Saturday, December 24, 2011

Saturday, December 24th - Christmas "have to's"; Date Minding; A Flash Mob Christmas

Christmas vacation is finally here. Three cheers for sleeping late, relaxing and having a little bit of fun without the stress of work! I have been forcibly removed, ha ha, from writing because of this holiday season and this week I will finally get the chance to get back on track and I am looking forward to it.

Why I Hate Christmas Redux

I’ve been reminded these past few days of why I hate Christmas. It’s related to the notion of something I dislike in everyday life and that’s the phrase “have to.” I like doing things because I want to, not because I have to and Christmas is full of “have to’s.” Specific “have to’s” are different for everybody, but many of them are the same when it comes to Christmas, like shopping (and spending money!), writing out cards, cooking, wrapping, decorating, cleaning…the list goes on and on.

The “have to’s” this year, thanks to one or two mishaps and life in general getting in the way, have actually kept me from my pc completely for two days this week, which is a rarity for me even one time. As a result, my writing has gone by the wayside and I haven’t even been able to keep up even my “Writing Wednesday” for two weeks now, even though I thought I’d be able to do it.

I’ve been running around like a chicken without a head seemingly every day for the past two weeks, pulling in late nights and long days out of the house, spending all of my money like a drunken sailor, and for what? Jesus’ birthday!

Now don’t get me wrong, Christmas can and should be a special time of the year, and even though I am not a devout believer in anything when it comes to religion, I can’t help but wonder how many people actually think of Jesus when they’re running around like crazy people catching the latest sales, arguing with fellow crazies on the crowded roads or in mall parking lots, and such. To me it’s commercialism and hypocrisy at their worst during this festive season, and that’s the part of Christmas that I hate so much.

Believe me, I’m no Scrooge. Christmas is a wonderful time of year, really, it’s just that it’s become too many “have to’s” for me, which suck the spirit right outta me every year, and now that the hardest of the “have to’s” are behind me, I can relax a bit and enjoy it. So, here’s hoping that each of you reading this take the time and truly enjoy giving and receiving gifts, spending time with family and friends, and enjoying Christmas for what it should be, no matter what you believe.

This week, my Christmas tree crashed to the ground for the second time, breaking a lot of ornaments in the process! It was one of the 'mishaps' that dragged me a bit this week. Thankfully, this new attitude of mine has helped me keep it all in stride and the day after Christmas I'm going to goo shopping for all new ornaments for next year...

Date Minding

I’m the kind of person who keeps mind of dates. Dates are ways of remembering things past, whether they are birthdays, holidays or events. Whenever dates come to mind, I almost always take time to note whatever it is that might’ve occurred that day, and reflect on it in my own way. I dunno, that’s just me! There have been a couple of dates that have been brought into my mind this week, and though I haven’t had the opportunity to post about them when they happened, I’d like to do so now:

Happy Birthday Mom!

Thursday, December 22nd was my mother’s 69th birthday. I’ve recently expressed my appreciation for my mom during one of my “Giving Thanks” posts, and her birthday celebration, to me, showed that all six of her children love her and appreciate her very much, even though she occasionally questions the notion. Mom is a sweet, loving, and caring person and I hope that she enjoyed her birthday as much as we did. Happy Birthday mom!

Happy 100th Nana!

Another person who I’ve written about recently is my nana. Mary Picarelli (Randazzo) was born on December 23rd, 1911 to Italian immigrants Francesco and Annina Picarelli. She lived a relatively long and happy life, considering her circumstances, being very sickly for much of it with a whole host of ailments and complications. She passed away in June 1994 at the age of 82, and she’s been missed every day since then.

Nana and Grandpa

Nana was married to my grandfather, Joe Randazzo, just shy of 60 years when she took her last breath. During her life she bore three children, Robert, Joan (my mom!), and Linda, who passed away at six months, and she had nine grandchildren in all. Yesterday would have been her 100th birthday and I made note of it on Facebook with a simple birthday message to her. My two youngest siblings were relatively young when she passed, but my other three were old enough to caryry some of the same happy memories of nana as I do, and the two that are also on FB made mention of the occasion as well, showing you what kind of impact she made on each of us.

Once again, I am truly blessed to have had such a wonderful and marvelous person as Mary Randazzo for a grandmother. She was one of a kind and she will always, always, be missed! Happy 100th Birthday Nana! I love you! (And I hope that they all threw you a great big party last night up there!)

A Not So Happy Memory

Finally there is one last date I want to make note of and that is December 24th,
2010, one year ago today. As the days have slowly passed towards Christmas, I can’t help but think back to a year ago when things were so complicated and a little crazy in my life. In the wee hours of Christmas Eve morning, as I was driving home from a night of clubbing in the city, I received the breakup message from him.

That was the beginning of a long, downward spiral that took me months to recover from, and my purpose here is not to rehash all of those terrible memories, but to note that I am so happy that that is behind me and I am once again in a good place in my mind. I spent last Christmas Eve alone in my house, sleeping the night away in my heartbreak. It was the first and only time I’d ever spent the holiday alone.

Tonight I look forward to Christmas Eve with my family, and I’m going to enjoy every moment of it and celebrate life for what it is, today and for the days, weeks, months and years to come. It's great to be in a good place again! Merry Christmas everybody!

A Mariah “Flash Mob”

I’m going to end this post with a video posting by an old friend of mine, Lisa. She and I used to work together at State Bank once upon a time and we’ve remained in good contact through Facebook ever since. Lisa was always a fun person to be around…I remember practicing my Italian with her all the time to escape the boredom and monotony at work. “Chi parla?” she used to ask me all the time, and I’m sorry to say that’s one thing I miss about being around her live and in person: I don’t get to practice my Italian as much anymore.

Anyway, this morning Lisa responded to my “Song of the Day” post by saying that my choice, Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas,” was one of her favorite Christmas songs (mine, too!), and that just last night she and her family and friends did a “flash mob” to the song at their Christmas party. “What’s a flash mob?”, you may be wondering. Well, judging from the video here, I can say it’s just an impromptu celebration of a happy song. The video made me smile and I hope it gives you some pleasure, as well. Enjoy and Buon Natale!

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