Thanksgiving dinner went fantastic. All of my food was great and I finally broke my five year turkey dressing curse in which I have bought stove top as a back up for my mad scientist concoctions of dressing recipes which have all been ultimate failures every year. Inedible bricks. Gross slop in a bowl. Unappealing mushes. Tasteless fluffs. Terrible tongue torturers. This year my sister gave me our old family recipe and it turned out delicious. I am beyond stoked. The curse has broken and all is right in the Thanksgiving world of breads, dressings, and stuffings. I can now officially reclaim my southern woman card now that I can make great dressing and sometimes my homemade gravy is actually edible. Sigh....
.................Now we wait for Christmas to arrive.
As I brushed my cats tonight, I had a realization. Hobbs loves to be brushed. Lola is over excited when combed. They will actually chase me around the couch if they see me with their brush in my hands. In anticipation of all of the scratches and scrubs the brush gives them, they will flop on the floor and rub their fat fur bodies all over the carpet. But my cat Higgins hates to be brushed. He eyes it with a wariness only those who know the betrayal of a glove of soft rubber bristles will understand. He hides from it. He gives you the stink eye when you edge ever so closely to comb his unruly mane. Brushes are Higgin's number one enemy. Though I have no idea why. The brush has never maimed him. It has never scratched him too hard or even pulled a tangle in his fur. Nary even a hair pull, but he mistrusts it. He dreads it. He hates it.
And it came to me.....there are two types of people in this world when it comes to the holidays. There are the Hobbs and Lola's of the world loving everything Christmas or holiday related. Basking in the l.e.d. glow of Christmas lights and cinnamon scented candles. Rolling around the eggnog flavored beverages on their tongues. Chasing the big hand holding the holiday sale coupons around the block with glee. They watch Christmas movies and make hot chocolate and string popcorn garlands. They love the smell of Christmas trees and delve into wrapping presents with a gusto rivaled only by Martha Stewart on baking and craft day. They relish everything holiday related and everything holiday related makes them feel happy and accomplished and most of all, warm and fuzzy inside. They love Christmas and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Then there are the Higgins' of the world. They are mistrusting of the holiday season. It makes them uncomfortable and edgy. They may have very good reasons for feeling this way or absolutely no reason at all but that does not lessen the truth of their feelings. It makes it no easier for them. They may stink eye other's love of holidays or hide from the crowds of caroling masses. They may ignore the friendly holiday greetings or turn away from the numerous three month long commercial adds proclaiming the holidays are soon upon us. Something about this time of year is upsetting to them, or sad to them, or painful for them and they have to go through it anyway because days will pass and Christmas comes once every year. Just like being a cat that needs to be brushed, it is inevitable. There is no true avoidance of it and we should remember to be extra kind to them.
I am not saying we shouldn't be jubilant and happy around the season of giving and thanks and family. I am saying we should also reach out to the Higgins of the world and see how they are doing because the holidays can be a very stressful time. It can be a very lonely time. It can be a very hopeless time for some. While we are focused on buying or making our loved ones gifts for the holidays, we should remember that the best gift is caring about someone to begin with, and we should show how much we care by making sure that the Higgins of the world know that they are loved and appreciated and thought of. Especially, when they are struggling just to get by the hardest part of the year when they are grieving, or depressed, or have anxiety issues, or simply have jerk faces for family members.
When I brush Higgins, I talk to him nicely and I remember to not brush very hard so he isn't more upset. I make sure to comfort him and make him feel safe. Because really, all anybody wants in this great big world is to be loved and appreciated and to feel safe. People really aren't that different from cats.
So, be happy if you are a Lola or a Hobbs and celebrate but please remember people like Higgins who aren't as excited about the holidays as you are. Let them know you are there for them. Let them know you care and if you can, let them know that you understand the way they feel because there is nothing wrong with not loving the holiday season either.
My best wishes to all of the Hobbs and Lola's out there and my understanding and best wishes to the Higgins' of the world as well. We will get through this holiday season, one breath at a time just like we always do.