Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Spirit

This is a hard thing to say but I have a love and hate relationship with Christmas. I love it. I truly do. But there are moments and even some days when I hate it.  Those are the days when I feel that I am totally behind in my preparations, when I feel that my list of things to do will never get done (it never does), when I worry about traveling in bad conditions (our families are not nearby) and when everything else in life is preoccupying me.

Maybe that's why I love the movie 'National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation' with Chevy Chase so much.  I can really identify with his attempts at creating a perfect Christmas for his family.

One solution is definitely to try and do less.  I suppose scaled-down preparations, fewer presents and a less grumpy mother at Christmas could be a gift. :) Also to concentrate on what's truly important.

We do have our tree up now and it is exquisitely beautiful--I think our nicest yet. We go and cut our tree down each year, a tradition started a long time ago by my Mom and Dad.
Somehow we managed to find the time amid school projects, commitments and my husband's insane work schedule to cut our tree down on Sunday.
The decorations aren't quite finished so the boxes are still out. My elves go to high school during the day.
Did I mention that my elves are pretty?
Actually pretty goofy. :)
I own over 1200 Christmas songs.  (So you see that I do love Christmas.)  I listen to all sorts of genres.  Here's a song that I keep playing lately.  It's by a Canadian country singer named Jessie Farrell.  The song is called 'Christmas in My House'. The message is a good one for people like me.


Another song that I really love is by American singer/songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter. It's called 'Christmas Carol' and it's from her album 'Come Darkness, Come Light'.  There's a sad undertone to it but it's really quite beautiful. It's a song about trying to reconcile her sense of Christmas as an adult with fuzzy childhood memories, commercialism, environmental change and world events. I couldn't find a video of it  but here are the lyrics and I encourage you to buy her song and listen to the lovely lyrics along with her soothing voice.

The week before Thanksgiving Day 
This town puts up its old display 
Streetlights hung with candy canes and bows 
The earlier it gets each year 
The scarcer is my Christmas cheer 
I guess I just like taking these things slow 

I really don't remember much 
Of Christmases growing up 
Except the year the Beatles came to play 
On my record player that came from Sears 
That White Album filled my ears 
In 1968 on Christmas Day.

I haven't been to church since God knows when 
I'm not someone who usually attends 
Truth be told there's just two wishes 
On my list every Christmas 
Peace on earth and a snow storm now and then

Now I pray that peace comes in our time 
It's hard enough to keep from crying 
When every bit of news just breaks your heart 
The same old stories, same old songs 
We dust them off when Christmas comes 
And for one day we just try to do our part 

And around here winter seems to come 
With rain and mud and bits of sun 
It's not exactly Currier and Ives
I don't mind cold if it brings snow 
Alberta Clippers come and go 
But a dusting would make everything all right

Perhaps a Christmas eve from long ago 
Delivered Christmas day with knee-high snow 
It's something lost but not forgotten 
Like candy hidden in a stocking 
That makes me every year wish it were so 

Because Christmas is for children's joy 
For every single girl and boy 
That's the truth we come to understand 
But the memories that don't let go 
Like Beatles songs and falling snow 
Can make us feel innocent again 

And maybe next year we won't go insane 
When they rush to hang the bows and candy canes 
Because peace will shine in me and you 
From Bethlehem to Timbuktu 
Even if the forecast is for rain 

Because peace will shine in me and you
From Bethlehem to Timbuktu 
Even if the forecast is for rain


Here's hoping that you find whatever makes sense to you as the Christmas spirit in the days ahead, no matter what is happening in your life or the world around you. 

6 comments:

  1. I think most women have that relationship. So much work, such high expectations. The commercials on TV don't help. And for those of us with extended family far, far away...
    I try to keep it simple too and always welcome January.

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  2. We try to keep it simple, my parents & my inlaws always made too much for that day.
    the one thing I'll try to keep as long as possible is our advent activity calendar ... I know my boys won't want to do it for long when they'll be teens. :(
    Your girls are so pretty indeed. :)
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sonia--Keeping things simple is a good thing but sometimes hard to do (for me). We try though.

    I think your advent tradition with the daily crafts is wonderful and I can imagine your boys carrying that on with their families someday.

    ReplyDelete
  4. most beautiful elves i have seen
    and your tree
    is
    spectacular
    i have to wait for my elves to come home from university before we go cut our tree down

    ReplyDelete
  5. Margie--Thanks! I don't look forward to my elves going away to university but the reunions must be wonderful. :)

    ReplyDelete

Thanks so much for taking the time to visit my blog and to leave me a comment. I love reading them. -- Kathleen

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