John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Christmas

I wish everyone a Merry Mediocre Christmas.


Well, about 20 years ago I noticed that few people we truly enjoying the Christmas holiday season because so many were stressed out and anxious trying to achieve some sort of “perfect” or “idealized” or “amazing” Christmas holiday. And I felt bad pouring fuel on the fire by wishing them a merry Christmas on top of all that burdensome pressure. So I started withing people a “Mediocre Christmas.” And I think it takes the pressure off…a little. And we need that more than we probably think.

It’s not about how “fabulous” the presents are this holiday season. But about how fabulously present you can be to those most important. And sometimes a step back and a deep breath and a reminder that mediocre and present is better than fabulous and stressed out.

jyb_musingsNow, if you think you can handle an unadulterated Merry Christmas, more power to you. Go for it. But otherwise, just know it’s not necessary and I don’t want my overly optimistic wishes to be an obstacle to you having a nice time with those closest to you this holiday season.

It ain’t about how many loved ones we can impress …but more about how many loved ones we can allow to impress us–without asking them to try all that hard to do so.


The benefits on the night before Christmas of having older children.

This is something that I did on the night before Christmas 7-8 years ago. That I will not be doing tonight. Thankfully. ; )

A True Christmas Story.

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the Brown house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care in hopes that St Nick….well, you get the idea.

Old Santa ClausAnyway, it was a few years ago when my children were still Santa age (before Christmas became more of a business transaction) and my job was to work the wee hours of the morning to assemble a mini pool table for our basement and surprise our children Christmas morning.

I started around 1am. By 3am I was almost finished but realized I had assembled one of the short ends of the table upside down. So, I took it all apart and started over.

By 4:30am I was nearly finished again before realizing I had inadvertently assembled one of the long ends of the table upside down. I took a short break to say as many curse words under my breath as I could recall at that time of morning and got back to work a little before 5am.

I took apart the table again and decided to get out the directions this time. I followed them, but like following all directions, it slowed me down (although admittedly I didn’t make any mistakes this last time). No mistakes….but I did run out of time.

It was now nearly 7am and I heard feet pattering upstairs and cries of “Dad, where are you?” The kiddos were ready to see what Santa had left them….and weren’t going to give me another 30-45 minutes to finish up. Fortunately, I quickly thought of a brilliant solution.

A note. From Santa. Here’s how it read.

Dear Johnny and Maggie, Merry Christmas!! I love you both so much and hope you like all the presents I left you, including the miniature pool table. As you know, I have to cover a lot of ground tonight and in my old age don’t move as fast as I used to. I almost got the pool table set up, but had to leave before finishing to get to all the other children in the world. I left the last few pieces for your father to finish for you.Thanks for the cookies and milk.

Merry Christmas!!!S.C.

(My kids were excited but also skeptical and disappointed. My daughter suspected my handwriting. And my son knew if it depended on me putting something together, it might take all night).


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