… on the mess


Quiet moment

Last weekend we had Dingle Family Christmas.

Sure, it’s a little misleading in that not everyone who comes to Dingle Family Christmas is toting around the last name ‘Dingle’, but the event title works.

I like to think this is because we have so much official Christmas magic in our family tree, being able to trace our family all the way back to Dingle Kringle and all (Elves’ first names are the ones that carry down through their family trees. Yes they are. They are. Hey! Don’t argue with me, it’s Christmas!)

Oh my gosh…..


It’s Christmas.

I am sitting here in the morning quiet, coffee relaxed alongside my struggling laptop (colorful wheels of indecision have become its norm lately).

I actually just smiled at my cup, one far too small for the amount of coffee this gal consumes, but it’s beautiful.  A dainty little china teacup, complete with saucer… translucently fragile, adorned with reds and greens. A tartan ribbon wound throughout sugared fruits and holly leaves… shiny gold around the rims.

I’m sitting here smiling in a candle’s light, and thinking about… The Mess.

Ya, you know.

The Mess.

The more I think about it, the more I can envision it… see it, hear it, wow… even taste it.

Okay, fine. I can’t taste The Mess exactly… unless it tastes like cranberry orange quick bread, or cinnamon scones with jam and clotted cream…

The tastes of many a Christmas morning.

The Mess arrives with sounds of glossy paper tearing… and from subsequent crinklings and crumplings.

From textures of cardboard and thick packing tape that does its job too well… requiring a pocket knife (or steak knife in a pinch) to get through to protected treasures.

And from the magic of anticipation… of barely contained excitement…

That someone… Santa or mere human… has spent the time to think about us, to make or choose or plot or even perform something… something they think will bring us joy. Something that might spark a smile.

And what’s more magical than that?

Today, at this time in my life, I am overwhelmed, jubilant knowing that there will be a big mess tomorrow. Presents will be opened tomorrow morning by squealing, squeaking, hooting, whooping, joking, laughing children, who are – sure – now somewhat adult-y. But Christmas demands the youngsters within, and is harder to say no to than a mafia Don who knows where your prized racehorse is kept.

I know this will not always be, a big mess I mean.

It’s not guaranteed.

Nothing great in life is.

And The Mess Christmas morning is a truly great thing.

One day it might be far more quiet… one day my Christmas could be, maybe, just me.

What will I do then?

Well, damn. Time for a resolution of sorts, I think.

I resolve, should I ever be alone at Christmastime, to make The Mess.

I don’t care if it’s the tossing of a single bit of wrapping – from a gift I gave myself – onto the floor, or the subversive dripping of wax from a solitary Christmas candle onto my table, I will revel in the memories of messes past… my mess then present… and all the messes that are yet to be.

Here’s to The Mess.

May you have a big one.


The mess will be messy
And may not always be
From so many presents
Underneath a fat tree

So cherish the crinkles
The crumbles the tearing
The hoots and the hollers
Hell, even the swearing

Let’s put off the clean-ups
Of this mess, far from tragic
More a joyous, explosive
Aftermath of the magic.


Thanks for readin’ (and a merry, merry Christmas to you and yours).

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