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Here Come The Holidays!

Redifining the season.


For years, come November, there would be a tangible tension in our home as my husband anticipated my OCD (Obsessive Christmas Disorder) to kick in full force.  He would always says that I kicked off the season too soon and that he wished I would wait for Thanksgiving to pass before I pulled out the Buyers Choice Carolers, and Christmas decorations. 

In typical Marti fashion I would smile and nod, in an effort to acknowledge that I heard him, as the kids and I tinseled up the house playing our Christmas music, while Joel sat in protest, his nose crinkled and eyebrows furrowed as though he smelled something foul.

It wasn’t until I blogged about a question my daughter asked (“Is Santa Claus Real”) that I believe Joel finally understood WHY Christmas was so important to me.

Like many of us, I grew up in the center of East Providence with very little. I wore the hand me downs like so many of us did and still do. I was a latchkey kid, home alone with my siblings as my mom and dad worked 12-hour days to make ends meet. Santa brought only one gift, and it was usually a doll, some skates, or a radio. Doesn’t seem like a lot compared to what lists are like today, but it felt like the world to me.

What I remember the most was how my home smelled and looked. My mom would bake, my dad (who even now, at the age of 72, still suffers from the same "obsessive Christmas disorder" that I do) would pull out the artificial tree as my sisters and I played our records and decorated the house as he created the most AMAZING Christmas village your eyes will ever see. It was a time when we could forget about what we didn’t have compared to everyone else and focus on what we did have, that many others did not.

This morning as I pulled out my cleaning products to begin my usual Saturday morning chores, Joel was in the kitchen with the kids making pancakes. I turned on the TV, found the Christmas Music channel on FIOS and slowly turned up the volume as I waited in anticipation of "the face." But this year I didn’t get the crinkled nose, or the furrowed eyebrow. What I did see was Joel flip a pancake, smile a big smile, and shake his head being ever so careful never to make eye contact for fear that it would probably mean approval. The kids were even surprised at the new expression.

He told me that it makes him happy to see how happy Christmas makes me (and the kids) but I believe, that Christmas has been redefined for HIM. He now has a new perspective on season, it’s no longer a “commercial” obligation, it has now assumed it’s intended purpose, a time for family, generosity, reflection, and gratitude. If I could physically tape a piece of my happiness here on this blog for your taking, I would. I wish for you all, a peaceful, safe, and happy next couple of months regardless of your faith, traditions, or beliefs.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Tonya Borello November 05, 2012 at 11:51 AM
I love it! Good to hear from you again on the Patch! Good luck to your husband tomorrow. -Tonya
Dermody November 05, 2012 at 01:39 PM
I remember the "Is Santa Claus Real" blog. Still haven't had to have that talk. Heartwarming blog.
geea November 05, 2012 at 01:53 PM
Love it! Marti, I stand as witness to your Dad's AMAZING Christmas Villages! He could charge admission for tours! I ALWAYS looked forward to seeing his latest creation, every year there were more pieces added, more & more detail. I remember standing in AWE while observing all of the MANY details (and there were MANY!) Hope he still continues the tradition!!! Happy Holidays, let the season begin. xoxoxox
Tamra November 05, 2012 at 07:40 PM
well, welcome back! Good luck to your husband tomorrow!
Lmanchester November 05, 2012 at 07:52 PM
OBSESSIVE CHRISTMAS DISORDER! LOL!!! great blog. I used to get cranky when people celebrated too early but now I find it helps to get me in the spirit. good for you! (also good luck to your husband)
Roxanne November 05, 2012 at 08:56 PM
Love it Marti. Thank you for summing up beautifully why so many of us love Christmas. it really is not about what you get but about the meaning and the family time. Now maybe some in my house will understand my obsession with Christmas, especially falalala Lifetime Movies! LOL
Marti Monteiro November 06, 2012 at 12:55 AM
Thank you, everyone. Geea dad still puts up the village, but it's on a smaller scale these days. :/ Roxanne-- I absolutely LOVE fa la la Lifetime movies! haha!
Siraia Barcelos November 06, 2012 at 02:09 AM
I liked this blog. I am also listening to x-mas music already. it drowns all the political noise, I'm sick of all the commercials. Time for abc family and Hallmark. :)
Tonya Borello November 07, 2012 at 05:07 PM
Couple of things. First Congratulations to your husband on his victory last night. I just saw the numbers, he should feel very proud. I am confident he will not let us down. Second of all, I wanted to say that I hope you continue to blog more on the Patch. I miss your sunny disposition. Your blogs make many of us smile. Consider writing more.
Marti Monteiro November 07, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Thank you, Tonya. I'm very proud of Joel. As for blogging, I used to blog more in the past (as you know) but then I found this became a forum (not so much my blog per se but this forum in general) for people to voice very hurtful opinions. I'm definately in favor of communicating our thoughts (obviously) but just wish, that we could find a way to do so in a constructive and polite way. Long story short, I stopped (faithfully) logging on because I prefer to be happy. :) You are the third person to ask me to blog more, so I will THINK about it. ;) Have a great day.
Tonya Borello November 07, 2012 at 07:23 PM
I sincerely hope you do. I felt like I was watching you and your siblings decorate your house in your blog. It stirred up happy memories for me and I'm sure for others. It's a nice distraction from the not so friendly comments you reference for the rest of us. If not here, contact the Journal and see if you can do a piece for them weekly. Just a suggestion.

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