%&$ the advertising mecca is in Canada have turned every stinking product known to man into a possible acceptable Christmas gift for your loved ones.  One of my friends (oh so rightly) noted early in December the happy woman on the front of the Crappy Tire flyer that was getting the pots and pans.  WTF?  If you like sleeping on the couch, by all means, buy her this gift.  And who, really who gets a Lexus, Honda, Toyota or Cadillac for Christmas?  And are you really happy that your spouse cleaned out the bank account or your credit for that gift?  Come on people.

Then there are the commercials that tug at your heart strings.  What, exactly, are they supposed to make you think about?  Are we all supposed to strive for the perfect, snowy, warm glow of the fire, ugly sweater family gathering where everyone is smiling?  OK...what if that's not your particular family?  Everyone is there, Uncle Joe is drunk and is telling everyone how he feels about them, Aunt June is in to corner apologizing, the kids are unhappy because Dad is hogging the video game and nobody is helping mom with the dinner.  So, have we failed because our Christmas Day does not look like the commercials?  I don't think so, but I am only one woman, a cynical one at that.  And, if life is not being particularly kind to you at this "most wonderful time of the year" can you get through the commercials, stories and sickly sweet vignettes without hucking something at the TV?  Really, give me a break.

Then there is all the advice about how to "survive" the holiday parties.  Why the heck are we so focused on deprivation at this time of year?  It doesn't make any sense whatsofrickinever to me.  The magazines, TV news shows and HGTV are all loaded with holiday recipes and ideas and a few pages or few minutes later we are bombarded with how to work off those unwanted holiday pounds.  Better yet we are warned how much we are going to over-indulge at all of those holiday parties and the anchors and "special guests" are all so excited about telling us how to "get through" a holiday party and avoid the before you go, drink water, only eat the vegetables etc etc etc.  The worst part of the whole thing is, if you have partied like this (and let's be clear, we all know someone who has) you have to tell EVERYONE how you got through last night's party only eating a celery stalk and drinking lemon water.  Well weren't you the best guest ever.  Bet you were standing alone, miserable and self righteous.  Life of the party!  Go, have fun and if you are able and something strikes your fancy, try it!  You are not going to spontaneously combust by eating a butter tart.  Eating 20, maybe...but that's another blog.  Balance people, we need balance.

I work in fitness.  So I was really interested in checking out my Facebook news feed this week as Christmas Day came and went.  It seemed like so many people were punishing themselves (or at least telling us about it) for one day of indulgence.  Talking about going to the gym or lifting is one thing.  Saying you are out the door first thing to "work off all the christmas baking" is something else entirely.  Again, balance.  One of the things we talk about a lot in fitness is how it's not what happens the week between Christmas and New Years that's the problem.  It's the other 51 weeks that happened that year.  Think about it for awhile....I'll wait.

Anyway, after a craptastic year Christmas came and went.  We had an amazing time with family ranging in age from 20 to 90.  We ate all day long (grazed really) on food my sister-in-law sacrificed her finger for, drank a little too much and laughed more than a family should.  We ended Christmas Day with a pyjama party that rocked.  Too many people for the house and two dogs that think they are people rounded out the mix.  We also had a visit from young men who are their neighbours that proved to us that disabilities are incorrectly named.  They were inspirational and showed us more about what Christmas is really about.  Family, friends, neighbours and giving.  I wouldn't have had it any other way.

Did Santa come?  Yes he did.  Did he leave a Lexus or a new house?  Thankfully no.  We received ENOUGH.

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