CHRISTMAS 2009

par·a·dox (noun) etymology: Latin paradoxum, from Greek paradoxon, from neuter of paradoxos contrary to expectation, from para– + dokein to think, seem

As a literary term: paradox, a statement that initially appears to be contradictory but then, on closer inspection, turns out to make sense.

Life does not do us the courtesy of avoiding Christmas where sickness, death, & other unhappinesses are concerned.  I’d need more than one hand to count the friends who are dealing with some really shitty business as I type this.  Families are unkind to each other.  Parents die, slowly, painfully.  Even losses decades-old pinch and scrape like new.

And there are points of light: the sound of neighborhood kids testing out their new tricycles and bicycles with abandon, the smell of the Christmas tree, the stories your father-in-law tells, the feel of yeast dough between your fingers and the satisfaction of it rising in a buttered bowl, just as it’s supposed to.

Surrounded by people but feeling utterly alone.  Happy to be on vacation but befuddled by the free time.  Knowing the holidays aren’t really about “stuff” but coveting it nonetheless.  Accustomed to indulging every whim & desire, but relenting when the family’s movie choices do not match your own.  Feeling down in the holiday dumps, then feeling like an obnoxious spoiled brat because, you know, your life is REALLY GOOD.

We humans are complex beings, full of paradoxes which make themselves especially apparent as the year winds down to a close.  I find myself tangled up in thought—desire, confusion, nostalgia, regret.  I could easily paralyze myself with the attempt to figure it all out, but instead I think I shall paint my fingernails red, sneak some leftover ham out of the fridge, make myself a cup of really good hot chocolate.  Then sit in a chair and read a book.  Call my mama and tell her that I love her.  Think of my father and cry.

We’re not going to get it all figured out today, or probably ever. Let’s do our best to be good to each other (and ourselves) in the meantime.  Merry Christmas, ya’ll.

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9 responses to “CHRISTMAS 2009

  1. Merry Christmas to you, too! Thank you for the sweet, thoughtful post.

  2. Merry Christmas, Nishta!! I hope your holiday paradox is at the least tolerable. Sending you good thoughts of comfort and joy.

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  4. Merry Christmas, Nishta. Thanks for this thoughtful and inspiring message. I hope your day was filled with warmth and love.

  5. “Think of my father and cry.”

    I’ll second that one. I thought it would be fun to put on the John Denver Christmas record my parents used to always play, and I didn’t get more than two songs in before the Crazy Christmas Tears started.

    Internet hugs.

  6. Nishta —

    This is a beautiful blog capturing the complexities of life that are especially brought up at the holidays. I felt a lot of paradox in the past few days, too; a lot of joy coupled with sadness and even anger. It’s not easy to be a human being some days, eh?

    But here is some love from a grateful reader today, and she wishes you lots of joy in spite of, and maybe because of, it all.

    (I got a bit of a giggle, too, as I did the SAME THING as karinyaf up there, with the John Denver Christmas songs!!! What *is* it about that guy? I totally lost it with “Away in a Manger,” lol.)

  7. Merry Christmas Nishta! Curling up with a book and a cup of hot chocolate sounds like the perfect way to survive the ups and downs of the holidays.

  8. Christmas has the tendency to bring up the sweetest and most painful memories, sometimes all at once.

    But to you, good tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy.

    • bluejeangourmet

      I think I have the best blog readers in the whole world. thanks, ya’ll, for the love & empathy. It means a great, great deal.

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