I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
So just why was Mommy kissing Santa Claus under the Christmas Tree? I heard she was also sitting on his lap. She must have been a really good “Mommy” that year! And well … have you been naughty or nice or… really good this year too?
As we approach the Holiday season, perhaps you will find yourself conjuring up those endearing and sweet childhood memories from when you believed in Santa Claus, flying reindeer, elves, stockings hung by the fire, and such. Most likely, as a child, there was so much heightened anticipation as you were sent to bed on Christmas eve, with visions of sugarplums dancing in your head … However, you may also recall just when your hopes and dreams were dashed, when you learned it was a story, and there really was no Saint Nick! I was about 9 years old when some other kids in my neighborhood laughed at me for still believing in the Santa Claus folklore. I remember running home aghast! And when I confronted my family, it was confirmed… “There is no Santa Claus!” My daughter can vividly recall when she happened to open a hall closet at the age of ten only to discover the same Christmas wrapping paper that supposedly Santa Claus had wrapped some of her gifts with the Christmas prior. She was so deeply disappointed, yet could not bring herself to discuss it until much later. So even though, like most children, I was duped to believe in the whole Santa Claus myth, somehow without batting an eyelash, most of us continue to share the same story or fantasy, with our kids. Why? Well, it is Magical! The notion of Christmas is an ongoing ritual that reminds us of the importance of our family connections, our desire to share love perhaps through rituals, gift giving, and quality family time. It allows us to take a break from the usual routine while creating an ambiance of warm-hearted connections. So, for many, regardless of religious denomination, perspective or spiritual beliefs, it simply commemorates the importance of family, friends, and loved ones. Yes, the hustle and bustle, the planning, the traveling, shopping, etc.. can all be somewhat overwhelming, but so many of us are still fervently driven to celebrate the holiday season to the utmost.
Many or even most families, to one degree or another, maintain a certain ritual for their Holiday celebration. It is the preparation, thoughtfulness, and anticipation for sharing time, the gift of giving, hugging one another, holding hands, and delighting in the innocence of children who still “believe” in Santa Claus. Once again, although we may never forget just how we were duped as kids to believe in Santa Claus, we still cannot keep from perpetuating the legend of Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer as we merrily sing “Jingle Bells” with our own kids. I guess that means the “story” and the magic of Christmas when we were innocent and gullible, was so wonderful and special, we opt to keep sharing those same visions and lore with our little ones.
Back to Mommy kissing Santa Claus; if they choose, parents, partners, or lovers also can enjoy that magical “energy” that may be found under the Christmas tree. There are all sorts of presents to be enjoyed. With so much time, energy and focus invested in creating a perfect holiday celebration, don’t forget and somehow leave you and your spouse or significant other out in the cold. Set aside some time for romance. Start a warm fire, snuggle up and relax with a hot spiced rum or cup of cocoa. I urge you to buy enough mistletoe to decorate every room; enjoy sugary sweet kisses; hold each other; whisper just what you’d really like to have for Christmas; or just what you are open to enjoy …
If you are lucky enough to have dear family and friends around to enjoy the holidays with, then I urge you to really make it memorable. Open your heart and share what you are truly grateful for. Sometimes it's those little things, even the day to day gestures of care, love, and commitment that may be overlooked. Yet when we can truly acknowledge the grace that each of our family or loved ones brings to our experience, then more love is fueled.
In December 2015, I appeared as a special guest on a local AM, (Transition), radio show… The title of my talk was “Blues, Blah’s, or Bliss …. You Choose. Hanging Out with Icky People Over the Holidays”… According to the show’s co-hosts at the time, Paula Shaw and Don Meredith, it was quite a successful interview as so many listeners in the audience could relate, (to one extent or another), for having experienced putting-up with those “difficult” in-laws, perhaps snide siblings, or even crabby parents, and/or demanding kids, and other boorish extended family members. You see, for some people, the holidays may actually trigger old family issues such as resentment, jealousy, shame, or sibling-rivalry, or some sort of disapproval or even disdain for a family member. Although, theoretically, some of us may feel compelled or expected to put on a happy face and just tolerate the time spent together no matter how unwholesome, annoying or even emotionally excruciating it may feel.
My advice for creating a joyful celebration is simply to make a personal commitment and declare—with no uncertainty — that you will enjoy your Holiday celebration no matter what. In other words, you can choose to actually be the instrument of peace. When you can gift one another with a positive word of praise or acknowledgment with any considerate gesture of kindness and sincerity, you will actually start to change the tone, cadence, and experience of your holiday gathering.
For myself, I have come to realize that there are certain family members and other friends or relatives, (some whom I have known for years), who may be or have become rather unpleasant to be around. Perhaps they are hell bent on complaining about their food allergies, their boring job, their physical ailments or health challenges; insist on pushing their political views; continue to gossip or disparage others, the list goes on. Nevertheless, their complaining negative rapport is endless … and more often can be quite draining. However, I really do not tolerate their depressing commentaries, nor do I join them by arguing or proving a point. My standard response to any “Debbie Downer” goes something like … “I am sorry you feel that way. Let’s enjoy our time together. Let’s celebrate. Perhaps we can discuss your concerns another time.” Despite any protests, I do not cave in and accommodate anyone’s negative rapport even if I must excuse myself and walk away. In other words, as I am able to set boundaries, regardless of how someone else may try to push their “what’s wrong with this picture” agenda, I refuse to participate. And, I actually have fun! People that tend to hold grudges or maintain a rude, grumpy, or difficult demeanor most likely have a degree of underlying anger —- which is quite sad…for them. You see, anger stems from fear which is the opposite of Love. Regardless, of anyone’s mood or demeanor, remember to give to others what you want to receive…love, support, appreciation, healing, and acknowledgment … and you will get it back.
Our healthy, loving connections toward family and friends ideally should be nurtured throughout the entire year. The special holidays of this season, regardless of faith, serve to remind us to open our hearts, and with an honest intention, gather in fellowship, to simply share our love. It is the spirit of the season that is both nostalgic and inspirational. So if you happen to see Mommy kissing Santa Claus under the Christmas tree — light a candle, and feel the blessing since the holiday magic can always remain in your heart.
Kristine Grant, MFT is a Relationship Export and regular columnist at FINE magazine. She created the Relationshift Method which includes years of ghost-written letters for clients who struggled to find the right words in order to repair or enhance a relationship.
Learn more about Kristine by visiting her website: www.inspiredheartletters.com.
She has recently released her latest book: Relationshift -The Right Words for What You Really Want to Say on Amazon— http://www.amazon.com/author/kristinegrant