I can sympathize. I know how he feels. I'm trying to stay in the holiday mood. I'm reeeealllly trying despite events of the past week. I've manged not to bark out "bah, humbug" yet.
I'm ready for this year to be over. I was doing pretty darn well until our twelve year-old female black Lab, Holly, had a lumpectomy last Tuesday. The next day, she developed internal bleeding that evening and our vet (thank the Goddess for her!) did emergency surgery. Because it was at night, she couldn't get any of her staff, so I assisted. (I worked in a vet clinic in high school.)
The next day, Thursday, I went to have my oil changed, then back home. When I went back outside to get in my Element to go visit Holly at the vet's, my passenger window was down.
It was not down when I went inside.
No broken glass anywhere. I tried to get the window up (power windows) and nothing. So visited Holly, then back to the mechanic.
Nearly $300 and a new window regulator later, I have a working passenger window again. (Let's add that on top of the $1,000+ vet bill I'm looking at.)
We went to pick Holly up on Saturday, and when we got there, they brought her out, and while in the kennel she'd licked out two stitches. The vet put in staples to close the gaping wound, put an e-collar on her, and put her back in the kennel. (Which, after the scare we had the other night, where she could have easily bled to death had it happened after we went to bed, was fine with me.)
Then on Monday, the pathology reports came back that the lump was a carcinoma, and the pathologist recommended going back in and taking out more surrounding tissue to make sure it was all removed. So another surgery. And I asked the vet to please keep her there at least until Saturday. I'm seriously wigged out by the possibility of something happening. (The vet literally lives like a block from the clinic and they have people there throughout the night.)
The good thing is that, while this does totally f**k my budget up for the month, I'll have to shuffle some bills around and take my mortgage off the auto-pay plan so they don't make me bounce checks, etc., if this had happened last year, it would have totally crippled us financially. This year, it's a major inconvenience, but it's doable. (Barely.) It means my husband and I went to Goodwill for things like used books for gifts for each other *LOL* but hey, I could give a darn. Seriously. I told him our Christmas gift to each other is Holly's health care. *LOL*
We're blessed. Truly. We have a house we're not in danger of losing (unlike a few years ago when we almost did). We have cars that run. We're both in reasonably good health. Our other dogs are in good health. I've got a good job and while I'm not rich, I'm hoping by the time hubby is set to retire in less than two years that I can replace his income with my writing.
My family is all in relatively good health, we have wonderful friends, and I have the world's best readers. (Excluding the pirate a**holes who share my books on file sharing sites. I wish those jerks would quit reading me, quite frankly.)
My hubby loves Christmas. I mean, he makes Clark Griswald look like an amateur. Seriously. And he LOVES to wrap things. So because we're exceptionally lean this year in the gift department (excluding the few things we'd already bought earlier in the year) he's wrapping EVERYTHING that isn't sitting still. (Watch out, Bubbles. You might be next.) He's the only man I know who re-gifts items...to US. He's creative, I'll give him that.
But I'm at a point now that my son is a teenager, I honestly don't feel a need for "gifts." I'd rather give someone a gift card, or make them a batch of cookies or something, than try to find something they might or might not like or use. That way they can buy what they NEED. And I'm at a point in my life where receiving gifts honestly doesn't matter. Send me a card, or just wish me Merry Christmas. This year, we did a tag off a Christmas tree at the local IHOP and bought some small gifts for a little girl. I also bought food bags at Publix (our local grocery store chain) for their drive to feed the hungry. It's not much, but it's something. And I think I enjoyed doing that more than anything else.
I think we put too much emphasis on the "gifting" aspect of this season. We create stress for ourselves and others, and all we're doing is trying to push the retailers over from the red to the black in their balance sheets. I'm not a Christian, even though I was raised one. To me, this time of year is about reflecting on the past and looking forward to the future, about love and hope and peace, of family and friends. (Not too much different, eh?) It's not about Black Friday sales or last minute 30% off deals.
So while you're going through the craziness of this season, take a moment to step back, take a deep breath, and look at what you have. Even if it's not very much, remember there usually is someone else out there far worse off than you (if you're reading this, at least you have Internet access *LOL*). Wish those others well, and if it's within your ability even to drop a dollar in a kettle somewhere, remember that dollar could mean a lot to someone else even if it doesn't seem like it. A lot of people giving a dollar means a lot of dollars.
In the coming year, I'm bound and determined to declutter this house. I've done well so far, a good start, but I see a lot now that I know I can force myself to part with. I think it'll make me happier in the long run, because it'll mean a more peaceful house.
And that's my big new year's resolution (along with trying to lose thirty pounds *LOL*) is to make my house more peaceful.
Season's Greetings, Merry Yule, Happy Christmas, and have a safe and happy Holidays! )O(