Surviving the Holidays

One emotion at a time.

You know it's December when people are getting in car accidents, dogs are wearing Santa hats, stores are hiring valet companies and families are spending more time together than they have in the previous eleven months.

Yes, chaos and emotions are in the air. It's the time of year when people are either especially kind and generous or unbelievably rude and ungrateful. The time when babies are adorable, kids are practicing their holiday songs for the school assembly, teenagers are cramming for finals and crying and college students are booking tickets to go home.

And then there's the adults. The "responsible" folk. Racing around with lists. Spending money they don't have. Getting drunk on mulled wine. Making sure they've bought office gifts, in-law gifts, family gifts and secret Santa gifts for their ladies annual luncheon. Losing their friggin' minds.


Every year the same deal -- panic, depression, manic joy and weight gain. Come December I am usually fighting off pneumonia, breaking out in zits from stress, eating tons of chocolate truffles in lieu of tequila, and wondering why I am falling asleep on the freeway as I drive home at night with the heat blasting and Bing singing White Christmas for the millionth time.

Predictable, insane, glorious. As much as I hate it... I LOVE EVERY MOMENT OF IT.

I love that I know I'll see my family more this month. I love that people are driving with trees on their cars. I love that my daughter goes to sleep with her Snowman Snow globe that lights up and changes colors. I love that I have in my closet hidden treasures waiting to be wrapped.

I have been broke during the holidays and I have had money during the holidays. I have been married during the holidays and divorced during the holidays. I have been drunk and sober, childless and a mother, employed and not, skinny and plump. 

And, yet, no matter what, I have found certain things always remain the same... there is music, there is a tree, there is food, laughter, family traditions and warmth.

On that I can rely.

So, with my beautiful girl by my side, our tree up, our stockings hung, our menorah lit and our egg nog poured I say,

Cheers! Here's to hectic, hateful, humorous, holy December!

I embrace the highs and the lows of it. I think about those I've lost and those I've met. I give extra where I can and I save extra where I must. I observe the sadness I feel in the quiet moments and the elation I feel in the loud, music filled, storytelling events.

And I thank all of you for being a part of my life. Happy Holidays!

John Emerson December 12, 2012 at 06:35 AM
Once again you have a wonderful way of condensing yet capturing a large subject into a many faceted jewel! Now that my 53 year old daughter is a couple of thousand miles away, thank goodness for memories and cyber face time.
Susan McMartin December 12, 2012 at 12:29 PM
thanks, john! have a wonderful holiday season! and, thank you for always writing such kind words.


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