The Armstrong Family Circus

published and designed by Wiseacre Design Studio

Maineville • Ohio • USA

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Merry Christmas (I think)

Friday December 25th 2009

by Paul Armstrong

Merry Christmas


Being older has its advantages. Driving. Staying up late. Watching Rated R movies. Alcohol (the libation created specifically for family gatherings). The ability to say "no". Sadly I believe I've let the disadvantages ruin the joy that still remains in life.


I'm trying. I really am. I'm telling myself that it's worth it. The tradition. The pretending (in spite of the knowledge of things you wish you hadn't found out about and now it just looms in the future like a giant cloud that will rain suck throughout the coming year, and decade) that you're happy and normal and comfortable. For the kids, I tell myself. For the kids. But I'm older. And things change. That fuzzy warm excitement, that literal magic I used to feel for Christmas has been laid waste to the truth that comes with aging. The stress of family drama. The stress of shopping, of spending money, of finding that fleeting amount of time to think about the real, truth, honest meaning of Christmas — Christ's birth. But it's lost behind the truth that comes with being human, with getting older. Things are never as simple or easy as it once was; and never will be (on this earth) again.

But that doesn't, or shouldn't, excuse me from attempting to find that smile. That all to rare glimmer of hope that comes from your children. What they see. What they experience. What they wish for in the world and in their small worlds. The hurt. The sadness. The dysfunction. The pretending has to be worth it for the fact that life isn't only one thing. Isn't only one way. It's not all bad. It's not all pointless. It's not all hopeless. Because of that one thing — that one thing this entire day is about.

I keep telling myself, for the kids, its worth it for the kids. So in spite of my gloom, my stress, my disgruntled old man ways, I truly wish for each of you to have a marvelous Christmas holiday time.

Merry Christmas friends.




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