Ahoy, friends!! I have had a couple of reminders recently about Christmas holiday burdens and joys. Haven’t we all!! Before you run off in reaction to my Happy Holidays inclusion thoughts, be assured that this is not exactly that. You don’t have to be excluded from my inclusion!! There’s plenty of room in here.
I used to feel so sorry for my cousins who lived in the desert and only had Christmas snow as a fluke. I felt sorry for myself not having a tree last year at all. As kids, we all felt a pang for our Jewish friends who didn’t get to experience the full Kris Kringle. This year, I shopped for a family that can’t shop for each other, even though I have no business buying gifts at all.
All these things have in common a perversion of Christmas: that it should be neatly summed up by a very, very specific version of the holiday: all jolly, cold, abundant, standard and “normal” family included. Why did we ever think that? My crew used to impersonate a standard family, but we never were standard. Why try to be otherwise? Why try to jam your round family into a square box?
Our church has added a Blue Christmas service for people who are having a sad season. I love it. Why force anyone into the joy corner just because the calendar reaches a designated joy spot? This has also made me recognize that while I am having some joy, I am also mourning a lot of people with whom I have spent Christmases. Those bummers just keep on bubbling and plenty of other emotions may show up within plenty of other contexts.
In some ways, Christmas is just a day, but it’s also a breath of hope, or it can be hopeful if you like hope.
So with that in mind, I would like to wish you peace for whatever you are having. Please don’t sweat the uncooperative toddler train garden or the lonesome desert Hanukah–unless you want to sweat, of course.
I hope you find love under every tree, even the scrubby and unattractive trees, and I hope you find a way to truly love yourself everywhere else, also.
Another book? What’s it about?
This tree isn’t going to decorate another tree, ya know.
Boo caught a mouse the other night and in the mighty battle, unplugged the Christmas tree. Figures. If you want to sponsor an ornament for this situation, you can!! If you want to send me a picture to cut out and put on the tree, that could happen, too!! I probably don’t have time to color anything because it would take too long to find my art supplies right now. Ho Ho Ho Boy!!
2 Replies to “Peaceful Prelude to Your Season”
Nice essay, Forty years ago, some college friends of mine would have a Blue Xmas party, not for those that were sad, but for twenty year olds wanting something different. They rented two rooms in a Holiday Inn and filled the bath tub with Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer. The stereo played a lot of MIles Davis’s Blue Christmas. The coolest part was that these two rooms were right at the end of the arrow on the Great Sign, and there was an elevated freeway running 40′ away from these 3rd floor rooms.
Bums would gather with their push carts and wave for us to throw them our empty cans, but we didn’t figure that two rooms bought us that right.
That is awesome!! Thanks for sharing!! These days, it’s almost a reflex for me to tell 20-somethings that they don’t have anything to be blue about, but then again — oh, the 20s are brutal in a very special way. My peers used to rent hotel suites for parties, but I stayed away because I was sure it would end in handcuffs. They were cagey, though, and I think the worst that ever happened was a ban from the worst hotel in College Park.