Today, December 26, is one of my favorite days of the year. I've had a wonderful time celebrating with my family and friends, and I'm so grateful for them, but I'm always relieved when Christmas is over. Christmas starts too soon and goes on too long, beginning with Thanksgiving. A time of year which should be restful and easy--we've worked hard all year, we're tired, it's dark and cold out, let's rest!--becomes frantic and fraught. An example: My sister told me the mall near her home had to be evacuated one night because there were too many people--fear of the second floor of the mall collapsing.
There are also many people who aren't having such a great heehaw of a social whirl during Thanksgiving and Christmas. They are out of a job or out of luck with love or just plain out of it, not well, depressed, and they can feel even more depressed about the fact that they aren't participating in the over-done scheme of Silver Bells for the duration of the season. My husband is a chef, and he works nonstop this time of year, listening to the Christmas soundtrack for weeks . Good for business, but he gets exhausted. As soon as Halloween hits, I shiver even though it's usually still warm here in California. I like pumpkins. Unfortunately, when I see them in the grocery store, I think, Oh, no, here it comes. I wish I didn't have that feeling: an orange Ugh. A few weeks later, though, I put on my mental Santa Hat and shift into Holiday Spirit Gear. I try to do my best and enjoy the festivities, and I do. I don't want to let my family down, but frankly, it's all too much of the same daze of holidaze in a row. Let's have Thanksgiving in November, Christmas in January, and the New Year in March. Some breathing room.
I don't want to write a rant about Christmas. I like my tree, I like the decorations, gingerbread is a brilliant invention, and I spend at least two or three moments in December reflecting on the real reason for Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ. I like Jesus, he's taught me something major, mainly to be a loving human being and not kill my neighbor, to turn the other cheek, and that the meek will inherit the earth, so I'd better be nice and not so naughty. I try. I look back over the year at my blunders and absurdities and vow to do better. I go to yoga class more often during December and meditate on my intention to stop feeding the dark wolf and throw more to the good wolf instead (see story below). I guess these words will be on my tombstone: She tried.
Here's what I think about New Year's Eve: Oh, no, now it's New Year's Eve. But then I drink a glass of champagne at the restaurant where my husband works, and I eat a great dinner with my friends, and then we come back to my house and play music. Guitars, harmonica, singing in crazy harmony together. I'm learning Auld Lang Syne and You Belong to Me on the guitar for this year's New Year's Eve Hootenanny.
2011. Sounds like science fiction.
Happy New Year to the wolves.
An old man was teaching his grandson about life:
"A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy. "It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.
"One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego.
"The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope,
serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.
"This same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"
The old man replied, "The one you feed."
Causes Susan Browne Supports
Run Together, A Race to Raise Money for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society