By Maureen Blaseckie
It is crunch time in the annual Christmas solo relay race. When you swing out of bed each morning feeling like the “before” picture in the toilet cleaner ads and haven’t gotten as far as the bathroom light before you’ve made at least three separate mental lists of things you need to do before noon. And then comes a voice crying in the wilderness – “Mommmm, I think the dog did something on the floor and I just stepped in it…” Rather than asking whether it went splash or splat, you just start another list.
But enough about my day.
This is also the time of year for greetings and wishes to friends, family, near, dear and far. It is difficult to be original right now but that is also why there is so much tradition involved with the season. So here goes.
To everyone who recognizes the need at this time of year to take a few minutes for reflection on where we have been, where we are going and allow a little thankfulness into their hearts, I hope you find those few minutes. In this world, even a few people taking the time to be actively quiet can make a difference.
If you want to give thanks for the victory of the sun over darkness; commemorate the miracle of the Maccabees’ rededication of the Temple or indulge in the Christian birthday celebration, this seems the right time of year for it. Let’s not fight anymore over what this time of year is called because it just gets too silly. You call it Kwanza, I call it Christmas and Canadian Tire calls it a healthy profit margin. Mention it again and I’ll be forced to send you the paper on the “Cross-Cultural Origins of Mid-Winter Feasts and Festivals in the Northern Hemisphere” I wrote for a social history course. After that one the Prof told me I’d never have to write a paper for him again. Made me promise I wouldn’t, as a matter of fact.
It’s a tough time of year for people living in financially difficult circumstances. Food banks can at least feed the body and there are big campaigns to fill their shelves at this time but they struggle year round to meet the growing need. My wish for them is that more people will remember we need a little Christmas in the summer months, too.
The street I live on is into Christmas lights in a big way. Each year we go all out to win the highest accolade our local daily paper can award an Esquimalt neighborhood – 2nd place in their annual Winter Festival of Electric Illumination Displays of Conspicuous Consumption.
At the beginning of December the gang was out with ladders and extension poles hanging huge snowflakes from trees lining the streets. Any of the elderly neighbors or those otherwise reluctant to scamper up a ladder fretted not as they knew someone would come by to hang their lights for them. It is friendly and a neighborly way to open our doors to the spirit of the season.
Then a group of grinches in training decided to help themselves to the snowflakes. And to grab some other decorations and collect as many hot light bulbs as they could stand. One neighbor chased the lads and recovered some of the snowflakes. The next day I saw what looked like candies on the street. Broken bulbs, it turned out. Looked pretty, I guess, and obviously a bunch of fun to smash on the pavement.
At first I wanted to find these kids and administer a little Biblical justice. It’s hard to remember they are just puppies who’ve reached a rather unattractive stage of life. Then it occurred to me probably they’ve experienced a lot of anger already in their lives. Even if it isn’t part of their family life, it’s on TV, in their music, everywhere in the world around them.
These kids don’t need any more anger. They will remember that night when they are older and standing in a line with their babies to see Santa or every time their 2 yr old squeaks with delight at the sight of Christmas lights. And when that happens, I hope they help an elderly neighbor put up Christmas lights, do a volunteer shift at a Salvation Army Kettle or take a moment to be thankful. My wish for them is the cure to anger: I wish them happiness and, corny as it sounds, I wish them love.
Now, let's see, I have to get wrapping paper, organize the gifts in ascending alphabetical order, vacuum the dog, take the kids for a walk, re-point the bricks in the chimney. After lunch: replace head gasket on car…
Enjoy the season.
Unfortunately this post got a bit lost in the madness of the season and didn't get it's fair share of time in the RBU limelight! We hope you'll pop over to Maureen's site to let her know you got a chance to read it...even if it came a wee bit after the holidays!