If holiday ennui makes for a bad parent, then I’m downright terrible
posted by: Guest Blogger
I am not religious. And I’m not really interested in celebrating the Hallmark holidays, either. Add to this an aversion to candy and an inherent laziness when it comes to decorating/cooking/shopping/costume-making, and you end up with a person who doesn’t appear to do very much in the way of “celebrating.”
This would be a non-issue, except that I have four small children. These four small children attend schools and daycares. And these schools and daycares are CONSTANTLY reminding said children that they need to wear green, or buy Valentine’s Day cards, or bring their Easter baskets with the plastic grass to school on Friday. But it’s okay! Holidays are OKAY. They just tend to make me look like an abhorrent parent when… I’m actually pretty good.
So celebrating traditional, universal holidays isn’t where I SHINE as a mother. I’m generally not the mom that offers to make cupcakes for the Christmas party. I’m not the mom that volunteers to paint eggs or make a Thanksgiving turkey. I have a really hard time coming up with cute ideas for a Halloween costume. And… (prepare to cringe) I might very well forget to call my mom on Mother’s Day if it weren’t for the fact that school teachers remind my kids to shower me with homemade cards and slobbery kisses on said day.
BUT. I do celebrate! Just not always when a pre-marked calendar tells me to. I celebrate birthdays without fail. I let my children choose how and where and when and with whom they’d like to party, and then we proceed to act like a family of baboons that have just been released from the zoo. I will do Thanksgiving, too. Because there’s something intrinsically beautiful about eating gravies and pies and stuffing until you fall into a gluttony-induced coma… all for the sake of showing gratitude.
I revere Christmas… because I believe in taking a day to honor hope and goodness and family. And witnessing that frenzied expression on a child’s face when thery realize that YES! SANTA DIDN’T HOLD THAT ROCK INCIDENT AGAINST ME!! also makes it worth my while. I think it’s important to remember Martin Luther King, Jr. And to commemorate this country’s independence. And our veteran’s, too.
But that’s about it for me. Sure, I’ll play along if my kids want to decorate our windows in ghosts and goblinny-type stuff. I’m not against buying the Valentine’s Day cards if their teachers request that I buy them, either.
But I’d rather put my time and energy into throwing a huge slumber party when my daughter Antonia brings home straight As. I’ll put aside my laziness to sing, dance and dress up like a clown when Jonah does all his chores without being reminded. I don’t do streamers and balloons, but I do like to decorate my house with daisies and tigerlilies and large, green apples to mark the Summer Solstice since winter spreads out and makes itself downright comfortable for three-quarters of the year in the San Luis Valley.
Graduations, anniversaries, births, the publishing of a book and I am THERE with a smile and a gift and some really great wine, too. Just… do me a favor and don’t ask me to bring the candy.