“Merry Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more!”

First off, I’m a little embarrassed about the post I put up a few days back. Secondly, I’m overwhelmed at the number of people who sent e-mails to check in on me! (I promise to respond to each and every one of them. I really do love you guys, and I don’t use the L word unless I mean it.)

I’ve probably told you this before, but way back in 1995, right after the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City, the company for which I fought traffic every morning decided to send a huge “greeting” card to Oklahoma City. Everyone was encouraged to sign. The woman in front of me drew a huge star on the card, and beneath the star she wrote “Turn your scars into STARS, Oklahoma City!” It was at that moment that my Cynical levels doubled. They may have even tripled. Turn your scars into stars. Turn your scars into stars?!

I didn’t sign the card. (I *did* donate blood, so there’s that. I’m not a monster.)

Anyway, whenever I get all Eeyored out over here, the universe tends to bonk me in the head to turn my scars into stars, Oklahoma City.

On Monday afternoon, I found out that I’m #62 on Babble’s Top 100 Mom Blogs of 2012. You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a mom blogger, so this was a huge honor for me.

Meredith sings in her school’s performance choir, and this morning they held a mini concert at a nearby office building. You know how I am. If you fill my stomach with a pumpkin pie bagel and place a dozen kids in front of me who are singing Silent Night as cute tattooed office nerds buzz around eating pastries and cantaloupe¬†cubes, I will cry. Every Single Time.

After the concert, I went to school and worked the PTO holiday shop for a bit. (Quick explanation: Tons of gifts, all priced from fifty cents to four dollars. Kids bring in money along with a list of people for whom they wish to shop.) While there, I teamed up with a fifth grade boy who was shopping for his mom, his dad, his grandmother, his aunt, his uncle, his cousin, and his best friend. He had twenty dollars to spend. First up? A coupon clip magnet for Grandma because she cuts coupons. The uncle got a fishing light because he sometimes takes the boy fishing. As we walked around filling his bag with gifts, he continued to tell me stories about his family. When it was time to choose a gift for the best friend, I thought he would head toward the sporty trinkets. Instead, he walked straight over to a jewelry box and said, “I think she’ll love this.” If I had any leftover fibrous tissue, this eleven-year-old boy magically transformed it into sparkling spheres of hydrogen and helium.

Finally, as I walked back out to my car, I received a text from Jeff. Someone from church “…wrote me last night to see if Meredith would be willing to play the part of Mary in the Xmas pageant. I told her I thought she would, but that I’d check with her today. I think she’ll be excited about the upgrade.”

My small heart has grown three sizes this day. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

20 thoughts on ““Merry Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more!””

  1. Don’t be embarrassed about your last post, it hit home for me and others as well! It’s so hard not to be overwhelmed at this time of the year. It’s good to vent and then move on. Glad to hear you are feeling a little more optimistic!

  2. I’m crying over here! I love that the universe send you some love letters after a stretch of bum letters. =-) I hope Meredith/Mary breaks both her legs!!! (In the totally show-biz way. Not for realies or trulies.)

  3. First – contgratulations on your much better day – and I think Meredith will make a beautiful Mary!
    Actually – I think your last post captured what many people feel at some time during the holiday season. Hopefully it doesn’t last – but there are times when all of it is just too much – and you can begin to think of the friends who are struggling, or the daily sadness in the news or, or, or…..
    In fact, this happens so much to so many that my workplace actually has signage throughout the corporation that says something about the Bahhumbugs getting you down, and then reminds about the Life Resources benefit that can help with counseling, finances, elder care, etc. It’s a huge red poster. What this tells me is that enough people just in one company have days (or weeks, or Decembers) like you were feeling to make it worth the money to print posters and spread the word about support.

    Lastly – none of this makes me think that turn your scars into stars even makes sense, much less is a comforting aphorism.

  4. I didn’t email you, but I’ve been composing one in my head since your post. I think a lot of us can relate. I know, I can. I’ve been an at home mom for 20 years – yikes! Anyway, Yay on being number 62! You have more love around you than you may know :) Glad you are experiencing some joy! soak it in!

  5. Thanks for this post. I had a craptastic morning and this made me smile. Scars into stars indeed!

  6. Yay! Sorry I didn’t email. When comments were closed, I figured you didn’t want to hear it. But I’m glad you’ve had some good news since then! I love that little boy too. You guys don’t sell Christmas shoes at the holiday fair, do you? Because the universe could have phoned it in AND made you cry if you had set things up that way. Probably best to avoid in the future.

    Also, only #62? I would have guessed top 5. If I had made the list #1!

