For-Give & For-Get, For Christmas

Originally published in the newspaper, Hill Rag, December 2008.

I am atingle with expectation as we enter the Holiday Season here on The Hill. We have an ample supply of hope, a new President, and the city is making the rounds sucking up our leaves. That fresh frost freezing your nose hairs is not simply the approach of winter, but the brisk truth of a new day. I am inspired to make the most of it.

When you live in a small row house, as we Hillie families do, we might think there isn’t enough room for a big holiday gesture. I find myself dismissing the joys of Christmas because The Boy is only one and, let’s be honest, new toys and trinkets wouldn’t be any more impressive than if I wrapped all his current toys in colorful paper and let him go to town. One year-olds are not the life of the holiday party. They’re busy staring at the shiny Christmas tree or Hannukah bush, wondering why on earth you brought an outside item inside. (The first time The Hound saw a Christmas tree he lifted his leg and peed all over it.)

Following a plentiful Thanksgiving event, I found myself wondering how I could honor the holidays without bringing more stuff into our wee home. I would be thankful, I thought to myself, if I could actually take some things out! And then it occurred to me, I have just the thing – things, really – to suit the occasion.

I happen to have, in my own personal possession, a truck load of harbored hostility. Would it not be miraculous if I could dump it out and start the year anew? Thus, I have decided to forgive all the people who have wronged, angered or peeved me.

I now proceed, not unlike Saint Nick himself, with my list. Perhaps it is not as kind in spirit, but it is compatible in length, I am sure.

I forgive…

All the oxymoronic, lazy athletes at Results, The Gym, who refuse to use the lot before their big carb burn and instead steal my parking, The Husband for saying Michelle Obama was “just a housewife” when I asked him what the First Lady Elect did for work, and my vegetable guy at Eastern Market for complementing me on my second pregnancy when I’m not actually pregnant.

I forgive…

The Boy for the complete and utter destruction of my figure (worth it, though slightly less-so when I have to dress like an adult), my feet for growing an entire size without my consent, and the gentleman in front of 7-11 who said, I believe, “That’s not an ass, that’s a shelf” as I walked by.

I forgive….

The person at the dog park who asked, with mind-boggling intellect, how The Boy could breathe inside his stroller’s rain guard, my Pea Pod driver for arriving ridiculously late and then driving off with my freezer goods, and my brother for missing The Boy’s first birthday entirely.

I forgive…

John McCain for all the weird things he said in the past year that went completely against what made him successful in the first place, my neighbors for being conservative Republicans whom I hope to help rehabilitate in the New Year, and the “Big Three” Auto Douchebags for not being humble when they groveled to the government for money.

I forgive…

Elisabeth Haslebeck for being infinitely and insanely stupid and Barbara Walters for letting that ding-bat stay on the show, the “American Idol” people for re-canning the same ham over and over, and The Husband (again) who, at six feet tall, weighs only a pound and a half more than me.

I forgive…

Vegetable guy at Eastern Market for complementing me on my second pregnancy when I’m not actually pregnant, my Pea Pod driver for arriving so ridiculously late, then driving off with my freezer goods and the city of D.C. for (well, a lot of things come to mind…) the “new, improved” parking meter computers that never, ever, ever work. Ever.

I forgive my editor for stalking me at deadline time (wait, he’s supposed to forgive me…)  Speaking of me, I should probably forgive myself for a few things.  I forgive myself for…

Swearing like a drunken sailor in front of The Boy, being a paper towel over-user, and for finishing a whole super size bag of BBQ Utz while writing this.  (Can you forgive yourself for something you haven’t finished doing yet?)

I forgive myself for being imperfect. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

This holiday season I give the gift of forgiveness to all because that is the most miraculous gift this Hill Mom can give.  I continue to endeavor to forgive George Bush, Dick Cheney, and my father for running off and marrying a twenty-something Brazilian girl at Disneyland.

That would truly be miraculous.

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