Almost Christmas Confessions

This is hard to write. Hard to admit, I guess.

In the grand scheme of things – all the horribleness that has assaulted the innocent in the past week – it’s nothing. Less than nothing, and for that I am so grateful. I forget (on a daily basis) how lucky I am.

Still.

Selfishly, self-centeredly, I don’t want to admit this. I feel like by being honest and putting this out there that I am inviting disappointment. All of those who have said they were so proud of me, all of those who have told me I was doing the right thing, I feel like this is just a great big middle finger to that.

I got my grades yesterday.

I failed a class.

The rest of them I passed, and that’s about it.

I am not used to this.

Last semester I was on the Dean’s List. I was so proud of myself.

And now, this.

The class wasn’t hard. It just required effort. And the hard truth of the matter is that I didn’t give it the effort.

It was my first semester working and doing school, and I thought it would be cake. School, work, kids. No problem.

I was so cocky, and now because this is my own fault I feel like I’m not even really allowed to be upset over it.

I may never finish school. And it’ll be my own fault.

I remember Christmas

I am now embarking upon my 33rd Christmas season.
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I’ve never been a Christmas nut, but I enjoy the season. I enjoy it more now than I ever have, although that probably shouldn’t be the case since now I have to worry about presents and money and Santa Claus.

Still.

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Every year I am bombarded – often when I least expect it – by waves of memories I haven’t touched since the last year. It’s like I stockpile stuff and only think of it once a year – some of them aren’t even Christmas memories. Maybe it’s a getting-older thing, saving up good thoughts for times they’re needed.

But still, I remember.

I remember my Grandaddy Wilkes and how he always bought boxes of Andes candy. I would subsequently eat them, row by row. God only knows how many calories were involved.
I remember rides to Selmer and plastic mistletoe – always in the same spot.
Shining silver and comic paper gift wrap.
Black Friday shopping to buy all my presents from my Mimi – only to have to wait until Christmas to open them up.
Hiding under a green blanket while my mom and dad pulled all the presents out of hiding.
Sweet potato pie, even though I hated the very idea of a sweet potato.
My mother always making my sister and I pose for some weird ass photo outside by the mailbox or in a chair.
Mom’s Santas.
The smell of the attic – the smell of the ornaments.
Peanut butter rice krispie treats.
Ham. Always ham.
Chicken and dressing with a shitton of sage.
Neverending, persistent and endless renditions of “Mary Did You Know?”
Max’s first Christmas and putting a bow on his head.
Playing board games with Dan’s family into the wee hours of the morning.
Josh dressing up as Santa when the kids were small. Max was convinced Santa had found him.
My first Christmas with the Steens, my first time ever to have a stocking.
Josh’s grandmother and how she always bought my kids the perfect presents.

There are so many things.

Things to love about now.

Maybe this year I won’t forget.

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