How my Grandma helped me jumpstart Christmas

I’ve finally gotten over my mental work/home torpor and kicked myself into high gear. When you’re in logistics, sometimes holidays stop having meaning beyond having to go through a bajillion things that Costco and Co need to keep consumers happy. Santa must have presents! Santa must have things! Santa needs the help of giant shipping containers filled with candy and random crap!

It starts with Halloween, of course. All that candy has to come from somewhere. And then Christmas, which bleeds into Valentine’s Day and then Easter and St. Patrick’s Day and somewhere along the lines I stopped seeing the meaning behind these days because all it meant to me was work. I couldn’t even get in the holiday frame of mind anymore, because come December, the powers that be (hi, Hershey’s!) are already working out what to ship for Valentine’s Day. That’s how far ahead they plan. It’s scary.

(Also, the amount of sweets people consume is staggering. No wonder diabetes is an industry.)

Last year, I trimmed the tree the day before Christmas. The year before that, we ended up in Dollarama because we were too lazy to haul everything out from storage. We should’ve done storage. We went a few days before Christmas eve and the shelves were bare. It was a Christmas of hastily cobbled together shit, featuring a truly sad plastic tablecloth that featured snowflakes and snowmen.*) This Christmas feels like more of the same, except we actually got the stuff out of storage, but now everything’s in disarray and my living room looks like a half-hearted Christmas explosion that started with a bang and ended with a whimper. There’s tinsel gathering dust in a corner.

I’ve even gotten to the point where I didn’t feel like sending out my usual Christmas cards. It’s an annual custom I started when I moved here, and I’ve been pretty faithful to it every year. But for the life of me I can’t remember if I sent anything out last year (damn you, logistics) and this year I had decided not to actually do it. Until I got a note from my Grandma for my birthday – she sent it late November, and I got it two days ago – and realized how meaningful things are when one actually takes the time.

Communication is cheap these days. A quick Happy Birthday on social media, a few sentences sent by e-mail. None of these compare to seeing my Grandma’s squiggly handwriting, and knowing that for a few moments on a particular day in November, I was all that she thought about, and took the time for. That means something.

So, a year without sending out Christmas cards? Preposterous! What’s Christmas for if not to send glittery notes with love and care to family and friends? I’ve just written my Grandma a long letter that I hope will not bore her to tears and now I’m off to see what I can score by way of Christmas cards (can’t be redundant, Christmas cards aren’t like Catherine Middleton’s favourite coats), and jumpstart the Christmas season. I am very firmly going to buy cards that say MERRY CHRISTMAS, and not that silly, politically correct, “Happy Holidays” bullshit. It’s freaking Christmas. If I find something that says MERRY F*CKING CHRISTMAS, all the better. Post office, here I come!


* Cobbled together decor, but truly awesome dinners.  I’m not big on decorating the space, but I will skimp on nothing when it comes to a Christmas/New Year’s Eve dinner. Nothing. Turkeys will cry.

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