Monday, January 6, 2014

365.25 Christmases

a couple of days ago i was bored to the point that i needed anything to help me face "the hours", i couldn't read or play with the children yet there were a couple of hours left before my husband comes back home and it's time to put the kids to bed when i'll crash right beside them on what's now called our "family bed" since the cold storm that hit the MENA region ... last MONTH !

so i made the tough decision of watching a movie, i'm very aware and careful of what appears on our T.V screen (practically nothing but cartoon shows, i'm even selective there too) i had to choose wisely because even though the kids will pretend to be busy playing around me in the living room, they'll repeat words from the movie and some scenes will catch their attention every few minutes... i had two options (on DVD): "Four Christmases" and "The Holiday"... because i love the second one so much i hated the idea of a possibility of me not giving my full attention to one of my favorite movies and i decided to watch Four Christmases... it wasn't too long before i discovered what a bad choice this was and switched DVD's

this morning, one of my Armenian friends who is a pastor was wondering if it's accurate to call the 6th of January (today) "Armenian Christmas" and my comment on his facebook status was: "Egyptian Christians (Orthodox and Evangelical) celebrate Christmas on the 7th of January so why not have 365 names for Christmas to experience it every single day..."

this got me thinking about Christmas, aside from the cliche words and ideas we parrot every year, what does Christmas mean to me? on the 24th of December i missed the chance to reflect and celebrate, read this post if you're wondering why, so the great news was that i get to have a second chance while the majority of Christians around the world have started to make plans of how to take down their Christmas decoration, we (Armenians and Egyptian Christians) are just getting started. 

as excited as i was to FULLY benefit from this 2nd chance i quickly realized that i am me... i need more than just a 2nd chance that comes in the middle of THE SEASON, duh... Christmas (1st or 2nd chances) just HAVE to come during the season of celebration... but this defeats the purpose, for me this can't count as a chance because we'd be still busy with events, celebrations, church activities... etc we shower, wear our clothes and smiles, and show up as happily as socially expected and accepted of our family.... add to this craziness my daughters fever of more than 40 C for three nights (including New Year's Eve) and my son's long school vacation... just tell me where exactly is this chance to TRULY celebrate Christmas? unless Christmas after all really means new clothes (for the kids), wrapped gifts (also for the kids, but i wrapped two old yet unused items for myself and two for my husband because you know, kids under the age of 5 still believe that Santa Clause exists and i wanted him to be a fan of equal rights between children and adults), food (ready, simple, complex... just any kind of edible material, btw this year i added pickles which turned out to be a great idea), and tree (which looked like this eventually and won the "best tree" award in 8 Christmases)
(sharpening my primitive photography skills i also applied for the "best blur" award hoping that this photo will win and guest what? it did)
so if i, so far, know of 3 official Christmases that somehow i find myself entitled to celebrate (yes all 3 of them) yet can't find, understand and reflect on the true essence of Christmas then why not have 365.25 Christmases? one for every day of the year with an extra one during leap years, this way we'll get a new chance every morning to celebrate what Christmas really means.

and if you're waiting for an answer to the question "what does Christmas mean to me/you?" that's why you're reading on, then i have to tell you at this point that you won't find one here simply because my only New Year's resolution for 2014 so far is to celebrate Christmas every day of the year this year hoping that maybe along the journey, with some trial and error, i might find the answer, i might even find 365.25 answers when 2015 arrives, i don't know, but for a start i've decided to take some practical steps the first of which is to follow the advise of one of my friends who is committed to writing one thing she's "thankful for" every day, and last night, the thing i was thankful for was a moment of happiness that i haven't realized was there until it was already gone, i had finished brushing my teeth and while i was flossing something reminded me of the war in Syria, i had forgotten about it for a few hours during the day and when i remembered it again, it was too late, the magic effect of that potion i call "forgetfulness and neglect" was already gone and my tongue said good bye to the taste of happiness so familiar yet so remote ever since my country started aching... and me too... that's why a few days ago when i watched The Holiday movie there was a whole new set of depths and meanings to my favorite quote when Simpkins says to Miles:

"I understand feeling as small and insignificant as humanly possible. And how it can actually ache in places you didn't know you had inside you. And it doesn't matter how many new haircuts you get, or gyms you join, or how many glasses of chardonnay you drink with your girlfriends... you still go to bed every night going over every detail and wonder what you did wrong or how you could have misunderstood. And how in the hell of that brief moment you could think that you were that happy. And sometimes you can even convince yourself that he'll see the light and show up at your door. And after all that, however long all that may be, you'll go somewhere new. And you'll meet people who make you feel worthwhile again. And little pieces of your soul will finally come back. And all that fuzzy stuff, those years of your life that you wasted, that will eventually begin to fade."

... and THAT's how much i love my country... Merry Christmas to you all celebrating today and every day...

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