After grandchildren began coming along and Christmases began mushrooming, we decided in our family to give to the charity(ies) of our choice in behalf of our adult children, and give gifts only to the grandchildren, which number ten at this time. The adult children in our blended family are fine with this.
The charities may change year to year, but one that has remained is the rehab program from which my adult offspring is a two-time alumni (and holding in recovery, Thank You!). I will donate to this program as long as I am able to donate anywhere, and this year is no exception. Realistically, our adult children don’t “need” anything, and their wants are taken care of as well. This puts the focus where it needs to be: celebrating the Season for what it is, emboldening childhood dreams, and, let’s face it, simplifying shopping mania.
BUT — there is always a “but” afloat, isn’t there? This year my offspring-in-recovery is without a job. While we have offered support for real needs over the last couple of months, this is one tough time to be without work, complicated by “consequences” that will be a factor for a while. And, Oh, there is a teenage daughter…
Grandma can look out for her teenage granddaughter, but my heart has flown to doing “something” for my adult child in crisis, with recollections of Christmas past: an 11-foot cedar tree that we always cut on or near the farm that required a ladder to decorate; an array of gifts; cakes and petite fours and oyster stew on Christmas Eve plus other treats, and always the final touch: Christmas stockings! They seemed huge at the time (filling them at the 11th hour) but were laughably small by today’s standards.
I would rather keep my eye on real needs if they crop up for my offspring-in-recovery (which they do), my mother-heart reasoned. Why not fix a Christmas stocking for the mantle as we share Christmas Eve at our house? Put in a good magazine, an orange, some petite fours, whatever else I can come up with, and one very special item: a Serenity Prayer Ring. I wear one every day on my little finger with the prayer engraved inside. So I ordered one in a little-finger size and was overjoyed when it arrived in only a couple of days.
But… wouldn’t you know, the “being of a certain age” factor kicked in, and as of four days before Christmas, the Serenity Prayer Ring in it’s neat little bag is nowhere to be found. Part A of the Murphy’s Law factor is that the harder I look the more I can’t find something. Part B is that if I quit looking at all, whatever it is will appear. Sure enough! This has happened before, and it can happen again.
Regardless, I have been most unserene about this. The stocking idea is lame without this special something in the toe. I want this to be just right, says my controlling mind. PERFECT! Sound familiar?
This morning it occurred to me that my adult child, who possesses a wondrous sense of humor, would find this bit of flawed perfectionism amusing. If the object in question does not appear in the four days remaining until Christmas, why not put an I.O.U. in the toe. Chalk it up to “being of a certain age” and call it good?
Well, folks, that is exactly what is going to happen. I admit to going on line to see if I could order another ring and have it delivered on time. Even with an exorbitant two-day delivery fee, it is problematic whether my purchase would arrive on December 24th. So I asked myself, is it worth paying double the price on a hunch that the postal service will come through? Experience tells me that Murphy’s Law does not favor this kind of planning.
HOW IMPORTANT IS IT??? Is my next question, and one of my favorite slogans noted in Step 9. Twelve Steps for Parents, IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU — EXCEPT WHEN IT IS!
Enough, already! On a scale of what is going on in the world, my “of a certain age” moment is not even on the radar. May we get together on Christmas Day and be glad of it with all our many blessings. And may I cherish the serenity of working a 12-Step Program.
Merry Christmas, All! Make the season yours with your own perfect moments.