Saturday, November 27, 2010

Holiday Stress for parents and Christmas for kids

You know that feeling. It is strange that right after Thanksgiving you should feel anything close to stress but something closes in on you when you go to get that Christmas tree. It is something dull and putrid that settles on your chest as you contemplate the titanic workload that is Christmas for any parent. There should have been some road sign, some warning that right after you had children the holidays became the workdays and that all those great times you remembered as a kid really were in the past. In fact you can't even remember them anymore.

You are Christmas now. You create the whole holiday from start to finish and you understand finally why your parents always zoned off in front of the television and had those hollow eyes and looked so damn tired at the end of the day. How could they be tired? Santa was coming! Tis the season to be excited about all those gifts coming your way on Christmas morning. Yet your parents looked like someone had driven over them over with a truck. They looked like they worked from morning to night and then stayed up very late for nights on end until everything was just perfect for Christmas morning. Now you know they did.

But every year it is a shock. For some reason you forget that the Christmas you remember from your childhood no longer exists. Yet for some odd reason you sort of believe it will come back right up to the point you sit down and figure out how many gifts everyone needs and how much it's going to cost and how much time you have to decorate the house, get up the tree, go to the in laws, wrap the gifts, buy the stocking stuffers and have it all done by December 24th that rushes up faster and faster every year.

And somewhere in the middle of it you just cant' reconcile this exhaustion with that kid who sailed through the holidays like a millionaire who just had another oil well come in. Somehow that kid still lurks around and encourages you to just hold on a little longer. Because somewhere, somehow, those golden holidays have to come back around. Maybe when the kids go to college.
Rocket Man will be out in January

Books by William Hazelgrove