I'll start off by saying only women will appreciate this post. Gentlemen, you may as well move along - nothing to see here, that you care about.
The holidays are upon us and with that comes the shopping lists, the angst of buying Christmas gifts. Do we get something for the McGoogles? We never have before. Then last year they showed up at our house with basket of wine and cheese. What's up with that? And I am not buying anything this year for the grandchildren of Mama's first cousin Henrietta. I don't care, we need to stop somewhere.
There is the calendar and trying to schedule the multiple "Christmases" we have. By last count we have four. My stepmother wants to have her Christmas family dinner on the Sunday before Christmas. That will work unless my son-in-law's family decides to have theirs that same night - they are waiting to hear from one of his sisters (who, naturally, first needs to find out when her new boyfriend's family is having their holiday dinner.) If all else fails we can meet at my stepmother's the Sunday after Christmas, but my DH's family had discussed that as a possible date for their family Christmas dinner. They are waiting for my nephew's wife to hear from her family . . .
The decorating - are we going with the traditional red and green or do we venture off into purple and gold? Should we stick with the Woodland theme we did last year or try something new? The way I am going I'll be lucky to get a tree, I don't know why I am discussing "decorating". Then there are my plans to bake and menus that need to be planned - it just seems to go into infinity . . . and beyond.
But this time of year also brings another tradition, something that soothes the soul, provides a respite from the holiday chaos, and shows that there is a perfect world, even if it does only live in snow globes and on sound stages. The Hallmark Channel - God bless 'em. They call it their "Count Down to Christmas". I refer to it as my little helper. Every night 2 hour movies are run back to back - Calgon Take Me Away.
There are no car chases in these films. Rarely if ever do you see a weapon and no one is ever shot. The language is normal without profanity or slang. The villains are dastardly and never get their way. The star crossed lovers always find a way to get together despite the odds. Families are reunited. Small towns pull together. And often Santa himself, and even his family, are part of the story.
I know when all Hell is breaking loose, when I am exhausted and nothing has gone my way, when I am tired of looking at a list that gets longer and few items get checked off, that I can crawl up on the sofa or in bed and turn to the Hallmark Channel. There I can watch one of these feel good, don't have to think about the plot, you know all will be well, the guy will always get the girl, it is certain to snow on Christmas - movies and I can get lost in the mush and mediocrity of the story.
Meanwhile my DH says they are silly and he cannot believe I am wasting my time. I have never asked him to watch one with me and even gone as far as changing the channel when he comes into the den to watch something else.(There are other TV's in our house I can peacefully retreat to.) I think I heard the words "disgusting", "nauseating", and "worthless" come from his mouth in response to the anything on the Hallmark Channel. My friends have told me their husbands had very similar reactions.
Whatever! If catching one of these flicks soothes my soul and helps me handle the stress of the bedlam - so be it. The holidays should not be stressful anyway. But I cannot change that. What I can do is escape to Falls River with Jim and Trisha and for 2 hours live in the fantasy land of a snow globe. Thinking is optional.