Tuesday, December 19, 2006

That question

They're asking it again and I'm still flummoxed for what to say:


This is a question that irritates me on many levels, although I know it is asked in innocence and a spirit of friendly, tired cameraderie. I suppose the correct response is, "No, I still have lots to do." The perfect reply to this is, "Good! I'm not ready either. I'm glad I'm not the only one." But I can't get past the implications within this question. What is ready for Christmas? My evil elf imagination wants to shoot back snarky mean answers to equalize the flummoxing:

  • YES! I am ready for the birth of our Lord and Saviour! Are you?

  • NO! But I'm ready for Easter! For which holiday are you ready?

  • (Sob) We haven't celebrated Christmas since Aunt Gertrude died on Christmas Eve two years ago.

  • Well, I have purchased gifts for my children, except that I can't find a size large blue pair of wool socks for my son, who needs them for curling practice, and I'm still wondering whether my husband would prefer a pair of binoculars or a can opener for Christmas. I have baked 3 kinds of Christmas cookies and put them into seventeen boxes, but I ran out of wax paper after I lined the 11th box. NO make that the 10th box. So I used aluminum foil and I wonder if that will be okay. The tree is 3 or 4 centimeters shorter than I usually like but I guess that will have to do. I have been having difficulty finding the specific kind of ornament hook that I bla bla bla bla bla bla (well, he/she asked)

  • Yup.
I know I should just lighten up, read between the lines and appreciate that people hurry around this time of year, buying gifts, decorating homes, preparing feasts, doing good and charitable acts. That's what's on their minds, so that's what they use in greeting or small talk. But every year it bugs me. Christmas comes at the same time each year. Sometimes some of us buy perfect gifts for lots of people. Sometimes we don't. Sometimes some of us prepare homes and hearths for a warm, gracious family time together. Some years we are smooth, shiny and abundant. Some years we are raggedy. Whatever kind of year and wherever we are in our preparations, Christmas comes. So without dissecting the question and all of the possible meanings and responses any further I'd like to propose that we give this particular question up once and for all.

Some alternatives:

  • Are you ready for a hug?

  • What day is it anyway?

  • Don't you love solstice?

  • Would you like to join us at our house for Christmas?

  • What's your spiritual practice this time of year?

  • Where'd you get that sparkle in your eye?

  • I'm going to Costco this afternoon. Can I pick anything up for you?

  • Would you mind sharing your recipe for eggnog?

  • Have you seen my mitten?

Any of these would be a lovely way to check in with a friend or acquaintance at holiday time, and much less loaded that the "Are you ready..." question.

question: Have you seen my mitten?

mompoet - ready for anything whatever that means

ps - After Christmas, please don't ask, "Was Santa good to you?"

1 comment:

Carol said...

Flummoxed, never again.