Monday, November 2, 2009

Bring on the Holidays

It's finally starting to feel like Christmas—or at least Christmas as it looks to me. I was starting to think the whole thing would pass me by this year. Usually I am well into end-of-year-holiday mode in October, but this year, having ended a 99-day cross-country research trip and landed unexpectedly in Niagara Falls, NY, it felt nothing like usual. We moved into this apartment and tried to get settled. We had a week of fall-like weather and then it got warm again. But somehow, yesterday morning, I woke up and felt Christmas coming on. Now, I should be clear that what I mean by “Christmas” is not really what other people mean. I am not a Christian and Christmas has nothing to do with the birth of Jesus for me. It is more about taking time to get quiet and go within myself. I love the darkness—it's my time of year when the daylight hours are short and the weather is cold. Long, sunny, warm days are days I hate. So in winter, I can relax and enjoy the peace and quiet that seems to come along with the cold and dark. I find it refreshing and necessary for my own well-being. I find that I really have to have this time of year in order to recharge myself and get ready for the year to come. The last three months of the year are when I reconnect with myself. For other people, spring seems to be associated with rebirth, but for me it is definitely December. I always end up feeling reborn then. So it is certainly an important time of year for me. I spend a great deal of time listening to music and creating things for the holidays. I like to make ornaments and gifts. I give some to people I care about and spend a lot of time thinking about them as I am making things for them. I make some stuff to just give away to people I don't know very well, if at all. It's just part of the season. There's a different vibe in the air. And I find that I crave it. I look for it. And when I wasn't finding it on schedule, I was feeling a bit of panic about it.
The past few years have seen me sort of not have much of a holiday season. I had a bad reaction to pollutants in the Klamath Falls air last year and then when that was over, Bill got sick. The year before I had a bad work schedule and was exhausted trying to work long shifts and do the usual holiday stuff. I didn't get to do some of it and that really made a difference in how I experienced the season. This year, I had to give away most of my Christmas stuff because we were making this trip. I got it down to one box, but that box is sitting in a friend's garage and won't be here for Christmas, so I am starting from scratch. I won't be able to watch my many versions of A Christmas Carol. I won't hang up all of the ornaments I have made over the years. It won't be usual. And I am thinking that maybe this will be a good thing. It will force me to do things in a new way instead of just kind of doing things as I have always done them. So I have lots of new ornaments planned. I can stitch them, hang them up, listen to my winter music, and have my special time of the year. Since I was flooded with ideas yesterday, I have no shortage of projects lined up. So it's beginning to feel a lot like pre-Christmas. What a relief!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You touch on one of my pet peeves. Every time I hear about the light coming to chase away the darkness, I think about how we need darkness to grow. Plants grow from seeds in the darkness; babies grow in the darkness of the mother's womb. We need darkness as well as light. Without darkness growth could not start, without light it would not continue. Dark does not equal bad!