tumblr category: creative writing
For most of us, that means getting a live (or just recently live) Christmas Tree. Also, for most of us, we’ve completed this task days or weeks ago. Everyone has their own traditions about this part of the holiday preparations.
When I was growing up, we would go to City Park in my home town on my mother’s birthday, December 5th. There, the Kiwanis Club sold Christmas trees next to the softball field. They were all Scotch Pines—fat, dense trees with seemingly deadly needles just waiting to print tiny, red, prickly spots all over our arms. But the piney smell was intoxicating and immediately put us all in the holiday spirit.
After bringing it home and placing it in the little metal tree stand (Daddy’s job), we began to decorate it. Most of our older glass ornaments had been broken over the years from us toddlers attempting to climb to the top, so, many of them transitioned to plastic or the obligatory homemade decorations. The lights were the old school screw-in, multicolored bulbs, though one year, they were all red at Mama’s request. And the entire tree was practically coated in those thin, metallic strands of tinsel called “icicles”. My older sister, Ann, and my mom insisted they be placed one at a time on each branch. My younger sister, Jane, preferred the clumping technique and I leaned toward the more impressionist style of throwing them and letting them land in any random place, which sometimes meant on the adjacent furniture.
The tree stayed up until January 2nd and the house went back to normal—except for the new toys strewn around the floors of our bedrooms.
These days, the lifelike noble fir comes out of the box and gets assembled on Thanksgiving weekend. Every year has a new theme for the decorations and lights (this year is “Water”). We enjoy the tree through all of the month of December and it doesn’t come down until January 6—The Feast of the Epiphany, AKA, Three Kings Day, AKA, Twelfth Night or “The Twelfth Day of Christmas.” For me growing up in Louisiana, this day marked the beginning a gradual build-up of parties and celebrations culminating on Fat Tuesday—Mardi Gras. It’s a four-day state holiday weekend back home. The next day is Ash Wednesday and since moving to Cincinnati, that means Lenten Friday fish fries. And, of course, this all ends on Easter Sunday.
When I think about it, from the day that I set up the Christmas tree (and even before when I include Thanksgiving), the festivities continue well into spring as we start to celebrate the rebirth of the season and in more religious terms, a spiritual and literal rebirth as well.
We can take this holiday as new starting point. Celebrate with our families, friends and neighbors. Spread joy and cheer and happiness and love. And continue to honor each other everyday. So that when this season is passed and the decorations are all put away, let us keep the spirit of Christmas EVER GREEN in our hearts throughout the year.
Happy Holidays to all!
Let’s keep Christ in Christmas.
Christ is God…
…and if you believe in God
and you know God is everywhere,
Then you know…
God is here: Merry Christmas
…and here: Happy Holidays
…and here: Season’s Greetings
…and here: Happy Hanukkah
…and here: Happy Kwanzaa
How are you?
I love you.
I LOVE YOU.
He is in all that
When we say
We’re not leaving out Christ.
We’re inviting in…
HAPPY HOLIDAYS, EVERYONE!
I just posted a response to a friend’s response to a Facebook status this morning. I know for most and maybe even to her that it will seem argumentative and even a bit snarky. That’s partly true on both counts, but the issue expressed really goes much deeper.
First let me describe the posted exchange. As I am usually apt to do each morning, I posted the day’s unusual holiday/commemorative—today is National Sugar Cookie Day. Along with that (as I also often do) I posted an accompanying video. I mentioned that it evokes the name of my friend, Kitty and that she should take a look. Her response, somewhat begrudgingly, was that she would do so, but not until she got more coffee. Fine…however, as I responded, it disappoints me that I took the time to find this less than 3 minute video and that it should be such a hardship for anyone to actually watch it.
I get it. Not everyone will be interested. Most won’t even want to take the time and effort to read through this post. But it distresses me to some degree that we should be so wrapped up in the chores of everyday life, that we can’t stop for three measly minutes for a little harmless diversion.
Please understand, this is NOT about Kitty. She is a VERY old friend. One I’ve known since first grade and someone who’s become more dear to me since reconnecting through Facebook. She is one of my best friends (of all time). However, I suspect that while she’s a lot like the sister I never needed, I’m more like the buddy that never goes home. I think we know we love each other and there’s very little that can change that. So while the argument may have started with our online exchange, the issue is much greater than that. Not earth-shattering, by any means, but one that seems sadly pervasive in the more and more virtually connective world in which we live.
As I said, I get it. Everyone won’t be interested in everything I post. It’s really only there with the free option to read and/or watch—or not. The thing that bothers me is this. If I start a conversation to a specific person and that person willingly becomes engaged, I expect to have their full (if only full online) attention. Of course, I know there are things going on in the background—that’s real life happening, and we can’t avoid that. But this is supposed to be COMMUNICATION. How can we communicate if we don’t bother to listen to the whole message?
Seriously, though, you don’t have to watch my videos. If I ask you to, presumably because I think they may be of interest, then I hope you will. To me, skipping my parenthetical flotsam once we are engaged in this exchange, is like watching TV during a phone conversation. Or even worse, it’s like texting at the dinner table. I also get it that some of that is part of the real life happening that we can’t see through the internet. So, I’d appreciate it if you could take the time to occasionally look up and acknowledge with an “uh-huh” or an “oh, I see” to let me know you’re still there.
Thanks for reading. Rant over. You may now feel free to move about the webisphere.
Social networking gives too many people the opportunity to hide behind their white hoods of the internet while beating their chests and exclaiming, “What is the world coming to?” These are vampires, blind to their own reflections, sucking the goodness and potential out of everything they touch in the hopes of making more like themselves.