"If writers possess a common temperament, it's that they tend to be shy egomaniacs; publicity is the spotlight they suffer for the recognition they crave." Gail Caldwell, from her book "Let's Take The Long Way Around"

"To look life in the face, always to look life in the face and to know it for what it is. At last to know it, to love it for what it is, and then, to put it away. . .always the years. Always the love. Always the hours." From the movie "The Hours", based on the book of the same name by Michael Cunningham

"Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly." Baz Luhrman, "Everybody's Free (to wear sunscreen)"

"A writer can do nothing for men more necessary, satisfying, than just simply to reveal to them the infinite possibility of their own souls." Walt Whitman

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant or talented?’ Actually, who are you not to be?” Marianne Williamson

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Why I Love Christmas (or whatever you prefer to call The Holidays)

Okay, have I mentioned lately that we are in December now?!  I can't believe today is December 2, 2010 and while I have had a firm resolve not to let the holidays interfere with my blogging, I guess they have a little.  As most of you know, I work retail, so my time is taken up working, as opposed to the pleasantries of holiday decorating, card sending, shopping for those I love (okay, well, I've done a little shopping.)  Bottom line is I am still getting over the busy-ness of the retail weekend after Thanksgiving.

I do have a post in progress, but it is not done or ready to be seen by any other human eyes yet, so I actually have been working on it!  I had plans to continue my progress on that post today, but I realized that I need to clear out some of the cobwebs in my brain, so to speak, so either bear with me or just skip this post.  I won't be offended.  Ha, I won't even know, really.

I'm preoccupied with thinking about the limited time off I have this month.  That will be nice for the bank account but in the meantime, how do I appreciate this holiday I love so much?  It has been a challenge almost my entire working life. 

For me, Christmas is not about presents.  I long ago let the frenzy of shopping for people out of some kind of obligation slip away.  The best Christmas Deril and I ever had was the year we decided not to buy any presents, period.  We instead spent whatever money we had on our lovely dinner, decorating the house and treating ourselves to things we might not normally do.  Deril and I have also given up the pretense of shopping for each other, firstly because Deril does not shop, secondly because we usually don't have the immense cash flow needed for such extravagance in one month.  As he pointed out one year, with no kids, we pretty much get whatever it is we really want or need throughout the year.

I do love shopping for the people I love if money permits.  If it doesn't I find some other way to appreciate those people.  I have a knack, if I do say so myself, for picking out just the right gift for just the right person.

But truly, I love the spirit of the season.  I love the idea that for one month out of the year it is generally acceptable to focus on hope and the miracles that the universe has brought us or might bring us in the year to come.  I am truly blessed.  I have a loving husband - the man of my dreams - a loving family, a roof over my head, a job and food to eat.  I am so much more fortunate than so many others in the world, than so many others just down the street from me.

In this economy, while I hope for all of us it is turning around, my wish for everyone is that they take care of themselves this year.  By that I mean, don't max your credit cards.  Don't go gift crazy.  I know it's hard if you have kids and I certainly don't want to deprive them of the magic of the holiday, but if you are able to pay a bill that is long overdue instead of participating in that office white elephant party, then pay the bill.  Give yourself and your family the peace of mind that comes with taking care of your financial business.  Spend time together, reminisce together, create a tradition.  Donate canned food.  Pay every creditor you have $5 if that's all you can do, but take care of yourselves.  You deserve it.  You have worked hard this year, and I certainly would not want to be the reason you can't make your car insurance bill this month. 

Miracles can happen, and there is hope for peace on earth.  And karma will come back to you in ways you can never imagine.

PS:  If you can find a copy of Baz Luhrman's "song" "Everybody's Free" (also known as "The Speech Song"), get it.  I listen to it everyday to remind myself of what is important.

Happy Holidays!

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