If we were having coffee we’d be hunkered down while the snow is falling outside. This being the Portland-Metro area, we aren’t really equipped for this kind of weather so, while there is only a few inches out there, the roads are icy and slick, and it isn’t terribly safe to be out and about. Especially since many of us have cars that won’t handle this so well.
I… may… have been hearing a lot of people recently making fun of us for the situations we’ve had in the current weather. I… may… be feeling the slightest bit defensive about it some. But, as someone who has driven a 16-passenger van during Maine winters, but who will not drive the vehicles I have access to in this kind of weather. And, honestly, walking home last night was a little worrisome – as I had to skate-walk across some parts of the road that had melted enough during the day to re-freeze into packed snow/ice. I was wearing my snow-boots, with good traction. And I mostly was walking in the “penguin walk” for the rest of it.
But, let’s step away from the weather a bit.
I love Christmas. Growing up the religious associations with it didn’t mean much to me – my family was more “culturally Christian” than anything – so the holiday took on its own meanings. Now I have some other religious associations (I’m kind of thinking I may write a bit about that for Christmas this year – since it falls on a Sunday that seems appropriate so stay tuned for that post), but the meanings that it took on when I was little are still strong.
For me Christmas means bringing live greens into the house, filling the house with the beautiful smell of pine. It means setting up lights inside and out, giving a little extra sparkle against the darkness. It means figuring out just what would be a good present for someone, and then finding or making that. I love giving presents. I have memories of favorite presents given in the past, and it’s always fun to see if I can figure out the just perfect thing for someone. It helps that my present-list is pretty small, just a few family members – at this point there is some immediate family that doesn’t do presents anymore.
For me Christmas means more music, pretty wrapping paper, and the smell of cookies baking. It’s a fire crackling in the fireplace and a general sense of joy. This year, especially, I am focusing on the concept of light in the darkness (an ancient ANCIENT part of this season). I feel like we need to be able to spend some of our energy on moments of joy and light.
I’ve talked to a number of people who are having a hard time getting “into spirit” this year. I get it, I really do. But I feel like all that is going on in our world right now makes me even more determined to enjoy the holiday. It’s almost a feeling that letting myself fall away from celebrating is letting the negativity win. I refuse to do that.
Let’s see, what else… we had a little holiday party in my office yesterday. It was pretty fun, with a white-elephant and a secret-Santa gift exchange. I got a really over-the-top decorated wine glass – that is actually kind of perfect for me – for the white elephant. My secret santa ended up being the same person who got me last year (!) and this year she gave me an Oscar Wilde Paddywax Library Candle, and a Bernie Sanders stuffed doll! All presents ended up being kinda perfect for the people who got them! It was a fun way to end a kind of trying two weeks (with closures and delays due to the weather, some of it hitting during our busiest time of the year, we were having to do a lot of rescheduling and running around).
My list of things to get done today is getting longer and longer, and I seem to be moving slower and slower today so I’m going to wrap up our coffee today. But, first, what have you been doing this week? Are you looking forward to the coming week? How are you doing?