Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Chill Out This Christmas
This is what modern society has done to Christmas. It's hard to avoid that feeling at Christmas that sucks the joy out of you and leaves you exhausted. This week I feel overwhelmed, to say the least, with things I have to do, attend, make, prepare, buy, etc. I've been running around for the past few days trying to get everything done. Meanwhile, I can feel myself slipping off the point a bit. Next thing I know, my five year old is telling me to "Chill, Mama."
On Saturday, we go to my grandmother's house in the Poconos. My aunt, who lives next door to her, is throwing her a party for her 85th birthday. On our way there, as we're entering the mountains, the landscape changes abruptly. It is so shockingly different and beautiful, that I pull out my camera and stick it out the window. (Don't try that while you drive.) The picture (shown here) doesn't do the scene justice. It is like we're driving through an ice world; it's shimmering in the sunlight. All of nature is frozen solid because of the altitude. It is stunningly beautiful, and so refreshing, after seeing miles of barren trees and grey ground. In an instant, nature changes perspective.
Advent, the weeks leading up to Christmas Day, is a time when people are invited to change their habits of thinking. If we're looking for the beauty of Christmas and finding only frustration and disappointment, maybe a perspective adjustment is necessary. Seeing this beautiful ice world really brings that point home to me.
It is my job to walk my grandmother over to her party. She's busy with the usual routines: feeding me and my family this huge spread for lunch, loading the dishwasher and cleaning the sink. Meanwhile, my aunts are calling me on the phone telling me to get her over because everyone is waiting. Then grandma goes into her room to get ready. I feel bad rushing her. When we finally walk into my aunt's den, a jazz band plays Happy Birthday. All my grandmother's cute lady friends are there, and many family members. Four generations honor Grandma, because she is a very special person who has given of herself completely to her friends and family her entire life. She is shocked, to say the least, and glassy-eyed all night. "You are very important person to me, grandma," I say, as we hug. She grabs both my hands, obviously moved by the night's event, and replies. "You don't know how important you are to me." It's been a while since I saw grandma 'choked up' with joy. This is what Christmas is all about, honoring Jesus through loving one another.
If you click on the first story I wrote on this blog, in March, called "Save the Homemakers," you'll see a picture of my grandma.
Dear Internet Traveler,
Welcome to my writer's blog, started about six years ago for fun. Over time, the writing I have posted has ranged from personal reflection, to Long Island history research, to tall tales for my own amusement, to feature articles for local newspapers. As you can see from topics listed here, I travel in many mental directions in regard to interests. Click on the tabs and labels to explore my strange mind which senses that you may be having a criss-cross day. If so, perhaps this blog will distract you. However, please note that if you tell me my blog is beautiful just to get me to advertise rhinoplasty surgery and cheap drugs from Canada in your comment, I will ask the gods to give you a tail that cannot be concealed.