Usually at the beginning of December, I’m watching all those sappy Christmas movies that make my heart flutter and break and feel all happy inside simultaneously.
Not this year. I’ve become addicted to the Doomsday shows on National Geographic. I just found out the other day about the Mayan calendar ending on December 21, 2012, and many people believe that will be the end of the word. Apparently, I’m the last to know.
I called my mom because I wanted to let her know about my significant discovery only to find out she’s been going to “prepper” meetings to make sure she’ll survive in her little town in Ohio. Granted, people have called my mom “Doom and Gloom” for years. She freaked out when I didn’t get ready for Y2K. My husband and I bought some extra wine and hoped for the best here in Virginia. I think my mom still has Dinty Moore beef stew left over from 2000.
Doom and Gloom told me about this other show called “Doomsday Preppers” where families are building bunkers and teaching their young children about survival techniques and how to siphon gas from other people’s cars if the need arises.
I only had one pen-sized flashlight for the recent hurricane that rocked our area. At the last minute I filled up a bathtub with water in case we lost electricity and couldn’t get water, and I scrambled to find some candles. That’s about as prepared as I get for a disaster.
Imagine my husband’s surprise when I told him that I bought survival items for Christmas gifts this year. My boys are getting headlamps. The girls are getting reusable handwarmers. My husband is getting a crank radio and flashlight combo. I bought other stuff too, but I’m too embarrassed to admit to the rest. But, respiratory masks and Mylar blankets wouldn’t be out of the running. Or fire starters and emergency tents.
So, this got me thinking about YA books and the dystopian stuff that kids eat up these days. I wonder if there’s a connection between adult paranoia and what teens are reading today. Are we making our kids crazy? Do they read these apocalypse and zombie books because they want to escape to a world that’s complete fantasy or because they’re trying to become preppers through osmosis?
My kids have read many of these dystopian and apocalypse books, and I know for sure that they wouldn’t have a clue how to make it out there in a disastrous situation. If they need to straighten their hair with a flat iron to avoid the zombies, they’re good. Fire a gun? Not so much. Figure out how to hunt game like Katniss? Nope. We’d starve.
We put our tree up today, and tomorrow we string up the lights and hang the ornaments and deck the halls. I still have my Christmas music on in the kitchen while I’m googling survival items on my computer. I’ll still be baking my favorite cookies while waiting for the UPS man to deliver my water purification tablets and portable stove.
Then I start to wonder…am I becoming my mother?!? There’s a part of me that’s horrified at that idea and another part of me that’s kinda proud to be following in her crazy footsteps.
I have purchased other fun gifts like sleds and games in the event that Christmas does actually arrive this December 25th. My kids are downstairs dancing and laughing, and they have no clue that their mother is upstairs writing a blog about a Doomsday Christmas.
They can be kept in the dark. If the time comes when I have to bring out the crank flashlight, I’ll clue them in. Otherwise, it will be another Merry, Merry Christmas in our home.
Just like next year’s.
Are you preparing for Christmas or for the end of the world as we know it? Tell me I'm not the only crazy one who's prepping for both!