'Tis the Season To Be Jolly

Well, 'tis, 'tisn't it?

Last year, I didn't really enjoy the whole holiday season. I don't fully know why. The holidays are not an easy time for many people for myriad reasons. Personally, I was annoyed with the weather- we had tornado sirens going off the on the 1st (c'mon!), then it snowed, got frigid out, snowed and then, just to mix things up, snowed. Maybe it was the hour long line at Woodfield for our annual photo with the Big Guy (how I abhor lines). Perhaps it was the stress of making Christmas special for my kids, or that I always miss my stepfather George this time of year- he would sing Christmas carols loudly for all to hear. It's all of that really, then you sprinkle in shopping and crowds, and debt. Hhmmm, do they still even sell Calgon?

Even Scott commented on my mood last year after Christmas, saying I just didn't seem like myself, and I had to agree. It wasn't the most wonderful time of the year for me.

There is just so much do do-on top of shopping: the parties. The wrapping. The baking. The decorations. But then, there's the winter wonderland of lighted houses. Seeing the kids make out their Wish Lists and marveling at the decorations we unearth that they made when they were younger. That's precious.

It's no coincidence that several, varied religions all found something special about this time of year and they celebrated it. The Winter Solstice with the promise of longer days ahead (yay, light!). The Yule Log and the decorating of the trees. The lighting of candles. Celebrating the birth of a miraculous baby. I still marvel that this joining of beliefs has culminated into a month of TV specials, carols, candy canes, Santa and one big day (or 8 days) of presents and family. How did that happen?

I'm not gonna get all New Age-y  "look at me, I've had health issues and I'm appreciating life so much more" on you. But I am gonna tell you to slow down and smell the pine. Try to get your shopping done early so you have the leisure to enjoy yourself. Make some Glug (mulled wine), put on some carols and lay under the tree, or gaze at your Menorah, and squint your eyes til the lights blur together, smile and breathe.

(PS health update postponed til next week, as I see the cardiologist Monday. I am on a heart monitor with the little leads attached to me (totally to be the new fashion statement of 2012!). I'm actively having irregular beats-and I get to see them currently!, so we'll see what the pro says is next).

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