Christmas is done and over with; what a relief. What a disappointment. This Christmas season was a whirlwind of coordination, logistics, and responding to people’s needs, wants, and desires- all in the name of the spirit of Christmas. That is what the season is about, right? Giving without receiving; sharing without asking; responding without requesting. I am exhausted. I have nothing left to offer at this point. The season is officially over, and I am grateful that I survived. I am pleased that I was able to fulfill all the requests and that I was able to coordinate a massive logistic nightmare, and that from an outsider’s point of view- it was a success.
Here is the truth of the matter- I am left with a sense of ‘what the hell.’ This season started with Halloween and was full force NASCAR race to the end for my friends and me. There was not one breather moment; we spent hundreds of personal hours making sure that we were doing everything that we could to help boost the holiday cheer this season. And while I know that this is the season not to expect anything in return, it would have been nice. And I feel like a complete shit for saying it, but then again, I don’t.
I am going to say it! When did we forget to say ‘Thank you?’ I don’t think that the ‘givers’ of the world want an award or national acknowledgment; however, they would like to know that their hard work was at least received!
In my line of work- people will only donate to a cause when they can physically see where their money is going. It doesn’t matter that it is going to a good cause; they want physical proof to share with their friends or social media. But, unfortunately, many times, those receiving the donations’ gifts don’t see it in that manner. Because gifts should be given freely and without demands, right?
This is a pickle when you are the middle man trying to please everyone. And it all came to blows in my head yesterday.
The day after Christmas was a shitstorm for interior Alaska. We were hit with a tidal wave of life-threatening weather. The kind that makes you wonder what you have ever done wrong to Mother Nature to affect this many people so negatively. It would have been a natural disaster in any other state, but not ours. One town lost its only grocery store; people could not get to the E.R. Thousands of people were without electricity or heat and unable to travel anywhere safe. Families were stuck on the highway for the whole day, unable to go forward or backward. Department of Transportation was doing its best to make some paths for the First Responders, but they were getting stuck even with snow tires, chains, and years of experience.
But, it is interior Alaska. We will figure it out quickly and move forward with our lives. But as I sat in my home yesterday, after spending hours trying to dig some path resemblance in my driveway before the ice storm hit, I had to acknowledge that I was mad at the world.
I felt like I had put so much time and effort into the Christmas season that I just wanted a day to go to the gym, relax, do a little shopping, maybe even get a pedicure. Instead- I spent the morning shoveling heavy winter snow and only was able to make it halfway through the driveway before I felt the first sprinkles of ice rain. Now, people in my town have pulled out their ice stakes and gliding to work, if the business is even open- which I hope it isn’t.
And through all this- I get asked if I have pictures that I can send to donors of the Christmas season. No, no, I don’t. What I have for you is a copy of the current weather report and a picture of my newly formed ice rink, conveniently placed right outside my home. This is what I have:
- I have stairs that I can’t use because they have a three-inch layer of ice that needs to be chipped up.
- I have a roof weighed down with ice that is currently creaking a very unusual noise.
- I have lights that are fluttering like lighting bugs.
- I have two dogs who don’t understand why it’s warm outside; however, they can’t play in it because they keep falling through the layer of ice into 8 feet of snow.
This is all I have to give. After that, I have nothing else but the energy to provide you with a thumbs-up sign and the possibility that I might give you more tomorrow after I finish eating the Christmas cookies and drinking the last of the egg nog. That is questionable even.
The Christmas season is done, and it has left me wanting. There is no residual magic floating in the air, which is sad. But, there is always next year, right?