My own prognosis for this social behavioral unpleasantness is that people are getting stressed out over the demands of the holidays.
Furthermore, I now confess that I made that prognosis based on personal experience, having suffered a couple of stress-induced "Grinch moments" myself over the past few days.
Thankfully, they've mostly happened in the middle of the night as I've lain in bed wide awake wondering how I'm going to manage to get everything done that needs to be done to pull off all the holiday activities that were no one's idea but mine to undertake. ( I do have this propensity for grand plans).
Last night in the middle of the night I had one of those Grinch moments.
My visiting 18-month-old teething, still jet-lagging grandbaby began wailing and would not stop. And so as I was just lying awake in bed stressing and Grinching away anyway I figured I might as well get up and give my exhausted daughter and son-in-law a break by taking over crying baby duty.
I wrapped up my little wailer in a warm blanket and brought her downstairs the began walking the floor, which calmed her.
Then I settled us into the rocker in the family room and began rocking while surveying the state of affairs in the family room, which supposedly would be full of company the following night:
Then I looked into the little round face of my granddaughter, her eyes fluttering the way babies' eyes do when they're almost asleep.
I looked back up at the mess around me.
Then the thought came to me: This is a gift. All of it. The mess, the work, the friends and family I'm fortunate enough to have coming over on Christmas Eve to share gifts of food and music, and above all the sweet baby now sleeping peacefully in my arms, who along with her 3-year- old sister, was the author of my currently messy house.
But at that moment the mess didn't matter. Because I was awash in the realization that it's a blessing to have a purpose-filled day, work to do and people to do it for.
And today will be a busy, purpose-filled day. (see yesterday's blog).