For me the Christmas season can bring dueling emotions.
Many Christmas seasons I feel melancholy and apathetic. I immensely dislike crowds and the bumping, the pushing, shoving and self-absorption. Can you say manners? The exceedingly long checkout lines drive me insane. Don’t even get me started on the traffic and trying to find a parking space.
Then of course there is the overindulgence of food, drink and Christmas cheer. Which leads to post holiday weight gain – and broken New Year resolutions to get fit and eat healthy. Most years I feel that holiday commercialism raises its head much to early. I mean really, the “Holiday” season begins shortly before Halloween if not around Labor Day!
All decorations are hauled out and the halls are decked. However, everything that is put up and out must be taken down and put away. Then there is political correctness, what do you say? Have a wonderful Winter break, Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas? Heaven forbid we indicate to people our beliefs in our statements for a merry season. And then there is an intense desire for every little detail to be perfect. Folks, my Christmases are usually more like the Griswold’s than the Rockwell’s. Christmas is not “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!” So take a break Nat King Cole!
Sorry Nat, I got a little worked up. Let me tell you about the lighter side of the duel.
I love the lights, the merriment, the music (in moderation), I love finding the perfect gift I know you’ll adore. I usually enjoy baking a plethora of goodies to share with neighbors, friends and family. I know I may be strange but, I actually crave the snow and cold so I can layer on the clothing. I adore watching my dog frolic unabashedly in fresh snow. She never fails to bring a smile to my face and heart. For me snow brings quiet joy and hope for renewal. I can be still and listen to the sound of the snow falling. It actually makes a noise – have you heard it?
Have you ever taken a horse driven sleigh ride on a cold clear night? How about hunting for your Christmas tree in the woods? Then going home with your towering green booty, (or maybe you prefer one that resembles Charlie Browns.) to a bone warming wood fire.
Then there’s the heart-string pulling kindness of strangers that I see or read about. These acts of kindness temporarily restore my faith in humanity. But mostly, the lighter side of the season comes because, I am a believer in the Reason for the season.
This year I am grateful that my darker side has been scarcely seen. My Scrooge and bah-humbug have kept their distance.
I pray the season finds you in good health, surrounded by those you hold dear and with a song in your heart. If not, take heart that nothing good or bad lasts forever, that this too shall pass.