Saturday, December 24, 2016

Big hugs and love to you

Holidays are sparkly and beautiful and fun. Ooh, lights! Presents! Parties!

And for those among us who have lost loved ones, particularly recently, they are hard. 

You have this time where you're supposed to be happy and people are wishing you happiness and maybe you're really, really sad. That's OK. Or maybe you're alternately happy and sad, which feels weird. But that's OK, too.

Really, I think, we just need to stop and acknowledge that however we feel is how we feel, and our feelings are valid.

Nobody can tell you how you should feel. They're not you.

Absence can be louder and more intense than presence, and it's important to honor the hollow and give it the space it deserves.

And let me now mention that our loved ones, the ones who are here with us, may be driving us crazy. Those feelings are OK too. We just need to be as kind as we can to each other.

You know we celebrate Christmas, although very honestly, not religiously. I was raised by parents who'd were treated badly by their respective churches--Catholic and Lutheran--when they fell in love and got engaged.

Their churches were so negative, that in response, our parents raised us with nothing. No church, no explicit religion. (Until I got to high school, at which point they panicked that we might grow up to join the Moonies, and started hauling us to Mass on Sundays.)

I have always loved Christmas. I love the tree and the lights and the stockings. We use the same ornaments every year, so there is such history nestled in our tree. I love making Christmas cookies.

Growing up, I knew about Mary and Joseph and no room at the inn and Baby Jesus. We had creches, and I was part of the nativity play (so bitterly, because pajamas and Afghan), but still, since we didn't approach holidays religiously, I didn't really connect them with our celebration. 

We are not raising our kids with a religion, but we are raising them to be good people. To be kind and loving, and to treat everyone equally. It doesn't matter what color someone's skin is, whether they are a man or a woman, or what their job is. You treat people kindly and respectfully. People should be able to love and marry whoever they want to. People should worship (or not) whatever they choose.

Earlier this year, India asked me if I know who Jeez is. And I realized that maybe we should give them some sort of basic religious education.

Love, peace, kindness, and fairy dust sprinkles on everyone, and my best hope for the world.

Big hugs and so much love to you.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

When you write a Dear Santa letter in a fit of pique

Last weekend Jordan asked how he might send a letter to Santa.

He and India had already sat on Santa's lap and given him their Christmas lists. But I figured he had something he wanted to add.

The kids often give us things they come across as presents. And just prior to his letter, he'd apparently given Nick a pin. Nick had thanked him and then set it aside and gone about with whatever it was he was in the middle of doing.

So Jordan wrote his letter and put it in an envelope, and we helped him address it to the North Pole. We explained how he had to put our return address so Santa would know where exactly this was coming from.

That night, Jordan said, "Daddy, you know my Santa letter?"


"Can you please throw it away? I don't want to send it."

There you have it.

We really don't want to get on his bad side.