Friday, August 6, 2010

Ode to Joy

The holidays. Love them. Hate them. No one has any money but spends too much. People are crabby and stressed but expected to attend holiday parties and smile and be gay. Deck the halls with bows of holly. With the economy many people I knew were out of work and wondering what kind of Christmas it would be this year. It’s cold outside. We eat too much and drink too much. Love Christmas music but if you listen to the words of some of the songs they really don’t reflect the holidays. Have a Holly Jolly Christmas (no one I know is jolly during that time). I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas (yikes please no - it brings the city to a halt). And work is crazy as it’s the busiest time of year for newspapers so it’s a blessing and a frustration.

My point is, I already have a hard time during the holidays and 2009 was even worse than usual. I was more than broke. Furlough days at work were really creating havoc with my finances. I had to put my angel kitty Charlie down on December 8th after much agony and the urging of my family. We were all missing my step-mother and having to make decisions on the family dinner, traditions, and decorations that she, as our matriarch, had always taken care of. I guess it was time to grow up!

I tried to reflect on this time as a glorious rebirth of our Lord Jesus Christ. I prayed for guidance and meditated for serenity. I do love Christmas hymns that praise the joy of the holiday and the birth of Jesus. I played them often on the stereo. I did some shopping, mostly for my daughter. And I put up a tree hoping it would put me in the spirit.

But I kept wondering, where is my joy? Where is my happy ending? When do things start turning around for me? Another Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve as a single woman. And so depleted of any sense of self that I almost didn’t care and was in some respects relieved I didn’t have to be happy and upbeat for a mate.

How do you get past this period of your life and move into the joyous, happiness that once was? The excitement of Christmas morning and opening your Santa presents that were really from mom and dad? The wonderful smells of turkey and ham cooking. The sounds of family laughing and great conversations? Caroling, snow ball fights, Secret Santa gifts, gloriously decorated houses with lights twinkling in the windows. I wanted it all again but was so far away from it I didn’t know how to find it again.

I really, really prayed that 2010 would be the start of a new, fresh, fun, joylicious year! Just gotta figure out how to get there!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about Christmas. Discussing the songs of the season, you do sound a little like the Grinch :-) but I agree that some of them can be a little unrealistic. Since "Jesus is the reason for the season," my wife and I usually focus on Christmas hymns and carols.

    We can hardly wait, each year, to start playing the many Christmas CD's and tapes we have. And we love to go caroling with a group of friends.

    And if you’ll excuse a brief “commercial:” if you do not have a good book on the subject of our Christmas carols, I encourage you to take a look at mine, Discovering the Songs of Christmas. In it, I discuss the history and meaning of 63 carols and Christmas hymns. The book is available through Amazon, or directly from Jebaire Publishing. (Might make a great gift too!)