Oh, friend. You picked a good day to visit because look at my table! It is crafting day here at Casa Jaime. No, really. Look!
Good luck finding a spot but I have faith in you. It’s like a craft store made sweet love to my table.
This was my day today. It started early with a trip to the craft store to pick up supplies that we needed for today. On the agenda was reindeer, trees, painted bulbs, cinnamon dough ornaments and popsicle stick snowflakes. We got to everything but the reindeer and snowflakes. It was quite a productive day! Trees!
You know you want one.
I wish I could tell you that this was normal circumstance here around the holidays, but it’s not. I’m not usually this crafty but this year the crafting bug has really hit me. I have the holiday decorations, the blanket making, the future plans of popcorn/cranberry stringing. There is a whole lot of crafting. I wouldn’t say I am in my element though I am having a blast doing it.
Something disturbed me the day after Thanksgiving. We all hear the stories of Black Friday horror stories. People tend to go a little crazy with whatever sales happen to be going on. I don’t even look at the flyers. So, I was on Facebook and saw this video that was posted of a Walmart in Georgia. There was a pay as you go cell phone discounted and people were going mad. I mean, like really mad. There was pushing, shoving, screaming, biting. Yes, friend, biting. I was sad watching this. I guarantee these are probably normal people every other day of the year. This wasn’t a crisis, it wasn’t for food. It was just a pay as you go cell phone.
It’s not okay.
It’s not okay to push people. It’s not okay to yell profanities at them. It is definitely not okay to bite them. I am sure this scene that was recorded played out in many other stores all over the country. The disgusting part to me is that these items that people are willing to maim over are gifts for people who they love, on a holiday that is meant to bring peace on Earth. During World War I, German and British troops put forth a Christmas Truce on the battlefield of Flanders in 1914. They met halfway, shook hands, played soccer. Christmas is meant to bring us together, celebrate peace, and make memories. There are the religious aspects as well, and I am well aware of other religions, but growing up Catholic, Christmas is it.
I usually stress every year. How am I going to buy gifts for everyone on my list? Did I get enough for all the children? Do they all have an even number of presents? Should I get extra things in the event that someone is around I wasn’t expecting? Why do teenagers want really expensive things? OMG I forgot the tree! I forget the beauty. I forget the smells, the sights, the smiles. The focus is entirely on the gifts.
Not this year, friend.
I felt the anxiety, it was building and I was buying into it. I saw that video and it got me thinking: What do I remember about my prior Christmas days? Let me tell you!
Making foam ball ornaments with my mom. We used foam balls and pipe cleaners.
Watching my mom make fudge that we would put in tins and I would give them to my teachers.
Stringing popcorn and cranberry to put on the tree.
Watching Christmas specials on TV with my mom.
You see what’s not there? Gifts. Sure, I got presents. I am sure I got lots of presents. I do remember being really excited about my Alvin stuffed toy when I was probably around 7. I remember my Nintendo. Yes, the 8bit. But I don’t remember every gift, and I certainly don’t have all my Christmas memories focused around that. So this year I told the kids it isn’t going to be a heavy gift giving year. I asked them to make me a list, I will pick maybe one or two things off of it. I will get some other things that I want to get them (no one wants to know exactly what they will get). We are going to celebrate each other this year. We will make things and spend time together. We will make things to give to others. Armed with determination to make some magical mother f’in memories, I hit the craft store with a vengeance.
You see this? MAGIC IS HAPPENING!
We spent hours making things, all kinds of things. I can’t wait to put up my tree this year because other then the lights, everything else will be handmade. I want my children to look back and remember these moments and just being together. As it gets closer and I accumulate more, my door will be open to anyone who wants to join us. I can’t buy into the happiness is going to come from a store. I will not grunt at my fellow men for items that may not even be remembered in 10 years time.
You are always more than welcome to join me. Make spaghetti ornaments, get your hands full of glue and glitter. My table is open and we will always find a space for you. My holiday season wish for you is just pure happiness. I have found the peace and love that is heard about in every song at Christmas. I can’t wait to put my baskets together, to get my holiday package out to FFAC. I want to share this with everyone. I’m not going to stress. I’m not swearing off the stores; if I can’t find the things I want for people, it’s okay. I’ll find something else.
I’m so optimistic about this. My goal is when Girl 1, 2, and Boy have their own families they will be making spaghetti ornaments, reindeer, or just sharing memories. If I can do that then maybe their children will one day do the same. I don’t expect to change the world, or how the world is during the Christmas holiday shopping season. I will leave you with this:
I made the world! I also got paint in my mouth trying to mix the blue and white but we won’t talk about that.
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” ~ Dr. Suess