Random thoughts–I have lots of those!
Lately, I’ve been thinking about…Christmas! Yes, I am one of those who loves all things Christmas, regardless of the time of year. While I don’t like to see the commercial world taking advantage of my favorite holiday, at the same time, seeing all the pre-lit Christmas trees and decorations at Sam’s Club and other stores makes me as excited as a little girl, at least on the inside. Well, mostly on the inside. A little exuberance does escape, probably to the mild annoyance of my family. Too bad, ya Scrooges! 😉
Christmas stuff seems to come out earlier and earlier every year, but I have to wonder if that’s just our perception. Maybe I should mark it on the calendar and do my own little, unofficial, unscientific study. I won’t–who am I kidding–but it does make me a little curious. I often wonder if Christmas starts early in the stores based on what’s going on in the world outside of the shopping areas or maybe we just notice it more because we want it to come faster.
As we all know, and when I say “all” I do mean all-over-the-world “all”, we Americans are going through some major…drama, if you will: elections. Let’s just say it: politics suck and so do most governments, if not initially, then eventually. I think it’s all due to the inherent greed of mankind–greed for power, money, notoriety. Mix in some arrogance–pride, narcissism, whatever you want to call it–and you have a recipe for corruption. Meanwhile, we the peons–I mean–people, hope that we can change things with our votes. Then we wonder if that’s even the case, anymore, especially with the ignorance of many of our fellow citizens and the propaganda that seems rampant in much of our news media. The news is disheartening in general, especially since negative news is what sells, even if it isn’t the prevalent bent of the day. There is still much good in the world and while the negatives, the evil, the bad news is all we see and hear on the news, we can choose to shut it off and focus on better things–like Christmas and the holiday season–if for nothing else than our own sanity.
For me, the holidays are all about family, friends, gathering, eating, drinking, giving, and just good times, in general. It’s uplifting to think about the decorations, the sounds, scents, and to focus on what’s really important in life. It’s also comforting in troubled times, as it’s something to look forward to, something that gives hope and anticipation of better times. Yes, we should also turn to God for our hope; for me that goes without saying, as I believe that God is still here and He is sovereign, regardless of how much we choose to screw this world up and over, but the holidays are still part of what gives me hope and joy and helps to improve my attitude.
I tend to have a positive, silver-lining attitude, but when the world inundates you with all the negative and often downright evil trash, it is easy to start to get sucked into despondency. I’m a fighter, though, and aside from God and faith being my shield, I also use the good things in life to build a bit of a wall to help escape worldly ills, even if only temporarily. Perhaps escape is the wrong term, after all the bad stuff is still there and must be dealt with; focus may be a better word. I focus on the good: the simple things in nature and life– the beautiful, warm, sunny weather (although we are in the midst of a pretty serious drought and some rain would be awesome!), flowers, butterflies, birds, the cows and their newborn calves, the stars at night, the breeze blowing through the trees, sunsets, ocean waves, walking barefoot on soft sand or grass, the scent of fallen leaves or wood smoke, moonlit night skies, the calls and sight of Canada geese flying in formation, laughter, good conversation, spending time with ones we love and care for, and so on…all that is truly important in the grand scheme of things. The holidays personify that in a certain regard and the retail world knows it and of course capitalizes on it. For many people, though, it’s not just about the buying of “stuff”, it’s the good that the season represents, the hope for something better and a happier state of being–joy and a certain innocence; simpler times, if there really is such a thing.
When times are tough, economically, politically, etc., it seems that the emphasis on the holidays starts sooner, whether in the stores, on social media, or in our own thoughts. It certainly has for me. I’m so sick of what’s been going on in our country and the world, that I’m looking to Thanksgiving and especially Christmas for some comfort. Then, it’ll be the New Year, where we say good-bye to the old and hope for better with the new. For now, though, I am most looking forward to Christmas, already contemplating how to decorate this new house, what new decorations to make or buy, when I will have our Christmas open-house, who I will invite, what to make, where to put our two large dogs while the guests are here, and so on. I’d also love it if it snows for this Christmas. Now, there’s high hopes–unrealistic for this part of the country, especially considering the hot weather we’ve been having. One can always hope though, can’t they?