Christmas came on quick, didn’t it? It came along in a panic, caused hysteria. Made people do mad things they shouldn’t. This year I opted out of Christmas. I just couldn’t do it anymore. The obligation of gifts required on a certain day for certain, particular people threw me off. It really did. I guess it starts with this whole Black Friday business. Mobs of people rushing in, to bash people, trample each other for a flat screen TV at a low price turned me off. And I made a vow right then and there. No more Christmas presents. NOPE! We’ve all lost the entire (crucial!) meaning behind Christmas.
I take this view. Thanksgiving comes along and we all wonderfully remind ourselves of how blessed our lives are. We are THANKFUL for the blessings we have. And then, a short month later, we’re given the chance to hand back those blessings, to give back the great things we’ve been handed in life. WE GIVE BACK. Not trinkets and gadgets.
I had a number of people who asked me what I wanted for Christmas. It didn’t take me long to think, “I’ve got rent ready for next month, the lights are on, and I have some food….but, I know others don’t. So, please PLEASE any dollar you might have spent on me for Christmas, please donate instead to your local Second Harvest Food Bank, or your local homeless shelter.” So that is my new tradition. No more Christmas presents. From here on out, Christmas would be about giving, REAL giving to those in need…..and not smacking each other down for the best deal on an iPhone. No more presents under the tree, but rather, watching those lights on the tree as a metaphor for the splendid beauty, the small bits of light we quietly offer the world quietly. Those lights should be reminders of little moments all brightly shining in a world that can often be dark. And the more lights…..the better!
Even I was burned down by Christmas. I busted as hard as I could to get orders out in time, but I slowed SLOWWWWED down hard. Perhaps it was the stress? But, this much I’ll tell you. The minute Christmas came and went, a flood of bears left this little apartment of mine. Yep! As of 26 December I was…..a mad man knitting and bears were being whipped up like crazy. There was a pressure that was released the minute Christmas was over that allowed to me work diligently, comfortably, and with a sense of ease.
Christmas Day was great. I spent it alone. And Kevin Potter and his lovely bride insisted I treat myself to a wonderful Christmas Dinner. And so I did. I had a treat. Pho! If you’re not familiar with it, Google it and I promise you, if given the chance, have a bowl and enjoy yourself.
George gave me a little rosemary bush, about 10 inches high, which we decorated with Mardi Gras beads. BOOM! DONE! There’s my Christmas tree. It was quite the simple, little sight. I liked my little tree.
Then it was a touch cool, a bit chilly. (about 60 here, which can be rough on skin accustomed to the feel of a warm and friendly 80) so I cranked up the space heater. Mario even felt a bit cool and feel asleep in a contorted way under the table by the space heater. Then I had myself a little James Bond marathon. It was a great Christmas. A wonderful Christmas. It was spent thankfully with all of you.
You’ve all made this a wonderful year for me. Every single one of you. So, to say I spent Christmas alone is only half true. I spent it with you…..thinking about you, hoping you were all well, hoping you know how much you mean to me. I had yarn I worked up, thanks to you. I had food in my belly, thanks to you. And I had safety and comfort curled up with little Mario with not a care in the world for a day, thanks to YOU.
Its about 6am on the 3rd of January 2014. Its going to be a good year. Did you know tomorrow is my birthday? I’ll be 41. I plan to spend it with some fried chicken, potato salad, cole slaw, a few beers, and some croquet with George and Kara.
These are good days. Let’s not any one of us forget…..these are good days. Hold tight to the hand of someone you love and just squeeze as hard as you can and remember, these are good days. When simple things like a goofy laugh and a bowl of soup are just the thing to make you content, then these are good days. When a little bush with a set of beads on it reminds you that the Christmas spirit is about love and compassion, then these are good days…..and when you catch a great shot of your cat sprawled under a table and that’s all you need to make your holiday worthwhile, then you know, deep in your grinning heart that these are REALLY REALLY good days.
Happy new year!