Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Merry/Happy Thanksgiving/Christmas/Holiday Season

I will admit that over the years the holidays haven't really been my thing.  Due to a few painful childhood memories, a constantly limited budget and too much damn pressure, my reaction to the holidays was usually to retreat.  Even after my kids were born, I struggled.  I loved making new memories with them, but my uneasiness lingered.  But something strange is happening.   Maybe it's the fact that I'm getting older older and I've been a parent for 13 years, I don't know.   I feel like I am far enough away from painful memories and I've created so many years of good times with my own sweet family,  well, the holidays just aren't feeling as overwhelming right now.

I'm not rolling my eyes when I hear people talk about decorating before Thanksgiving or when I hear the first Nat King Cole Christmas song on the radio.  I smile to myself like I picture a kind grandma doing when I hear people feverishly complain about stores being open on Thanksgiving like their lives depended on it instead of making fun of them in my head.  It's strange, but good.

I'm considering forgetting Thanksgiving all together and not feeling badly about it.  I mean why not? It got so cold here this week and snowed, it feels more like Christmas anyway. 

Yesterday it was 12 degrees so I started making paper snowflakes and we had hot cocoa with whipped cream after school.  It all felt very holiday-ish and I didn't feel twitchy or wrong.  It's strange, but good.

One part of the holidays that I have truly always loved and has helped get me get out of my painful funks over the years is helping others.  

This year I got to make a video about a book drive for one of my favorite nonprofits Charlotte's Wings (I've written about them here and here and here).  It is an amazing nonprofit that collects and donates new books to children and families in hospital or hospice care in Michigan. Here's a link to a great article about the book drive at Barnes & Noble in Rochester Hills.   Check out the video (and if you live in the area go donate a book).

Charlotte's Wings Book Drive at Barnes & Noble 2014 Final Version from Jumping With My Fingers Crossed on Vimeo.

Wondering how to make a difference this holiday season?  It's simple.  Do something.  Volunteer at a soup kitchen, invite a lonely friend over for dinner, visit a nursing home or hospital, offer to babysit your neighbor's kids for an afternoon, make dinner for someone, find a book drive or a toy drive or a coat drive.  Get into the spirit of the season.

I'm feeling strangely ready to sing a Christmas song, eat turkey, watch football, watch The Polar Express and go volunteer.  Happy/Merry Thanksgiving/Christmas/Holiday Season!!! Bring it on, I am ready, I think.  It's strange, but good.  

How do YOU feel?  Are you decorating?  Do you love the holidays?  Do you and your family get involved in community service, what do you do?

Just for fun and because I'm feeling so holiday-ish, here's a funny holiday song/video from Kristen Bell- Text Me Merry Christmas


  1. Coming here to your space, reading your words - I always feel warm and fuzzy and happy. Thank you for that. Happy Holidays to you and yours, Angela.

  2. Love, love, love that song (Straight No Chaser and Kristen Bell are two of my favorites separately, so together? Awesome.)

    The jury is out for me right now. But my kids are excited and giddy, and that helps :)

  3. I am not a HUGE fan of holidays, and it has nothing to do with anything from my past: to be honest, I just really don't like the change in routine. I'm famous/infamous for HATING to decorate for holidays, and getting together with extended family stresses me out completely. That said, my kids know that if they want drama-free holidays, they stick by their mama because their mama avoids the drama. :)