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Saint Joseph Lost His Head & Taught Me How to Celebrate the Holidays

Ah, ‘tis the season—the season of more.  And more, and more still. The holidays are designed for excess.  Glittering, shiny, sparkly, over-the-top, where else can we put more twinkle lights, there are 453 ornaments on the tree, I have to get matching wrapping paper and bows for all of the gifts, oh my god, I used the mortgage payment on Christmas presents, excess.

We drunkenly fall into it starting with the Thanksgiving all-you-can-eat weekend, when we find ourselves hopped up, or rather, sedated, on tryptophan, alternating between gorging, sleeping, and shopping—online or daring to brave the mall—and we don’t stop until after the New Year, when suddenly, we wake from our stupor and realize how we’re desperately in need of a purge, so we gather up everything that so entranced us a mere month before, and stuff the whole glittering sack of ka-ka back in the attic until next year.

Or, maybe, that’s just me.

Actually, it used to be me, every single year while my kids were growing up, and I took it upon myself to create the perfect Griswold family Christmas, complete with some annual disaster or another, all in an effort to create warm, wonderful memories for my children, which I’d someday pass on through the lovingly collected decorations—nutcrackers, light-up houses, collectible figurines, and on and on—until I realized that once my kids grew up, they didn’t really give a damn anymore.

That’s when I beheaded Saint Joseph.

It wasn’t intentional.  Really.  I’m a big Saint Joe fan.  Unfortunately for him, however, I was in the midst of cramming a giant nativity set back into a box while on my third hour of re-storing Christmas crap, when I got a little rough with the guy.  And off came his head.

Being a suspicious Catholic, and assuming this at least meant partial damnation, I raced frantically for the glue gun, and with shaking hands, reattached St. Joe’s body to his noggin.  It took a few attempts, and it was hardly a clean job (to this day, there is evidence of the St. Joe hatchet job around his neck in the form of a yellow glue choker), but I managed.

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Mary Fran Bontempo
Mary Fran Bontempohttps://maryfranbontempo.com/
Mary Fran Bontempo is an award-winning 2-time TEDx speaker, author, humorist, and media host who teaches audiences to uncover their Brilliance and Resilience 15 minutes at a time. A sought-after presenter for corporate and association events, Mary Fran is author of The 15 Minute Master, Brilliantly Resilient, and The Woman’s Book of Dirty Words and co-founder of the Brilliantly Resilient programs and media. Mary Fran proves small changes can create life-altering transformations, allowing individuals to be positive and successful in a rapidly changing world. A Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, and Thrive Global contributor and columnist for numerous websites, Mary Fran created a life-affirming brand of wisdom and wit after meeting the challenge of her son’s heroin addiction. A frequent media guest and speaker, audiences of all ages delight in her empowering and entertaining message. Find her at www.maryfranbontempo.com and www.brilliantlyresilient.net.

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