Sunday, 21 December 2008

My Town Monday

I am wondering what kinds of things people did, or will do, for others this season?

I know the news is full of the economic crisis, cutbacks, job losses, how to cut back in Christmas spending habits, doom and gloom about one thing or another. Weary eastern travellers are sleeping overnight in airports, train and bus stations hoping for a ride to see friends and family. For many, the The Star reported, it is a Blue Christmas.

I'm having a tough time! I keep recalling the family photos. The good old days of yore when we attended church, candlelight services, and the giant turkeys. Those days are gone when the town clears out as snowbirds take off to warmer climes. Restaurants are closing for winter. Things are pretty quiet!

There are many great stories about 'the best Xmas ever', great Xmas foods, where to shop, picking the family Christmas tree (we always used to go and cut ours down!), and so on. Colin & Justin are telling us how to have a 'manly' Christmas and how to decorate a festive table. There are DoItYourself Christmas card ideas for the notsocrafty. Sandra (Between Friends) is having a hard time getting things done. Lyzzydee created the prettiest Christmas card. Dear Andrew Steele has published a list of books to buy politicos. Jean has posted Season's Greetings from Fallow Dear Reserve. Judy in Kentucky has decorated and shopped, also advocated for the Toys for Tots group. Heidelweiss has become a noblog - blogger burnout? Many are attending their children's school assemblies and great performances! I remember those...we once wrote and performed the 12 Days of Holidays.

But as times change, traditions must evolve and adapt to circumstances. Not everyone is able to have the story-book Christmas. Many need help and could use a friend. Most days are the same in institutions, although the staff really are cheerier. We made it a point to take a gift basket in on Christmas Eve to the emergency ward in the local hospital where my poor husband spent several visits. Such great people, as he dealt with the impact of having a chronic nosebleed while taking aspirin.

We have to remember that any are unable to find food, clothing and shelter, let alone peace, health, happiness, and a Christmas card celebration. Many do not uphold this secular holiday, either. For those with frail or ailing family members, dysfunctional families or family members with serious health or emotional issues, all has an impact on their holiday celebration.

After divorce or bereavement, traditional celebration can and do change. Do not attempt to do what you did before financially, spiritually or emotionally. Do only what you can manage. Give yourself permission to build new traditions. When I counselled my elementary students we would celebrate their traditional Christmas Eve pizza, in one family, as much as the great food festivals that Eid-ul-fitr, or Hanukkah would bring. It is good to have time away from work and school.

My favourite Christmas tail is below...Sady is grown up now - but it was a funny story. Not unlike Junosmom's windy tale of woe.


debra said...

One of our 3 dogs is a toy poodle that wavers between thinking she's
large dog and a cat. She plays with little things left out. She would definitely identify with the cat in the video.
Stay warm!

Barbara Martin said...

Your heart's in the right place. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Junosmom said...

This Christmas, we will be home which is a first for us. I am looking forward to it!