the MIRREN LEE

The 2012 Act Three Journey of an Actress/Coach/Writer.

Day 357 Hum Bug Magic

Posted by themirrenlee on 25/12/2012

Growing up, Christmas was always a time of great chaos and hysteria. I was the oldest of 7 over a ten year age gap – 4 boys, 3 girls – and the daughter of a father who hid inside cans of beer and a mother who was always depressed and overwhelmed.

We never seemed to have enough money, even though the father unit worked in middle management, and the mother did part time jobs, as well.

Luckily, the mother was the Op Shop Queen, and on Christmas Eve we had more “stuff” to wrap than Wal-Mart. She was Australian, so she kept up the tradition of a pillowcase on the bed for Santa’s gifts, plus a big gift from under the tree, plus hanging stockings (always with an orange at the bottom?!), plus the family presents to each other on top of it all. Plus the presents for the family coming later on to lunch.

You do the math. I figured out once we had over 200 presents under the tree alone. We had to take a break in the middle of unwrapping because everyone got bored!

As the oldest, I was always the designated Santa helper to my mother. To this day, I have a phobia about wrapping presents.

Also large families, beer soaked fathers and mothers who do their best, but just really can’t cope.

And Christmas credit card balances.

It was all so ridiculous: putting a 40 pound turkey in the oven that my mother had to keep basting all nite, working like slaves to get the meal on the table (the dishes stayed dirty until the New Year), dealing with relatives who were crazier than us, and TOO MUCH STUFF!

Although I love how special Christmas is for children, I eventually lost interest in all the hard work attached to it.

One thing I have always believed in, though, is the “magic of Christmas”, and I taught my kids to have faith in that. Faith that somehow, every year, something happens that simply feels like magic. It might be finding that elusive present, or getting extra money when you need it, or guessing what someone really wanted.

It happened for me this year. I had no interest at all in the whole shebang, but I ended up finding all my presents for everyone really easily, then, after about reaching my exhaustion peak with the heat and humidity, the heavens opened and the temperature dropped on Christmas Eve. And stayed lovely all today.

Katie and David made a great, easy BBQ (with food for this vegetarian), we all got wonderful presents, and I have been able to rest in a cool bedroom.

Bliss.

So I have no happy memories of large families in general, and especially at Christmas. I’m happy, though, for those who do. And sad for those who don’t get the Christmas they wish for.

Focus on attracting the magic. It’s always worked for me.

One year, when I could still stand for hours, I spent Christmas day at a mission giving out food and presents. It was incredibly soul soothing. Giving back always creates magic for the giver.

So, whatever you do today, remember to do it in a relaxed, calm, mode. It will help you, and everyone around you, feel happy and healthier.

I’m just enjoyin’ the magic …

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