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Merry Christmas From Me and SWIE

My late mother, hereinafter referred to in this blog as “She Who Is Exalted” or “SWIE," was able, year after year after ever-loving year, to get a turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, rice, greens, another vegetable I probably wouldn’t eat, rolls, scalloped potatoes, stuffing, and salad all on the Christmas dinner table at the same time, with all the hot foods still piping hot. That effort didn’t even take into account the two sweet potato pies and the two apple pies she baked the night before. All this while holding down a 40 hour a week job and raising six kids and juggling Lord knows how many credit card balances to fulfill the wishes of said six children whose births spanned ten years and didn’t have a clue as to how poor they really were. She was more determined than Scarlett O’Hara that, as God was her witness, her kids would never, ever have a piss-poor Christmas.

Now you know why I refer to her as SWIE. She had mad domestic and creative finance skills that I don’t’ have. I don’t even aspire to have them. And, as I noted at my office holiday potluck this week, she, like many overworked and underappreciated mothers before her, accomplished this amazing feat year after year without benefit of Prozac, Xanax, or Zoloft.

And she was among the lucky ones. At least she had a husband with a job. Today, many women are doing this and more on their own. Again, without benefit of Prozac, Xanax, or Zoloft.

Well, since I can’t say this to my own mother, I say this to all of you: Thank you and God Bless You. Because one of the most important gifts you can give your children is a happy childhood. That’s not to say that a happy childhood is made up of material goods all the time – God knows that, between Christmas and birthdays, we rarely got gifts “just because” – but my mom definitely tried to make sure we participated in the childlike magic that is Christmas. That on one day, we were special and our wishes were fulfilled, making up for any and all disappointments we had suffered during the year. When I would ask Mom how she could afford to pay for all this (yes, I was a precocious child), she would tell me that that was grown-up business and none of my concern. “You need to enjoy being a child,” she would warn me. And off I would run, shielded from the truth of our circumstances. We weren’t dirt poor, but we weren’t nearly as well off as our Christmas bounty would suggest.

(Oh, and a belated and heartfelt thanks to the kind folks in the credit department at Macy’s for increasing my mom’s credit limit during the holidays.)

So, to all of you women who do and continue to do everything my mom did for Christmas, and especially to all of you who do it without the benefit of a second income from a husband, I applaud, salute, and adore you. And, by the way, my mom does, too. The one thing she would always say was that my aunt was the real heroine in the family because she, too, was raising six kids, but without benefit of a husband. My mom looked up to my aunt because she felt that, deep down inside, she didn’t have what it took to do what my aunt did as a single mother.

So, from me and SWIE, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.


VwsRMyLife said…
none of my comments ever show up here. can you see this one? :(

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