A happier holiday

The first Christmas I spent from my family, I felt completely lost. I live in Los Angeles. Everyone I know is going elsewhere and I live at home … alone. I was not concerned with the decor and I certainly had no intention of cooking dinner for one.

I am considering spending a Christmas day in a movie theater like many Los Angelinos, but choose a long walk to enjoy a little self-pity. It was a beautiful and sunny day. Throughout my journey, I found a man pruning hedgerows in his yard. The pieces looked like pine boughs and when I asked for some of them, he looked at me like I had run away without using my medication. He let me have everything I wanted.

On the way home, I saw the neighboring poinsettia. They grow the size of a tree in Los Angeles and hers needs to be pruned in my opinion. I stole some red groups. At home, I arranged these items on karimunjawa travel the table, added some candles and sang hymns while the microwave hummed, heating up my frozen dinner. I spent the rest of the day watching TV.

No matter what holiday we celebrate, we know what the festive days are like. Our home should be warm, comfortable and decorated. The food should be generous and tasty and the conversations around the table be fun and filled with hope and goodwill. The gifts are perfectly chosen, beautifully wrapped and always highly appreciated.

Many of us work very hard to live according to the media-driven, Martha Stewart about the holidays. I doubt that one of us has experienced it, at least since we were little and did not have to do any work. All shopping, decorating, card writing, food preparation and gift wrapping can be drained. By the time the real day arrives, many of us feel like soto ahead of inflatable rubber during a power outage.

What we want when thinking about Martha Stewart Christmas is the feeling we associate with the pictures and most of the people I know are never really close, no matter how hard they try. Every year they work harder and harder, more ornaments, more presents, larger lists, more cards, better tables and plentiful food. There is always something always missing and always, some are not going as planned.

Someone did not show up. A plate of Biscuits was on fire One of the children got a bloody nose on the tablecloth. Someone gets too drunk. Half the table choked their necks to watch television at dinner. Children fighting for toys. Someone spilled sauce. Aunt Millie told your turkey a bit dry and the results tell you how she prepared it. And while calming down by fixing the sugar by sneaking the cake, you sprinkle the powdered sugar onto the front of your red sweater.

This is reality. Peace on earth is a nice sentiment but, during the holidays, I’m satisfied with a piece of cake. Since that loneliness years ago in LA, I know that the feelings we associate with Martha Stewart Christmas can not be found in perfect trees, flawless table arrangements or delicacies. If love, peace and joy are not in us, all our time, effort and money will not magically produce on Christmas Day.

So when you do all the things you need to do in preparation for the holidays, remember to always stop thinking about the people you are living. Think why they are in your life and why you expect them to enjoy a wonderful holiday. If love, peace and joy are not your expectations for them, you’d better spend your vacation at the movies.

Except for small children, the only holiday you fully bear is yours. You can not force others to be happy, satisfied or grateful.

Do not let yourself fight for something that might not even exist at Martha Stewart’s home. Smile. Enjoy the chaos. Laugh loudly when something goes wrong. Enjoy every moment you have with your loved ones, no matter how defective they are. Take a picture of Aunt Millie scowling at your turkey and use it for Christmas card next year. And for God’s sake, you do not have to sneak a cake, just eat with eagerness. It’s Christmas.

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