Unfortunately, most of my childhood holidays were steeped in tension. Every year, there were a lot of expectations wrapped up under the flocked Christmas tree that held explosive power when things went even slightly askew.
One fateful Christmas Eve, we arrived home from the annual neighborhood party to the unfortunate discovery that my brother had eaten the tub of cottage cheese slated for a certain dish. Not just a few bites mind you – he ate the whole damn thing. The simple act of satisfying his hunger altered the course of what had been a rather jolly evening and meant the mashed potatoes would be minus the required cheesey-ness.
Let’s just say that this didn’t go over well with my mother. She followed recipes to the teaspoon and she wasn’t fond of any sort of change, particularly after imbibing copious amounts of brandied eggnog.
It was well after midnight and there wasn’t a store to be found for miles, which seems hard to imagine in today’s world of 24/7 stores on every corner. Back then, it meant searching the yellow pages and driving a long way to remedy the problem. After my mother finished her diatribe about “how could you do this” and “a ruined holiday,” I remember making the drive with my father to a 7/11 and silently wondering about the sanity of my family.
Some forty years later, this family holiday memory still floats out of the boxes when I go to retrieve all the decorations from the garage shelves. It has been comically recounted by my brother and I numerous times, and also established a platform for my own holidays when my children were young. On some level, I vowed never to allow an incident like this one to ruin any Christmas of mine.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I stepped out of the holiday arena entirely the last three years, but this year I am back in. Not in a materialistic shop-a-palooza kind of way, just in a re-engagement of spirit kind of way. I am trying to bring my entire soul to the holiday moment and experience it with a wholeheartedness that has never been available to me.
Out of the quietude of the last three years I have come to understand that the more I know who I am and what is important to me, the less outside forces (like cottage cheese) disturb my equilibrium. It is easier to take a stand for what I want and each time I honor the light of my soul and follow the things that capture my heart, the simpler life seems to become.
I wish I could have shared this idea with my mother, but I am eternally grateful for the lesson she gave me.
I hope you are able to transcend any holiday tension and enjoy every precious moment. Just to be safe, you might want to ask before you eat the cottage cheese.
Who is Dianna Bonny?
Hi, my name is Dianna Bonny. It’s my mission to candidly share my journey with you. For me, it’s all about the healing: to create a radiant healing energy for others who have befallen a similar fate. Together, we can forge beautiful lives of belonging and connection. Thanks for joining me today! I look forward to hearing from you.
Tags: harmony and balance, healing and the holidays, holiday advice, holiday calm, holiday harmony, holiday horror stories, holiday season stress, holiday spirit, holiday stories, holiday stress tips, holidays and peace