If you want holiday cheer, you better keep moving.

One of my very favorite people experienced the death of her father last week. In my world, no one should have to bury a parent. No one should have to bury a child. Or a grandparent. Or a sibling or friend or cousin or pet. (I realize my world might have a problem with overpopulation.)

The main character in the book I’m reading right now just said something about how grateful he is that he has never had to deal with anything that really matters. This observation struck me. I take the kids to school in the morning. I then sit at the computer and try to work through some freelance while letting the dogs in and out of the house and maybe I’ll do a load of laundry or clear out the dishwasher. I then grocery shop and run errands and pick the kids up from school and drive them to piano lessons or wherever they need to go. And none of it REALLY matters. And sometimes that’s the most infuriating thing. And sometimes it’s sort of a relief. (I could employ the Half Full Glass and say that it DOES matter because the kids end up where they need to be and they may (or may not) be wearing clean clothes and there’s food on the table, but I’m choosing the other glass right now.)

Sometimes I spend an hour cooking dinner and no one likes it. (This happens more often than it doesn’t, sadly.)

Sometimes I go through papers in a backpack and find that several of the forms inside required a signature and were due over a week ago. (This happens several times each month, proving to me that my timing is often horrible.)

Sometimes I ask the kids to pick up the stuff from their floor. And I ask them again the next day. And again on the next day. And when I finally “fix” the problem on Day 4 by taking everything from the floor and placing it into a trash bag, I’m met with tears and loud excuses.

Last night I tried to turn on our ceiling fan by pulling the chain, and the chain broke off into my hand, and now I can’t turn off the fan.

Henry’s been growling a lot more, and we’re not sure why.

The list of foods that Harper will eat is getting smaller and smaller. No pasta. No soup. No sandwiches. Last night I made a black bean and rice casserole, and it made her cry. (Tears over casserole made out of two of her favorite foods = Me in bed by 8:00 because I quit.)

This time of the year used to be my absolute favorite. It’s no longer my absolute favorite, and that sucks because September has always just been September. Nothing special. DECEMBER is now becoming September, and I used to have such high HOPES for December. December now feels like seeing Winona Ryder in an infomercial. You have to deal with it because it’s Winona Ryder, but you still feel the urge to wince and/or throw a broken fan chain against the wall and then you feel like crap because you LOVE Winona Ryder, even if she DID shoplift. (Please know that I’m all hormonal and cranky today, and I realize that’s such a hackneyed thing, but I’m still choosing it as my excuse for nothing other than a lack of creative spark.) Not only am I dealing with my normal load of Things That Don’t Matter, but I’m being approached by others who tend to add more Things That Don’t Matter to my list. (I just spent 15 minutes looking back through Fluid Pudding Decembers. I should chart my holiday moods. Maybe I would feel better if I could look at a graph titled, “Predictable December Funk.” It always starts with people asking me to create lists full of stuff that we definitely don’t need, and ends when I wash my face after returning home from The Final Holiday Party.)

This helps a little:

Back Seat Rudolph with Meredith and Harper (Rob Zombie) Rose from Angela D. on Vimeo.

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