Another sitcom star from the late '80s/early '90s is telling us how to live our lives.
Mike Seaver...sorry, Kirk Cameron has a Facebook message for moms and wives (via D-Listed):
“If you are a mom, if you are a wife, if you are the keeper of your home, I want you to know that your joy is so important this Christmas. Christmas is about joy and if the joy of the Lord is your strength, remember the joy of the mom is her children’s strength. Let your children, your family, see your joy in the way you decorate your home this Christmas in the food that you cook, the songs you sing, the stories you tell and the traditions that you keep. Invite your whole neighborhood into your Christmas and invite the world into our story of our king and his kingdom.”
I admit it. I was never going to be on board with this. Cameron is known for his super-Christian Christianness and his old-fashioned ideals. When he started talking about the "wives and mothers" being the keepers of their homes, I pointed to one of the time-out chairs in my dining room and asked him to take a seat.
I guess it's all in how you read it, but the way I take the statement is this: Moms and wives, your family's happiness this holiday season is dependent on your happiness. If you're not happy, your kids won't be happy SO YOU'D BETTER BE HAPPY.
(Also, I'm peeved that he doesn't call the men out here. If he'd said something like, "Hey, dudes, your wives and mothers are going to be pretty put-upon this holiday season. Maybe give her a hand or something. Take over cookie baking duty. Decorate the tree. Recognize that it's not her responsibility to uphold all of the family traditions. Put down the remote, and do something to lighten the load," I might have been more on board.)
But maybe I'm hearing this wrong. Maybe I should give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe Cameron is saying something a little different than my initial interpretation. Maybe he's saying that moms and wives should have joy in the things they do...and the second they can no longer find that joy, they should stop doing the thing, which is something I can applaud.
I talked to a grandmother last year at school pickup. She was all stressed out about cookie baking. She needed to make a different kind of cookie for everyone in the family. I was like, "Why?"
"They expect it," was her answer.
Well, fuck that shit.
I don't know this woman's life, but I do know she didn't seem to have much "joy" about the cookie baking task. Maybe the "joy" would come later when everyone's happy with their cookies, so maybe that's enough. But the thought running through my head was, "What would happen if you didn't make the cookies?"
My guess would be -- not much.
My aunt used to make a giant tray of cookies every year. It was "expected." Then suddenly, she stopped making them. I remember us being all, "Where are the cookies?" But then we got over it. Right away. We moved on, ate some other dessert. The cookies aren't the reason for the season.
My dad's mom stopped doing a tree at some point. We were all, "Whatever," and sat back in our chairs to watch USA's afternoon block of game shows.
I see how stressed my mom's mom gets about cooking the traditional Christmas dinner. She's in her eighties and, sure, people help with the meal, but there's still that stress of getting the house ready and making the food. Would we have less of a Christmas if she just said, "Screw this noise (my grandma's very hip)," and ordered Chinese food instead?
My mom has stopped doing Thanksgiving dinner. This year we're having the food delivered. No cooking. No stress. Just our family spending time with one another. Is it any less of a Thanksgiving?
Tradition is nice and good as long as everyone still enjoys the tradition, especially the facilitator of that tradition.
So, stay out of the kitchen this holiday season, moms and wives. Or not. Do what brings you joy. I guarantee that your happiness will make your family happier than any half-burnt chocolate chip cookies ever could.
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