My Mean Streak and Christmas Time

Christmas postcard date unknown, circa 1900.

Greetings and I am so glad to see you all here today.  I know it is a busy time of year but today’s lesson is very special and I’m glad you didn’t miss it.

Today the lesson is :   My Mean Streak and Christmas Time

Let’s jump right in so we can get back to our holiday bustling.

My Mean Streak has been very low-key of late.  Even when I try to get it riled up and going, it just sits there with a look like it has had too much eggnog laced with a generous portion of rum.

I said like, not that it had  Although I am certainly prepared to spike the eggnog if My Mean Streak starts to act up.  While I am a tad frustrated that it won’t cooperate and took off when there is still so much to do before we can relax, I am not really surprised.  It’s Christmas.  I just don’t ever feel mean at Christmas time.

So My Mean Streak is  putting in an appearance today to quash any rumors it might not be working properly and even though we have no demonstrations or how to’s going on today, it is here so you can see it isn’t a monster.  My Mean Streak  can actually be good-natured.

Every once in a while.  I mean how can you justify being mean when it’s all about Peace on Earth and goodwill toward man?  Ok you can I just have no need as I won’t go to the mall or Walmart until after New Year’s day.  Probably not until the end of January if I can help it.

You can bet if I did I’d be able to get My Mean Streak going good.  I even toyed with that idea, purposely agitating by shopping just to get a rise.  But I am enjoying the reprieve especially since I think it was way too active right before Thanksgiving.

Why is it nearly impossible to get My Mean Streak going you ask?  Or did you?  Well whatever, I shall tell you.

I love Christmas.  Everything about Christmas is special to me .   It is love and family and magic and light and warmth.  It is home.

My Mom and my grandma before her were – and still are Christmas elves.  Their ability to transform the mundane everyday world into the most magical beautiful place during the Christmas season is unbelievable .

When I was a child, I remember coming home from school and walking into our house after my mother had decorated.

For reasons I am not going to go into now, I was sought after in school by other kids  mostly to be a target of their jokes and ridicule.

I had a nice childhood marred only by the loneliness that never went away and the cruelty of my peers. ( and of course I know they didn’t realize at the time the effect their jokes had) – I often wonder if that is the reason  I am so compassionate and empathetic or if I just suffered more because I was and am sensitive.  And because I feel things so big. Chicken or the egg.?

Anyways, when I came home from school I opened the door to a magical winter wonderland.  The smells of baking or pot pourri.   Hot cocoa for an after school snack.  Christmas carols.  When it was cold and snowy outside, and the kids were jerky jerk jerks…  I felt like nothing bad could touch me in the Christmas winter wonderland,  full of  goodness,  my mom had created.  And if we were going over to my grandmas’ house, it was another magical christmas place.  And while I was well aware that they put up the decorations that transformed the look of the house, I never realized just what goes into making Christmas work.

My brother and I were older than most children when we realized about Santa.  I was 12 and although my brother never told me (how cool is THAT for an older brother? ) I suspect it was not too much sooner than that.   I did not tell my mother,  keeping it to myself for a long time and being so very sad that year as Christmas came about because  I didn’t want to ruin it for her.  If I told her, she might not do Christmas anymore, or it might mean less.  It might change her perspective.  When I finally did fess up, after she noticed I was not my happy little elfy self,  Mom gave me Christmas back.

She told me how Santa is anyone with a giving heart. She told me my grandma for example was Santa at heart but strangely she did not include herself although she did indeed have the most giving heart.  Looking back I wonder if she was teaching me another lesson about giving.  About not bragging.  It is about the gift, the thought and the recipient.  Not about the giver.

American card, circa 1940

How lucky we were, my brother and I.  Some might say we were sheltered to be looking for the Jolly Ole Elf up until around 12.  I don’t know if sheltered is the right word.  I think that the sense of magic, of giving, of goodness and warmth were just so very strong in the wonderland of my mom’s creation that we believed.  I still do and I am sure my brother does too.  Positive.

That is one thing that will get My Mean Streak going though – any asshole that thinks they have the right to take that away from a child.  Let me hear a naysayer tell a child something that blows it.  If it is done on purpose and just because said asshole feels like Christmas is ridiculous and they have some right to ruin it for anyone who thinks it isn’t, I let go of the leash on My Mean Streak and it will go straight to the shit storm fury mentioned on our first day of class.  This is one of those cases where it doesn’t matter whose kid it is.  Asshole better look out.  

Incidentally,  Santa came to our house and filled our stockings and left us presents all the way up until my brother was in college and I left for the Army.  We would get up early and wake up Mom and Dad and have to wait to go downstairs…  well those last couple years it was Mom and Dad who would get up early – like 10 o’clock and have to wake us up.  But still…

The first Christmas he didn’t stop for us at the same spot was the first Christmas I was not home for the holidays because  I was stationed in Panama and had no leave.

