So for those of you who have had the pleasure of meeting me, I’m what some might call eccentric. I’m the kind of person who thinks crazy things, believes the unbelievable, and says whatever’s on my mind. I have an off-the-beaten-path sense of humor, am wildly sarcastic and cynical, and like to climb on my soapbox every so often (don’t even ask me about the Amish and income taxes…don’t…). I am my own breed, and while some people often think I’m crass, unforgiving, and too honest, I wouldn’t change who I am for all the marbles in China. (although, let’s be honest, there’s very little I’d do for all the marbles in China. What would I do with billions of marbles??)
That being said, a lot of people sometimes wonder where I get my spunky personality from. It’s hard to blend all these varieties of crazy together into one living breathing human, but the impossible has been done. It wasn’t that hard, though, when my personality comes honestly from my mother.
I love my mom. She’s one of my favorite people to talk to. She listens when I need to vent, gives advice when I’m looking for it, cares too much about animals, likes to bake, has a funny sense of humor, and is slightly crazy. She’s me in 26 years. When people meet me, and then they meet my mom, they see where I get my personality from. I’m a little more sarcastic than she is, and a little more pessimistic, but often times how we think and act are one in the same.
One thing I love about my mom is sometimes she tends to get on these “Soapbox Rants” where she goes to war against muti-billion dollar companies, or politicians, or chemicals she doesn’t like. Growing up it seemed like there was always someone or something new she was against. Wal-Mart. Applebees. Disneyland Resort. Bob Casey. The Philadelphia Eagles. Our neighbor John. My 8th grade English teacher. Lowes. The local mall. She had stories to support her boycotts, annoyances and yelling, and as children we just thought everyone’s moms went on soapbox rants from time to time about corporate America, evil politicians, and egotistical sports teams. I’ve learned since then this isn’t the norm.
Over the past few years one of my mom’s favorite rants was about Christmas. How consumer-based it had become, how annoying other customers in stores were at this time of year, how retail stores try to convince you to buy more than you need so they can improve their fourth quarter earnings. She always was threatening to cancel Christmas, but I always assumed to was more venting than anything else. And for years every Christmas she’d buy me some gifts, even as I’ve grown up and moved out.
Last Christmas I remember her saying, “That’s it, I’m done with Christmas, no more gifts, no more shopping. Christmas time is about family time, not about all the things we can stuff under the tree!” And I remember thinking, There she goes again, her yearly empty threat to cancel Christmas. I wonder how long she’ll continue this stance this year.”
And continue the rant she did. January into February, February into March, March into April. Around springtime I thought, Maybe this year she’s serious about this. Maybe this is the year we finally cancel Christmas.
Well, I was right. December 25, 2012, the Days officially cancelled Christmas. Well, we didn’t cancel Christmas, per se, just the materialistic part of Christmas that we Americans have latched onto. We didn’t go crazy with the gift shopping. We didn’t spend hours in line looking for that “perfect gift”. Instead we bought a few small gifts for each other, stuffed our stockings, and opened them together on Christmas Eve. The holiday season was more about hanging out and spending time together, and less about swapping gifts, cluttering the living room with paper, and returning things we already have. We watched movies, baked, laughed, and set up a photo booth with my sister’s supplies. We guarded our home from the roaming meth heads (that’s another story for another day). We watched Michael Buble croon out Christmas tunes. We watched New Girl. We ate a TON of Christmas popcorn.
At the end of the day, it was the perfect Christmas. Absolutely wonderful. The focus of our day was back on what’s important, family, love, and blessings. God has blessed our family with so much this year, and it was a wonderful way to appreciate that together.
So for those of you who think, “Lis is crazy, I don’t know where she gets it from,” know I get most of it honestly from my family, especially my mom. And today of all days, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. My mom cancelling Christmas in our family was the best thing we’ve ever done as a family. The day was about remembering what is important in life, and not about who has the best presents.
Merry Christmas everyone! I hope your day was wonderful and bright!