Tuesday, December 25, 2007
While the kiddies are playing around your feet with their Christmas booty, and Aunts and Uncles are sipping hot chocolate, Grandma and Grandpa and trying not to nod off while listening to cousin Ed's latest travelogue, perhaps you would like to take a moment and read this Christmas message that was sent into me by our roving correspondent Baravelli. Actually- it's from Mrs. Baravelli, and the Big B himself is busying himself trying to find batteries. She sent this to me last night so, please enjoy....
Merry Christmas to one and all. Please allow me to introduce myself. I am Baravelli’s better half, well, maybe just the other half. If you’re wondering who Baravelli is or where he’s been, I can say he’s been quite busy lately. Between a new job and football season, I hardly see him myself. But, never fear, after the New Year I’m sure he’ll be writing again to influence all with his acerbic wit and gaming knowledge. Between his absence and the notable lack of recent editorials by Wolf and J.C. (no offense gentlemen) I have felt compelled to write on a little holiday cheer. I hope you don’t mind. It’s a quick message and one I feel that’s important for all. Knowing Wolf and J.C. as well as I do, I know they’ll appreciate the topic.
I must say that I do love this season. This is, by far, my favorite holiday. One of my favorite things about the season is the wonderful Christmas music and holiday movies that are played on television, seemingly ‘round the clock. December 26th is always a let-down because of the immediate stop on the entertainment, as if the holiday never happened at all. Much to Baravelli’s chagrin, my favorite movie is “White Christmas” with Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, and Rosemary Clooney. The movie is set at a Vermont Inn after WWII. Crosby and Kaye play soldiers who fought together and then, after they are discharged, they become a popular entertainment team. They happen upon a couple of singing/dancing sisters and, you guessed it, the viewer is bombarded with song and dance for the rest of the movie. As if me watching it is not bad enough, four year old Little Baravelli enjoys it as well – having memorized most of the songs.
The other week as we watched it again, I was impressed by the words of one of the songs that Crosby sang.
“When you’re worried and you can’t sleep
Just count your blessings instead of sheep.
Then you’ll fall asleep
Counting your blessings.”
After all the many years I’ve watched that movie, why make a difference now? Could it be that, somehow, I needed to hear those words and Bing magically sang them to me? Lately I have felt trepidation and dread when the holidays come around. Between the buying, and the rushing, and the pleasing everyone, the baking of cookies and the making of dresses, splitting time between both families, taking the little one to ballet performances where ALL SHE DOES IS CURTSY, WORKING, AND CLEANING AND ……. Sorry, I lost myself a little bit. Yes, that’s exactly what has happened to me, as well as to quite a few of you, I’m sure. Life is so busy already but when compounded with expectations, whether they are self-imposed or not, the stress is magnified to such a degree that it’s hard to remember what we’re doing it all for. You know you’ve lost it when you only let your child watch DVDs because you’re afraid of the numerous toy commercials that will only add to your already lengthy list.
Somehow, however, when I heard this song again, it dawned on me – everything, even the bad, is a blessing to me. I have so many to be grateful for that I should start counting them instead of falling asleep while checking off my to-do list for the next day. I even started remembering Christmases I had as a child and what they meant to me then and now. Sure, I remember some of the toys I got and my pink bike that only had front brakes because Santa never got around to putting the back tire breaks on. But I mostly remember finding a letter from Santa every Christmas morning, mentioning all of us kids by name. I remember the ash footprints from Santa’s boot that he inevitably got while coming out of the chimney. Mom wasn’t too happy about them on her navy blue carpet but that didn’t stop them from appearing year after year. I also remember how special Christmas Eve was and it still is. Every year we put on a live Nativity scene while someone reads the Christmas story. At first, it was just us four kids dressed in sheets, one of us holding the Cabbage Patch wrapped in swaddling clothes. 20 years later, it has grown in to four married children and 10 grandchildren. With that many babies the Cabbage Patch hasn’t been used in years. Every year, we know where we will be on Christmas Eve. Thanks to Mom and Dad, these are the things I remember. Hopefully, my little one will remember the same. And, hopefully, yours will as well.
So, on this Christmas day or whatever holiday you may celebrate this season, take a moment to sit, relax, and remember what you’re celebrating for. Know that it’s not the Dora mermaid doll or the Spiderman web thrower that your brood will remember, at least not the only thing. And, yes, it will all be worth it in the end. When you’re trying to sleep tonight and throughout this coming year, remember to count your list – I hope it’s a long one. From everyone here at the Shelf, happy holidays and sweet dreams!!!!
Posted on behalf of Mrs. Baravelli by J.C. Loophole
I want to wash my hands, my face, my hair with snow.