The best of my childhood is wrapped up in Christmas. The best memories of family, my mom being home more than normal – this particular thought I am not sure comes from that she actually was, or in that Christmas and Mom go hand in hand – love, magic, everything.  I never felt out-of-place or lonely or even cared too much about the teasing because my world could not be knocked wonky for anything from the day after Thanksgiving to Jan 3.

Honestly one of the  biggest reasons I wanted kids was Christmas..     To be able to do what my mom and my grandma did.  To share the wonder with my own children.  To be the magic.

So you see folks, it is kinda hard for My Mean Streak to get riled up this time of year.   Not impossible,  but not needed so much.  Even the days I struggle with my illness and the overwhelming emotions of the holidays,  it is not the power I need to call on to carry me through.  So I let it relax and eat cookies and eggnog – yes sometimes with a little rum.

There are a few things that will get it off its rear end though;

  • Assholes that tell kids things they shouldn’t – Big One! The biggest one actually
  • Crowded Malls and Walmart.  
  • No Eggnog
  • Either of the Christmas songs Feliz Navidad or Jingle Bell Rock played one too many times.  
  • Not having Christmas lights because no one will hang them even though it is just a straight string around the porch and the hooks are already there.  But I will probably do it myself so it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
  • Possibly my Landlord.  But that is every month – he pushes My Mean Streak’s buttons.  

I can’t think of much else.  Not that needs mentioning here anyways.  And in the mildest of these situations, My Mean Streak is still more inclined to reply with a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays than to bite anyone’s head off.

There is class scheduled for next week but I think it’s safe to say that we won’t be meeting.   So that is two weeks off.  But be here bright-eyed and bushy-tailed the week following  New Year’s Day.

My Mean Streak will no doubt be fed up, fed well and raring to go.

From My Mean Streak to you:  Have yourselves a Merry Little Christmas  and a wonderful New Year.  Happy Holidays. Enjoy the love and warmth,  family and peace.  Embrace the magic. It comes but once a year.  

Class dismissed.  See you in 2012. 

English: Christmas-themed check mark
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11 responses to “My Mean Streak and Christmas Time

  1. Well, after reading this lovely tribute to your Mom and Grandma and your Christmases past, I can a certainly see why your mean streak is a no show. Christmas is like a haven from the chaos of the world. It’s there every year waiting for us as a reward for getting through another year and no matter what comes we always have Christmas. It’s kind of like pushing the reset button on our lives and starting out fresh and ready for another “go round”. And having little ones around to enjoy it with? Well that just makes it priceless! 🙂

  2. That’s a beautiful post, lizziecracked.
    by the 3rd day of January, I’ll be wondering why everyone can’t carry the spirit of this season all year round.

    Then my own mean streak will rear up and I’ll know the answer to that question.
    But it sure is nice while it lasts.
    And thanks so much for sharing your memories.
    Rock on!

    • Thank you ! It is such a let down on the 3rd or first day back to reality. Why CAN”T we just be nice all year long?
      Hmmmm yeah, no fun! It is nice though while it lasts.
      🙂 Peace

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  4. I am a Christmas junkie. My Mrs says that I get really excited during this time of the year. 🙂 I like your grandmother’s definition of Santa. I will tell my niece that. Merry Christmas. Although I will be back here at Christmas to say it again 🙂

    • “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” Both my brother and I have carried on with the decorating and merry making, and much to the annoyance of our respective spouses – have declined a house that would otherwise been perfect because it wouldn’t decorate right for Christmas. I wonder if we had it all year round would we get tired of it or like junkies just want more? hmmmmmmmm. I say MORE! And Merry Christmas to You too! 😛

      • No. Even Junkies get tired sometimes. Then they move on but I don’t know what would be better than Christmas – I guess we would have to go to rehab? Recover from Christmas, At the Island of Misfit Toys? Yeah I’m starting to rethink this thing. I’m feeling inspired though…
        🙂 Peace

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  6. It’s been several years since you linked to my post and I first read yours. I just ‘rediscovered’ yours, and even though it is coming on summer, not Christmas, I am happy to rediscover the magic feeling. Today, I worked with the repercussions of the death of the mother of a 5 year old kindergarten student. I needed the reminder. I needed the restoration of the wonder and awe that the Christmas spirit often brings because the real world can be so harsh. Sometimes I wonder why I bother to blog, even as rarely as I do. Almost nobody reads it and what good does it do? Just thought I’d let you know that yours made a difference. Thank you.

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