Wednesday, December 23, 2009

You don't know what you've got til it's gone (or not around as much as it used to be)

The Holiday season is upon us. As I write this, Christmas is less than 48 hours away. I used to love Christmas growing up. It was my 2nd favorite time of year (summertime remains at the top of the list). Knowing that I was named after St. Nick, how could I not grow to love this holiday? I loved the days that led up to Christmas - filled with decorating, wrapping & preparing, watching my favorite holiday movies/specials, and all the Christmas songs that filled the air. Christmas Eve was always the best - spending it surrounded by family, food, love & laughter, wanting to go to bed but not tired at all from the anticipation of seeing what would be under the tree the next morning.

Unfortunately, that child-like wonder & awe slowly leaks out of us, leaving us with less Christmas spirit year after year. Children get older & wiser, people start new families, new traditions or just plain loose touch. You can blame commercialism, the economy, your neighbors, the hole in your sock, or even the Heatmiser himself, but honestly, no one is to blame but ourselves, myself included.

In this season of giving, the season of hope, love & joy, I feel like the Grinch. I feel I have a love-hate relationship with the holiday season now - I want to embrace it, enjoy it and take in every single moment of it, but then there are times when I want to be anti-holiday and honestly would rather Christmas just not come. I think the main reason I feel this way is that I have no one to share it with.

Coming from a small immediate family myself, I find the holiday season to be a rough one, especially over the past few years. My mom recently moved back to Illinois to live with my elderly & not well Grandmother. That leaves the only family member I have left in the area to be a stubborn, old-fashioned thinking man of few words who is not exactly the life of the party or someone I can easily have a conversation with - my dear old father.

This past Thanksgiving was the 1st major holiday that I spent alone. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be but it still felt weird and lonely. I'm having dinner with my Dad Christmas Eve & I'm working out some plans still, but I most likely will not be spending Christmas day alone. I just don't think I could be by myself on Christmas. Just reading that sentence depresses me.

I think the one thing I'm going to miss the most is my Mom. She's usually been the one to keep our little messed up trio together as a family. Whether I was away at school, living in or out of the house, being home on Christmas Day always felt good. We would catch up as she made dinner or go through all the awful gifts students & staff members gave her during the holidays. Yes, I will call her on Christmas but it's not the same. I will miss her mashed potatoes and her laugh. I don't know if she'll read this (she's still learning how to do the whole twitter thing - I'm not sure if she knows I have a blog), but I wrote this play about her a few months ago.

I hope she knows that I love her & miss her.

Merry Christmas, Mom.


“I know I don’t say this enough: To Camille Strawbridge”

I’m sitting CS in a chair while 2 people (preferably male) are standing on blocks, diagonally facing me on my left and right. On Go, I start sewing. The 2 people will go back and forth reading off of provided index cards, in an aggressive & condescending tone – when they are done reading each card, they will throw/fling it at me. After all the index cards are read & thrown, those people exit simultaneously off through the side curtains.

Another person (female) stands USL w/ Mic & Mic Stand - She reads/says the following:

"When she was little, her mom was her best friend.
They went everywhere & did everything together.
They were 2 peas in a pod.
She thought her mom was the best.
When she was around 7 years old, she asked her mom if she could have her closet of clothes because she wanted to dress just like her mom when she got older. Over the years, her mom has taught her how to tie her shoes, how to laugh, how to drive, how to separate whites and colors into separate loads of laundry, and how to stand up for what you believe in and love. She wasn't just her mom, but also a wife, a businesswoman & her best friend.

What’s funny about her relationship with her mom is she never wanted to grow up to be a ‘mom’ or a ‘wife’, but she wanted to be her, as a person. She wanted to grow up to be just like the independent, opinionated, intelligent, fun & beautiful Camille Strawbridge – her mom.

As she has gotten older, she sees that she is turning into that woman her mother is. Personality wise, she sees it more and more everyday. She’s growing into that independent, opinionated & fun person, just like her mom. Her mother has taught her to be herself and that it’s ok to be who you are."

Me: "You may not agree with everything I do, say or believe – be it my political views, my sense of style, my musical tastes or even what I eat, but I know you still love me for who I am. You take me for me. And Mom, I want to say thanks (holds up whatever it is I was making) and I love you."



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