Fizz-lite Holidays

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Hello my loves,

Last night, my son’s preschool had their annual Christmas program. Our kids have gone to this school since my daughter was two, so this is our fifth straight year of this festive jaunt. I wasn’t in the mood last night, I really wasn’t. I wanted to not have to wear pants and stay in bed and it was raining and cold and blah.

But we got the lad dressed in a sweater and jeans, our daughter threw together an outfit that looked like her dress-up box threw up on her, but that was fine because she’s a kid and kids can so rock that look. I was wearing jeans and a t-shirt. Hubs was still rocking his work look.

We got the the church (it’s a Christian preschool) and oh my god everyone was dressed up like Jesus himself was coming for the show. Like, full-tilt holiday gear. Girls were in frilly red dresses. Men were in suits. The little boys had shiny dress shoes on.

And there’s my son in jeans and shabby Spider-Man sneakers.

And there’s me in a Firefly t-shirt that says CAPTAIN MAL’S BIG DAMN GUARANTEE. In church. Surrounded by children.

(In my defense, I didn’t realize my shirt said that until I looked down in horror at my clothing.)

So, I kept my coat on and tried to ignore how trashy I felt surrounded by all the holiday cheer. The program went great, the kids were adorable, my son like, rocked that show. Very super cute.

When we got home and the kids were in bed, I felt all deflated. Every year since the kids were born, I’ve gotten them each a Christmas outfit for these shows, and then to rewear to all the holiday parties. I didn’t this year. I didn’t even sort of make it a priority.

“When did my ‘give a shit’ break?” I asked him.

I was really sad. I’m not like, Mommy on the Spot with things. I don’t make my own gingerbread cookies, I don’t have a spotless house, I don’t wake up at five AM and have cartoon birds braid my hair. But I do love the holidays and have our little traditions that I get super excited about.

Not this year, though.

And I laid awake all last night, tossing in turning in bed wondering where the hell my Give a Shit up and went.

I finally realized; it’s because we are poor as fuck.

I know, you’re not supposed to talk about this stuff. It’s frowned upon, it’s classless, it’s whatever.

But, okay. Do you ever read those stories about those people who were living perfectly normal lives and then some weird thing happened, usually a medical crisis, and then everything just fell apart and then a few months later they were living in their car and still wondering WTF happened?

I always wondered how people got from Point A to Point B in those scenarios.

We aren’t living in our cars, just FYI.

After my own health crisis at the beginning of August, I didn’t realize how quickly things would shift. Once everything started snowballing, in the middle of September, we were like, “Okay, so we will cancel cable.” but by the middle of October, it was like, “Okay, we don’t have groceries…”

Like, *that* fast.

I don’t think we will get to the living in cars stage. In a few months we should be back on our tootsies and doing fine. That’s the plan, anyway.

But man is this all putting quite the poo-cloud on the holidays. Our daughter’s birthday is also this Saturday. The timing of financial woe and health shenanigans is wildly inconsiderate.

The kids don’t understand that things are sort of a nightmare in that way. They get that money is a thing we don’t have right now. Which breaks my heart that they get that, but you know, it’s reality and kids do need to see that.

But like, last night, daughter was talking about the beautiful red velvet dress she wanted to wear to her own Christmas program next week, and how she would wear it when she sees Santa. And she described in great detail what she was dreaming of. And I swear you guys, if I explained it to her why we can’t afford it, she would totally understand, but I just wanted to cry.

And then my son went into equal detail about how he wanted a dress just like that but that looked like Donatello from Ninja Turtles. I’m tempted to track this down when money becomes available some day.

It’s our *thing* guys. We do it every year! She loves this time of year. Her birthday is the thirteenth, the Christmas programs hit, Santa visits, all the things. It’s like, December is her month.

And this year, it’s all, “Oh hey, let’s not go anywhere and eat another box of mac and cheese for the third time this week, yes? DOESN’T THAT SOUND LIKE FUN!?”

We aren’t ever supposed to talk about money. No, we are supposed to prance around pretending like we all have bulging 401Ks and giant savings accounts and nothing ever, ever goes wrong and we never have any troubles at all.

But I don’t think that’s true. I think a lot of us are having shitty, craptastic years. This year has been a real prick on my end, I don’t know about you guys.

And honestly, I’m feeling all exposed even writing this. And y’all know, I don’t have a lot of boundaries on here.

But no one wants to feel like they are letting their kids down, or giving them less than they deserve because Mommy’s heart went swerve-y.

Ugh.

I don’t mean to sound all whiny (said the very whiny person) but man, this is weighing on the brain a lot. I’m not getting a lot of sleep, you know? And it’s not something you can just randomly drop in conversation to someone when they ask how it’s going.

“How are you, Summer?”

“Oh, hi! I had to dig nickles out of the bottom my desk drawer to buy a gallon of milk to last until payday! I’M FUCKING FANTASTIC.”

See? Not very conversational. Bit awkward, really.

Sometimes we just need to twist the vent and let out some steam. So that’s what I’m doing. Maybe if I let enough of that pressure out, I’ll be able to friggin’ sleep at some point.

The holidays are hard sometimes, for all sorts of reasons. They are a hella tricky when you barely have money for food, let alone gifts for the people you want to give gifty things to.

I know that’s not what the holidays are about. Indeed, I do. But that still doesn’t make the sudden thrust into financial impotence any easier to grasp.

So, to all of you who are having a great year, who are having the merriest of holidays, I hope you get every last drop of cheer out of them!

For those of you who are feeling a bit sparse in the jolliness department this round, I feel you. Let’s hug it out.

I can’t make money fall from the skies, although that would be a cool ass trick, and guys, I would make it RAIN.

But I can watch Elf with my kids 782 times. I can snuggle up with our critters and tell stories. I can rebuild our Christmas tree eleventy thousand times because cats are jerks and keep knocking it down.

This will probably be a Christmas I look back on and want to forget. This whole year has been that way, honestly. But despite all the wonky hearts and broken brains and other ridiculousness, I’ve got some of the best stuff ever underneath that. My family is pretty damn adorable. I’ve got wonderful friends that I can’t possibly deserve. Our critters are awesome. So fluffy.

And you guys. Thanks for always dropping by. I dig yer faces.

Happy Holidays, folks.

Also, please accept this GIF of Benedict Cumberbatch as an otter for the purposes of counteracting this bummer of a blog post.

Until next time,

Peace, Love, and Tis the Season

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