In my last post, I suggested that we all cut ourselves a little slack, because whether we feel “ready” or not, Christmas is going to come no matter what. And that is true. Because we women make it happen. When the Grinch found out that Christmas arrived “Somehow or other…it came just the same…”, I can guarantee it was the women of Whoville who got their families up, organized, happy and singing that day.
Without Real Women, Christmas wouldn’t happen.
Let’s go back to the beginning, shall we? Mary, a very young and unsuspecting Real Woman was engaged to be married to a nice yet humble Carpenter. Then Lo and Behold (literally) she finds out that she is about to become pregnant. She will give birth to a son. Not just any son. The Son of God. Huh. No pressure there. Even better, while she is in her final stages of pregnancy, she will have to endure days traveling on the back of a camel, trusting her new husband. Then give birth in a barn. That’s a whole lot of strength and Faith. Because of Mary, we celebrate the birth of Jesus every December. And oh boy, we do it up big.
In her honor, we Real Women kick into over-drive. And the men in our lives? Well, a bit like Joseph, they plod along, trying to be supportive and not really knowing what to do, while we do all the work. Sure, there are some exceptions to the rule out there, but for the most part here is how it goes: We women do the gift planning, shopping, wrapping, decorating, card preparation and distribution, hosting of parties and events, baking, and meal planning. The men do some yard decorating, taste-testing, tree hauling and in the last week before the big day, go out to purchase gifts for the one or two people they have to shop for. Namely, the women in their lives. Lucky for Joseph, he had others who provided the gifts while he stood back dumbfounded at what his new bride had just accomplished.
Do any of us really need to go to the extent that we do? Probably not. But we are driven to provide memorable holidays for our kids, our families, our friends. And for the most part, we love doing it. My husband kindly thanks me and compliments me on the decorating I do, and marvels at the cookies I produce. I paused the other night and said “you know, I really do love doing this. I just get stressed because of the lack of time I have available to do it.” Its not like we can put the rest of our lives, work, family responsibilities, etc., on hold to prep for Christmas. Although wouldn’t that be wonderful? We just have to add on our Make-it-Happen role to our already busy days.
We have sleepless nights when our brains won’t shut off, yammering away about our to do lists… yet the men in our lives sleep peacefully, visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads. Why? Because they know we will make it happen. At some point, along about 3am, some of us wonder what would happen if we didn’t do it all. What would Christmas be like? My guess: There would be a tree of some sort set up in our homes with a handful of decorations. There would be a few gifts, likely stuffed into gift bags. The gifts would be practical tools and housewares. There would either be a meal cooked on the grill, or an outing to the local Chinese food restaurant. And there would be lots of laying around relaxing. So yes, Grinch, it would come somehow….minus a whole lot of glitz and glamour. It would be manly.
We women just do things differently, and on a grand scale. We feel compelled to honor Mary for the Gift she gave us. We are all in, and we make it happen.
My sister has a sign on her desk that I love. It reads:
Three Wise Women would have asked directions, arrived on time, helped deliver the baby, brought practical gifts, cleaned the stable, made a casserole – and there would be Peace on earth!
So to my sisterhood of exhausted Real Women out there: Thank You for making the holidays sparkle.