Let Nothing You Dismay!

My new mantra!

We powered through Christmas.  Now we can relax and forget it.  I plan to spend the rest of the week bingeing on the Outlander series.

The house smells of burned butter, a scent emitted while I made Shrimp Scampi for the Christmas feast. I can’t say I’m much of a chef, but I blame this tragedy on our electric stove. The burners heat up so fast it’s like trying to control a racecar in downtown Oskaloosa.

While the shrimp was sauteing, I couldn’t find the lemon. “Can you help?” My husband has a sixth sense for hunting and gathering.  The lemon was behind the Harry and David box of pears. Everything came together, sort of, just in time. And so the carol was written: “God rest ye merry, gentlemen, let nothing you dismay.”

I’m just glad we didn’t have a breakdown.

Honestly, I haven’t had a stress-free Christmas since 1969. My grandmother kept everything together, possibly because she was the only one who could cook.  When she was a young farm wife, she cooked three meals a day for the hired hands.  On Christmas she prepared turkey, ham, three kinds of potatoes, green beans, dressing, homemade noodles, pie…. but her culinary secrets died with her.

My mother was a fan of frozen foods and eating out. She cried at the table the year the frozen turkey breast was underdone.… and everybody got a little dysfunctional.  I wept the year I opened the refrigerator only to find that my husband had bought, instead of a whole turkey breast from Whole Foods, a lone turkey breast in a shrink-wrapped package.

And those were mild Christmases, not tragic.

There was the year my cousin, a middle-class librarian, went manic and did “performance art” in her yard. The police came and hauled her away in cuffs in the locked back seat of a black-and-white to the county mental hospital.  It was traumatic for her, but she was a routine Christmas mental case to the police.  She needed  meds, and she was released the next day.

And the moral is: Don’t do performance art in your yard!

After this relatively excellent Christmas, I still feel a bit melancholy.  And so I turned to this article in Psychology Today.

So many of us have an idealized version of what the holidays should be like and are very disappointed when they don’t live up to those expectations. Try to be realistic. Remember, nobody has a perfect holiday or perfect family.

Yes, it will never be 1969 again.  But every time Christmas comes around, I expect perfection.

Happy Christmas!  And let’s hope I can find my Gabaldon books, or the DVDs.  What escape reading do you recommend????!!!!!

6 thoughts on “Let Nothing You Dismay!”

  1. I always expect the holidays to be completely miserable so I am never disappointed and just occasionally I am pleasantly surprised. Boxing Day is my great day because we are heading back to normality. I think you are right on course though to be looking to spend the rest of the holiday on a reading binge. It’s what saves me every year. Happy New Year.

    Like

    1. I’m thrilled it’s Boxing Day! We don’t celebrate that here, but I must start. It IS better to have low expectations of the holidays. I often have a few wobbly moments, but now it’s back to normal. Thank God!

      Like

  2. I am so lucky to have had a nearly idyllic childhood. My late mother made all Christmases perfect, except that I never did get that horse until I was an adult. We never had much money, but we had presents and love.
    Merry Christmas to you!

    Like

  3. It does sound idyllic! And I’m glad you finally got your horse. Maybe I’ll reread National Velvet or one of the black stallion books. I adored those when I was growing up.
    Happy Boxing Day!

    Like

Leave a Reply to Kat Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s