Hollie Grimaldi Flores: Holiday season is officially here
November 8, 2017
It's early November and I have already purchased my first Christmas gifts. I have been in a venue that played Christmas music and have had my picture taken with Santa. The season is upon me, earlier than I ever remember, and I did it to myself!
I was invited, via a social media post, to attend a screening of the movie, "A Bad Moms Christmas."
A Facebook friend thought it would fun to rent the theatre for a private showing and needed at least 100 attendees.
I thought it sounded like a wonderful way to spend an evening and suggested it to a couple of friends, thinking it might be difficult to get over 100 women out to watch a movie at 8 p.m. on a Wednesday night. I was mistaken.
In fact, it oversold. So, there I was, for the most part in the company of women I know casually from various aspects of our close-knit community.
A night at the movies
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The organizer arranged for an hour of social time, the theatre played Christmas carols and even Santa showed up with one of his elves for some photo opportunities.
I sat observing the various women, most over 30, many with children still at home. I imagined their rush from work to after-school pick-up to helping with homework, making dinner or arranging for childcare before making it out for the evening.
Some with the help of a spouse, some on their own. Once on scene, they were reveling in the moment. It is safe to say some steam blown off among the harried mommy's.
I, on the other hand, dawdled after work and was among the first to arrive as those days of juggling family before doing anything for myself are well behind me. My husband is self-sufficient in fending for dinner.
I did not see the original "Bad Moms" movie but had seen the trailer for this follow-up to last year's box office hit. It looked kind of silly but fun. It is, as it turns out, hilarious.
The premise, in a nutshell, is a trio of mom's who decide to give up on the struggle to be perfect and run head long in the opposite direction.
Interwoven was some outlandish behavior, the pressure of providing family with the perfect Christmas coupled with the complicated dynamics of mother daughter relationships was tackled in an extremely funny but also thought-provoking manner.
Watching a film with over 100 people you know, makes for an added layer of enjoyment.
We were loud and some a bit raucous. Some not as well behaved as others. It was easily the most fun I have had on a Wednesday night in quite some time.
It was the calm before the storm because while the critics seem to hate it and I don't see it winning any major awards, there was a bit of truth being told around the hijinks.
Creating memorable holidays
There is no denying the next couple of months are among the busiest and most stressful of the year. There is no denying the incredible and unrealistic pressure put primarily on women and especially on mother's to create a memorable holiday for their families.
From Thanksgiving until New Year's, the amount of shopping, cooking, gift buying, wrapping, party planning, recital attending, and card writing is almost unending.
There are company parties and social gatherings, the added pressure of spending time with family and the sadness of not being able to spend time with family. There is the never-ending struggle to find the meaning in the holiday.
Recipes to try and share. Recipes to scrap and toss. Countless trips to grocery stores and retail outlets. There is the requisite tree acquisition and home decorating. And of course, there are the street fairs and festivals.
It can be wonderful. It is often exhausting. And with so much hype, it is often disappointing.
We come to expect tantrums from too much excitement and not enough napping, hyperactivity from too much sugar and meltdowns from being dragged one place too many. And, the children are often not doing all that well either.
If you are lucky enough to have young children the season of empty threats (if you aren't good, if you don't go to bed right now, if you aren't nice to your sister, if you don't … Fill in the blank … Santa won't come) is about to arise. Be sure to use it to your full advantage!
The screening helped me realize that many of us moms are like minded. We are doing the best we can with what we have and ultimately, we want to create happy memories for our families.
More importantly, it was a reminder that we need to take care of ourselves even just a little bit before kicking off the season of too much to do on our already full plates.
Surrounded by community, I already have some of that warmth the season brings welling inside me.
"Bad Mom" or not, remember to treat yourself kindly and to be good to others, and try to focus on what the season is really about.
Hollie Grimaldi Flores is a Nevada County resident and freelance writer for hire. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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