Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Just Call Me Hermey!

My friend, Boyd Harris, over at the Horror Library Blog-O-Rama got me thinking about the pressures of Christmas, and that set me on a small harmless rant.

I love the magic of Chrismas, the lights and the music and the excitement of the children. But for me, one of the things that can take the joy out of the holidays is the pressure to conform or perform - perfect gifts, lots of money spent, beautiful decorating, a pristine house, cookie baking, and the big meal around the perfect table surrounded by happy people. No wonder we're all exhausted just thinking about it.

Anyway, my Christmas is a lot more pleasant these days because I no longer conform. This year I bought what I could afford, for the most part. My lights aren't up yet, neither is the tree - it's been too cold but I'll get to it, maybe. The gifts aren't wrapped yet and when they are, they won't have perfectly creased corners or be perfectly adorned with just the right coordinated bows - but they will eventually be wrapped. And I think we'll eat out for Christmas or just do something simple. I might bake; I might not.

My moratoreum on Christmas perfection has reduced my performance anxiety enormously. Don't get me wrong, I know there are folks who LOVE preparing all the holiday trimmings - I wished they'd come to my house and do it all for me (please!).
And I'm glad they're out there doing the light shows in their yards and giving awesome parties for the rest of us who prefer the spectator sport aspect of the holidays.

I'll be with my family in all our beautiful messy imperfection, and we'll have a good day. I might even light a cozy fire - if I feel like it.

I'm a little like Hermey, the Misfit Elf, but I'm happy.

Happy Holidays to you all from Fran "The Hermey" Friel and her whole misfit clan.


Ben Henry said...

Of course, living by myself and being the only one from my family in Arkansas, I don't have to worry about such things. I guess I do at times, like when I throw a dinner party. I can imagine the pressure.

I am not sure about my mom. She never seemed to worry. Was it because me and my family never noticed, or was it because she takes it all in stride and does not worry about being perfect. I suspect the real answer is that no one in my family is critical. We are just a happy-go-lucky bunch.

I have recently started dating someone and she's Jewish, I'm not. There's an answer. If we get hooked up, Christmas will be no big deal, LOL.

Merry Christmas and BTW..I always loved that little Rudolph Christmas show, but ole Herm may be gay - not that there's anything wrong with that.

Ben Henry

Fran Friel said...

Hi Ben,

We seldom notice if our moms are stressed but I suspect your mom was just one of those naturally good Christmas festivity planners. Her good vibe must have helped to make you all a "happy-go-lucky bunch."

Good luck with your new sweetie. Now you get to celebrate for 8 days!

I always loved Hermey, too. I can still see that Norelco shaver in my mind, whizzing down the slopes with the snowman on top. I went to see the movie, The Family Stone, and there was a scene in the movie where they're watching TV and that little snowman clip was playing. Made me smile - nostalgic lass, I am.

Thanks for stopping by, Ben!

Happy Christmas!


Boyd E. Harris said...

We feel each other's frustration. At some point, I hope to regain theholiday spirit. I loved Christmas growing up. I come from the nearly perfect Christmas family, myself the only flaw, though I still love the way the family gathers for midnight service, even if we are spread out across several states.

Yeah, this is an especially difficult year, but in the end I have very little to complain about. Family is what it's all about, and I've a wealthy man.

Hermey is an inspiration, much as you are.


Fran Friel said...


I'm a "wealthy" woman, too (not that you're a woman ;-)). And I'm lucky to have many fantastic Christmas memories with candlelight services at church with many friends and family members, vivid images of my parents' home with the glow of old fashion yellow candles in the windows, feathery tinsel glittering on the tree and the smell of Christmas turkey wafting through the cozy house. Dang, those are sweet memories - far sweeter than any Christmas gift I ever received.

Thanks again, Boyd, for tweaking those memories. I've just finished putting up the Christmas lights outside (I like doing it in the dark so I can see the full effect - instant twinkle gratification). I'm just taking a little break to answer this message, then I'm off to decorate our little tree and the mantle. You've helped to put me even more in the holiday mood.

Thanks, Boyd.

Gratefully Yours,

Please Share This. TY!