People will be shoving and pushing, snatching and grabbing, spitting and hitting, stealing and running, and those who didn't venture out into the fray are waiting. Waiting with knowing, secretive smiles, planning their weekend so they're set for Cyber Monday where they'll be on their computers, bidding and searching, ordering and buying, this gadget and that doohickey, their credit cards numbers flying here and there, their addresses, names, date of birth; all out there for the taking. And there'll be certain someone just quietly sitting and waiting to do 'the taking'.
The holiday frenzy will then be in full swing with invitations to gatherings, parties, and dinners, and plastered on every television in the world will be dazzling advertisements for dazzling gifts all at dazzling prices. Then soon after come the ribbons and paper, name tags and packages, and people racing from here to there, until it all seems to pause for a just brief immeasurable moment… As if suspended in time… And for that time the earth appears to be silent – still – almost as if it's holding its breath…
And then, maybe sometime before the sun is even able to peak above the horizon, there is a stir and a yawn, then a peep. The world comes alive again, bit by bit as the planet continues to turn, and the paper and ribbons are ripped to shreds, flying through the air as gifts are unwrapped, and the contents of platters and casseroles and wine bottles are emptied and engulfed, with the cutlery and cookware eventually stacked haphazardly in the sink. New Year's Eve comes and goes, and the coldest part of the winter sets in.
For now, the holidays are over. But have we forgotten something? In all the hustle and bustle, in all our worry over getting the perfect gift, making the perfect dish, wearing the perfect outfit – Did we forget something? Someone?
The holiday I'll never forget
I realize anecdotal stories are pretty useless, mainly because they are seen and presented with the perception of the one who experienced it, but in this case, I ask that you continue reading and take what I write to heart – even if you have to put your own spin on it to make it mean something.
I was a young wife and young mother. I had a high school education and a small college degree but had decided I liked being a wife and mother and so put all that business stuff aside for my kids and husband. I never regretted it once. I wasn't the most insightful person back then though, nor the brightest. While I hope I did the very best I could in my marriage and in raising my kids, I failed other people. My Grandmother was one of them.
She was the typical grandmother of old; white hair that was always fixed up with rollers at night and hairspray in the morning, and she usually wore a simple but pretty printed dress with an apron, white socks, and plain brown shoes. And she always smelled of roses and had a smile on her chubby face. She was a stern grandmother but a compassionate and loving one to me and to my children. I was her only granddaughter; my children her only great-grandchildren. And I didn't have a clue how important that little fact was. Like I said – I wasn't too bright.