Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle and become overwhelmed throughout December and the holidays. There never seems to be enough days in the month and we may feel the loss of loved ones who are no longer with us harder to bear. Some even call it the Christmas Blues. If we don’t watch it, it can pull us down and we become oblivious to the beauty around us. It is kind of how I was feeling this month.
Terri, Christina and I are busy preparing for our annual Christmas issue and New year’s issue. Once again we are in search of submissions to fill the paper, such as, area children Letters to Santa, Christmas wishes, Favorite recipes, poems, short stories, Christmas traditions that have been passed on through generations, Christmas messages from our clergy, messages from area council and anything else that has to do with Christmas. This time of year we are also busy designing Christmas greeting advertisements for our local businesses. It always helps me get into a joyful festive mood. If you have ever read any of my columns over the past 20 years, you know I am a big kid when it comes to Christmastime. But for some reason, up until last week, try as I might, I could not seem to get into the Christmas spirit. I had watched my favorite Christmas shows, I set up our Christmas tree with my children, and brought some of my favorite keepsake ornaments out to place throughout our home. The kids and I even went through the ever-so-small Sears Wish Book as they picked out some items to put on their Santa wish lists. These are the things that usually fills my love tank until it is overflowing. However, this year I felt stressed and doom and gloom seemed to be hanging over me when I usually feel merry with glee.
Then last week when the snow hit on Monday, I sat by my tree in my favorite recliner, looking outside watching the snow glisten as it gently fell, while sipping on my hot chocolate listening to the holiday channel as my girls played on the floor by the fireplace with Bears and Patches, our two new furry additions to the family.
As I glanced around the room I stopped at my tree and memories of my sister and I doing something similar came flooding back. Mom was busy in the kitchen and Wanda and I were coloring in our coloring books on the coffee table as we sat on the floor listening to Elvis Blue Christmas on my mom and dad’s cabinet style record player. Chrissy was on the floor on a blanket next to the tree playing with her dolls. I can still picture that Christmas tree. It would be considered a ‘Charlie Brown Tree’ compared to the real looking fake Christmas trees of today – but to me, it was the most beautiful tree I had ever seen. Back then I couldn’t imagine anyone ever feeling blue at Christmastime. There was so much to be thankful for.
That is when Britney, my eight-year-old, said, “Mom, you are having a pretty good day aren’t you?” I looked at her and thought I must have been daydreaming and missed our conversation. I asked her to explain what she meant to which she replied, “Well, today Daddy bought you that beautiful big red poinsettia bouquet and I made you an ‘I love you’ card.” My heart leapt out of my chest as I looked down at her beautiful blue eyes and realized she was absolutely right.
I had been focusing on the negatives instead of seeing the positives that were all around me. Negative thoughts such as the added expense of Christmas gifts, the dread of shopping in the busy stores and grouchy shoppers pushing to get through, not to mention the neverending ‘to do’ list such as sending Christmas cards out, working on the Christmas issue and New Year’s issues and making sure everything was done to deadline. This on top of feeling the loss of my parents and other family and friends who were no longer here, had its toll on me this year.
With tears in my eyes I smiled at my daughter’s
innocent smiling face, and picked her up and gave her the biggest hug I could muster. Oh how I miss looking at the world through the innocence of youth. I decided right then and there to focus on the positives instead of all the negatives. Take what I had learned during all those seminars on personal growth and development and use the laws of attraction in my favor.
I know I have a lot of blessings in my life. And although a lot of my family are not here to celebrate Christmas with us any more, I have some incredible memories growing up that no one can take away. Memories that can warm me up even on the coldest of winter days.
I am thankful for our many customers which have entrusted us to help them promote their events and business, and have supported me as I support them. I am thankful for my close friends in the community I have who are always there to lend an ear or a helping hand. I am thankful for Terri, Christina and our freelance writers, because without them, there would be no newspaper. I am blessed to have a husband who even after 26 years, still buys me flowers and holds my hand. I am blessed to have the most loving children imaginable, along with an incredible family, whom I got to spend a slumber party with on the weekend. I am thankful for the snow which helps me to feel more in the holiday spirit (even though I do say every day throughout winter that I’d rather be in Mexico). I am thankful that our Elf on the Shelf came back for another holiday season with the Matchett family, much to the delight of my kids.
Yes, I will continue to count my blessings as I trek on ahead throughout this month. And if I still feel I need something more, I will attend the Blue Christmas Service which is a non denominational service of Comfort and Healing for anyone experiencing feelings of difficulty coping with the holiday season because of the loss of a loved one, loss of a job or just a general feeling of sadness at this time of the year. The Blue Christmas Service is sponsored by Esterhazy Clergy Council and Peter Carscadden Funeral Service. It is being held on Monday, Dec. 19 at 7 p.m. at St. Andrew’s United Church. Remember, you don’t have to face challenges alone, there is always someone there to listen.
So even though the month of December is rather chaotic, I will take time to count my blessings daily, and look at the world through the eyes of my eight-year-old.