Dear Aunty Pam,
My husband and kids told me to write to you because this year I broke our Cardinal rule — absolutely no Christmas shopping until after Dec. 1 — as it’s always been our way of fighting back against the commercialization and hype around the holidays.
This year, I don’t know what happened, but I could not resist buying a box of Christmas cards and a centerpiece for the table. In fact, I went looking for them, so it wasn’t like I can say, “Oh, I just happened to see them and they were on sale,” or anything like that.
My family members are good sports and we’ve all had a big laugh about it but they are really letting me have it. Do you think I’m alone? I felt so compelled to buy them and for the first time in a long time, I can’t wait for Christmas to get here.
Thanks so much!
— Ho-Ho Mom
Let me tell you something, sugar cookie — if your family won’t give you a break, I’ll meet you somewhere for an extra tall glass of eggnog topped off with a dollop of rum — because Aunty Pam is feeling the same way. And I personally think lots of folks out there are looking keenly forward to whichever holidays they celebrate this year.
Why? Because this has been one of the most difficult years of our lives. For example, I was thinking about the average 30-year-old out there. In their lifetime, since graduating college with mountains of debt, they’ve been hit by not one, but two, massive recessions and a ridiculously tough job market. And when COVID-19 came on the scene, millions of people lost their jobs, their savings, and are behind in their mortgage/rent payments.
We are living in a constant state of flux. We have a presidential election coming up which has been, frankly, batcrap crazy, we are seeing Europe suffering substantial numbers of infection from their second wave of virus and we haven’t even gotten on top of our first wave. We’re living day by day with uncertainty and that is never a pleasant thing when we kid ourselves by assuming we’re somewhat in charge of our own lives.
But Christmas is steadfast and set in stone as is Hanukkah and other revered celebrations. And with them comes ancient traditions that for many of us — not all — (because not everyone has jolly holiday memories) bring enormous comfort and a sense of hearth and home. Happy families, coziness, baking, stocking stuffing — of course, you caved and bought the cards, the centerpiece. We are positively aching for a sense of normalcy in our lives and while our holiday dinners may be on Zoom this year, we can still follow many of the traditions in our own home that gives us a sense of contentment and peace. Oh, dear God, how we yearn for peace.
Hand the hubs and the kids this column, Mom. And tell them to back off or Aunty Pam will make quite sure Santa delivers nothing more than a lump of coal in their stockings.
— Aunty Pam