  7. So, I totally felt your last post, and now I am IN CLASS proctoring a quiz and I am crying over this one. I both love and dread the Holiday Singing Pageant. I cry and cry. And my husband is always working so I’m the lone crying mama with the enthusiastic kids.

    Also, when people tell me shit like Turn Your Scars into STARS I want to punch them in the throat. Instead I smile sweetly and say bad words under my breath.

    Also also, My Son of Great Sensitivity who said I could think of him as a baby on one side of my heart? He’s CONVINCED that it is “Frosty The Snowman was a Jolly Roger Soul.” And nothing can convince him otherwise. Not even forced listenings to the song as sung by Willie Nelson. So this year’s Christmas Pageant is going to involve both crying and giggling.

    I’m trying to have Holiday Spirit. But I’m not there yet. Also the cinnamon scented pine cones at the grocery store make me want to barf. I’m a charming pregnant lady.

  8. if I even THINK about kids singing silent night, I start to cry. as someone who majored in acting in college, this is a very very good professional trick.

  9. Mary, or The Round Yon Virgin as I called her when I told my parents I’d gotten that role in my kindergarten play. (In the secular play I was an elf. Round Yon Virgin was a big step up. I am genuinely THRILLED for Meredith and I hope she has the time of her life!)

  10. I love this post, and I have two things to tell you. First, on Tuesday, it will be three years since my mom died. And while I think I’m getting used to that, I decided to listen to all the songs that start with the letter A on my iPod (for no reason). Apparently the Killers and Dave Mathews have lots of songs that start with the letter A, also Mike Doughty. But anyway, one of the songs was Amazing Grace by Susan Boyle. And for those few minutes, I wasn’t ok. At all. I had to circle my office for 10 minutes before I could pull myself together and go inside with dry eyes. The second thing is that there was a time when I read 15 or 20 “mommy blogs” daily, but today, yours is the only one left. I respect your honesty and integrity and humility and the fact that you aren’t trying to make a dime off some ad I’ll never click. Maybe now is a good time to say that I’ve been reading since both your girls were babies, and I appreciate everything you offer us without expecting anything in return. As long as you write, I’ll read.

  11. Ugh, I am not a mommy and I hate mommy blogs. I hate that you are lumped with them (but congrats on #62!).

    And I’m suspecting that Stephanie (at 8 above) and I might have been separated at birth with the throat-punching and fake-cinnamon-gagging (although mine was influenced by a bit of weekend food poisoning not pregnancy).

  12. As one who is prone to both swinging dead cats and hitting mom bloggers….

    wait, that’s not right.

    As one who knows swinging mom bloggers and hitting dead cats…

    Well that is just as, albeit totally differently, wrong.

    So what I’m trying to say is Merry Christmas. To you and your seasonally enlarged heart.

  13. My dad died at 1:40am Christmas morning, 1999. I was 31, but my life was shattered. A year later, I’d been hospitalized almost a dozen times and was getting divorced.

    My life is good now, but December is always hard. Be kind to yourself.

  14. We got into a huge car accident on Christmas Day, 2002. The young couple in the other car died and my husband and I were both hospitalized and ended up in surgery. Every time I think of how happy I am at Christmas, I get a twinge of guilt and pain along with it for their family. The accident was caused by weather, but still, I was driving–could I have done something different? Would they have been still alive? Would it have been us had I swerved the other way?

    Today I’m going to wrap birthday presents for my son (his birthday and mine are on Sunday) and pack bags for the family as we have to go out of town to my grandmother’s funeral this weekend.

    I’m not surprised that you are in the top 100 of the mommy blogs–congrats! :)
    My son is in the background singing “You’d better come quick, ’cause there’s a hippo in the bathtub…” (anne murray children’s song from my childhood (she’s a canadian artist/mogul and I just realized you might not recognize my quote)) and I feel so complete. Yes, I’m sad about my grandma, but I’m happy I have 4 beautiful children a wonderful (but tired and sometimes grumpy) husband. I feel overwhelmed with the different obligations that the Christmas season always brings (parties, baking, decorating, sending out cards, presents, visiting, etc) but I always look back afterward at how much each of these things meant to me and my kids and it’s all worth it.

    I don’t know why I’m rambling on so today, but I just want you to know that I appreciate you and your blog. Merry Christmas a few weeks early! I have to get back to my decorating now!

  15. Just catching up..yay for Mere! Don’t feel bad about your last post. It was real. I became a nurse because I thought it mattered, only to find out so many people are nasty and gross and selfish. Sometimes I am mean (not to patients). Both my parents passed a long time ago and when I see others going through that I think -wow, glad I don’t have to do that anymore – sometimes I am morbid. Sometimes I smoke. But I, too, am a mom and we are often the people that matter most in the world! You matter most in the world! Have a Merry Christmas Season!

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