Although I am not particularly religious, I do like to draw the good things from the religions in the world and try to keep them true to myself. The quote above happens to be one of my favorites. Also, it happens to be something I've been telling myself a lot lately.
Despite earlier confessions of being a Grinch and a Scrooge, this is the time where all that fades away. Two days before Christmas and I'm busy busy busy. I probably don't have time to be writing this, but I find myself in need of my writer's solitude for at least half an hour or so.
Like every year there's a mad rush to wrap up all final presents in my house. My family is a gift wrapping family, too. We take it very seriously. I can't remember a Christmas where every present didn't have a huge, home made, curly, shiny bow on it. Every single bow was my mother's own creation and she spent hours making sure every gift looked perfect under the tree on Christmas morning.
As I grew up I also developed a knack for wrapping and bow making. Being unemployed this year, a lot of the wrapping responsibility has fallen on my shoulders. I don't mind. I enjoy it. It's time consuming, but it distracts me from other drama which centers around the holidays.
This year my bows seem to be more extravagant and frilly. They look more beautiful than they ever have before and with each one I make I smile at it and think to myself, "Now that's a beautiful present." I know myself, though, and the only time I care that much about a relatively small detail is when I'm trying to ignore something I don't want to deal with.
I don't believe in blasting people on the internet. So I won't. But my normally peaceful family is experiencing a rip-tide of clashing traditions this year. It's distressing, and I hope a compromise can be reached. But, really, all of it is beyond my control or my immediate business. So, I make big, beautiful bows on all the presents and pretend everything's alright as long as the gifts look good.
I hope my Christmas Spirit kicks in soon. My best friend is in town for a few days, and it's the only time all year I get to see him. Usually his presence helps put me in a great mood, and I hope that remains to be true this year.
I know my family isn't the only one with drama or internal issues. I only hope that if your family happens to be experiencing some turbulence right now that you keep the Serenity Prayer in mind. Accept the things you cannot change, be brave enough to change what you can, and know which battles to fight. Above all, just breathe and remember that being in a family is something to be grateful for. We're just lucky to love each other so much that we'll argue about it.