Tuesday, December 6, 2011

December 7

The Sons of Knute Christmas Dance and Dinner
Written and performed by the incomparable
Garrison Keillor

Garrison Keillor says of Christmas:

“A lovely thing about Christmas is that it's compulsory,
like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together.”

At no time does this feel more true to me than when I'm fighting my way through crowded malls, shopping bags in tow... and then suddenly look up and lock eyes with another mother. Perhaps she is staggering around with her own packages. More often than not, she is pushing a stroller containing an overtired,overstimulated toddler. Like me, she is "under-the-gun" of The Holidays, and all of the accompanying pressures and deadlines. It's a sort of anonymous solidarity we share, as we smile in recognition and relief at one another, for that one blessed moment. We are just two mums together, making Christmas for our families. Sure, it's hard. If we've done it right, we're completely exhausted by the night the Big Fat Man In Red arrives (and takes ALL the credit, thank-you-very-much. Isn't that just like a man...)

It's the same solidarity I share with my sister on Christmas Eve, as we race for that finish line, wrapping presents with such desperate speed and ferocity that we usually wind up with scotch tape in our hair, collapsed on the floor, giggling like idiots until tears run down our cheeks and trickle into our ears...

It's Motherhood. It's all about giving everything we've got, and then some.

And amazingly, it's worth it.

“Thank you, dear God, for this good life
and forgive us if we do not love it enough.”

--Garrison Keillor, from his book, "Leaving Home"

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