Thank You, Santa!!!

The best gift this year came with a gold bow on top and wrapped in a DAV (Disabled American Veteran) blanket found in a thrift store.  My Papa put a gold bow on his head on Christmas and it was awesome. Not that my father has never done anything cool or cute before. At 4’11”, he can’t help being adorable although at times he is the charming bad ass.

 I call him Cranky.  He started yelling at the TV a couple years ago and hasn’t stopped.  He is a Fox News addict and while I am grateful that he has started voting, his renewed interest in politics has been some what distressing.

When he is in the hospital, I call him, Sir Crank Pants. I don’t care what the nurses thought of our banter, making my dad smile is one of the best things in life.  One nurse told the doctor that my dad was delusional.  He isn’t. Stubborn as hell, set in his ways but not delusional.  He can learn and grow.  He is slow to trust and loyal to the core; mess with one of his kids then you are in trouble.

 Two weeks ago, Momma and I were sitting down to eat lunch and drink mojitos, our little tradition, when my sister called.  The message which came to us was that Papa had fallen. Our order was cancelled as we rushed out the door waving goodbye to our mojitos.  And not caring in the slightest.

We arrived at the hospital and discovered that he hadn’t fallen. His sodium was so low that our family doctor (yes, we actually have one doctor for all of us) called and told him to go directly to the Emergency Room where we found him. He looked so small draped in a hospital gown. He may be short, but predictably he has never been small.

He has always been huge in my life. A giant.

When I first met Papa, I was already taller than him. He was dating Momma and I was living with my birth father.  Papa’s arrival meant that she could be a physically part of my life. She didn’t have a car and was living in a closet, not a small apartment in New York. She had no way to get to me. No way to see me.  It also meant that Momma had the support that she needed to prosper once again. She got the spark back and started her own craft business.

 He came into my life and I got Momma back. All of her.

 And he is still here.

 My Papa is still here, living and breathing and stirring up trouble and driving us all blessedly nuts.

Thank you, Santa.  

I Survived Black Friday

The nightmare and the reality of Black Friday all depends on where you choose to go if you choose to go out at all.  My family has always stayed home the day after Thanksgiving recovering from our turkey induced commas. As a result,  I have only braved the Black Friday madness twice in my lifetime.  Both times, I walked in the store found the item that I wanted and left.  The insanity of the biggest American shopping day leaving me blessedly untouched.

This morning at midnight, I departed one of my favorite hangouts and drove to Old Navy.  My goal was to replace a pair of jeans whose zipper had broken.  They were on sale for half of their normal price from midnight to four am. By the time I entered into the store there were already shoppers leaving.  I was walking out by the time a line formed at the registered. Ten minutes later, I was snuggling in bed with Luke.  Mission accomplished.

The madness of Black Friday has become somewhat of a national joke.  Many shoppers rejecting the tradition all together and more people making fun of those who stand in line for hours for precious bargains.  Our society’s materialistic tendencies have begun to embarrass us. Calls to shop local small businesses get louder every year as do the cries to put the Christ back into Christmas.

The two are related, but no one seems to want to put the blame where it belongs on the thousands who crowd the stores in search of the perfect Christmas present. That would be discrimination.  And we can’t do that.

So people make fun of the shoppers who have been programmed by society to make Christmas memorable by buying bigger and better presents every year. Program by the media and advertisers.  Maybe that is who we should blame or we could just accept the fact that the only person whose actions we can change are our own. 

I didn’t get trampled because I made a choice. A choice to walk away if the line was too long or the crowd too much to handle.  Another choice was made to not base the enjoyment of any holiday on material gain. 

Every year, my best friend and her mother hunt for bargains. They never get trampled or come home with bruises.  They made some choices as well. Theirs involved not fighting with people over a purchase, but  enjoying the hunt and finding gifts for family members and themselves.

It is all about choices and what is important to you. Not dying or stressing myself out over a TV is one of mine.