It’s been a busy season.
You know how it gets. Yesterday was the Cub Scout Christmas party. It was actually fun for the most part. The popcorn prizes were messed up…AGAIN. I swear, it’s just not worth it to tempt kids with those shiny pictures in the brochure. I’m with Sally from “A Charlie Brown Christmas”. Make it easy on yourself, BSA, just send money.
Humboldt County is one of the most beautiful places to celebrate Christmas. It rains, but it’s not an angry torrent most of the time. The weather is cold…but not too cold. The fog adds character to the evergreen mountains on one side and the angry ocean on the other. There’s some Christmas highlights that make it all worth while.
Henderson Center, in Eureka, blocks off F street and has a big holiday party at some point early in December. Fortuna has a small truck parade that coincides with the Main street Christmas celebration complete with Santa. It’s festive. It’s cheerful. There’s places you can find a “classy Christmas” such as a showing of “The Nutcracker” or “A Christmas Carol” by the NCRT or The Ferndale Rep. You can experience the “Redneck” version of Christmas with the Truck Parade. (Nothing beats “Jingle Bells” on a semi-truck horn, eh?).
There’s a change in the colors during the season. The oak trees glimmer with soft golden leaves and the Redwood trees wear their green robes over reddish bark covered pants. The sky turns a gentle gray that dims the sunlight enough so the light touches the Earth with tiny sparkles.
The true meaning of Christmas has hit home for me this year (and yes, this is where the dog poop comes in).
Demolition Boy has a buddy that has hung out with him for over a year. Well, last month, right before Thanksgiving, his buddy (who shall now be known as Not My Kid) got evicted. Well, Not My Kid’s mom got evicted. Not My Kid and his mom spent Thanksgiving with us. They couldn’t keep the puppy (yes, you heard me. A PUPPY) and the cat they had so we took them in. Not My Kid was going to school here in Fortuna while their temp housing was in Eureka, so Not My Kid would stay here during the week and I’d take him to school after I took MINE to school.
The puppy poops everywhere.
The cat, who was an outside cat but has run away twice, has pooped and peed everywhere.
My house smells like a stable.
I hate picking up pet poop.
But you see, that’s the whole thing about Christmas. There’s stuff about the season that makes me nuts. Putting up lights, getting all the crap out of the closet (which is blocked by the Brother In Law I can’t stand’s stuff but that’s a WHOLE other story) and running around like a chicken with my head cut off are all things that make this time of year tough.
But it’s all worth it.
When your kid’s eyes light up.
When you get to chat with friends at a Cub Scout party.
When the Christmas music fills the house along with the smell of freshly baked cookies.
When the lights of the Christmas tree glow and the Christmas village shines.
Yes, even with dog and cat poop, it’s worth it.
It’s worth keeping a floundering family from slipping over the edge of oblivion.
It’s worth it to show our kids that “charity” doesn’t mean shit if it’s right in your face and you ignore it.
It’s worth it when we say the blessing before a fantastic meal and it occurs to me that we’ve ALWAYS had wonderful Christmases.
Even with poop.
It’s been a busy season.