MERRY MERRY CHRISTMAS!

December 24, 2019

MERRY CHRISTMAS…

Merry Merry Christmas!

 

 Away in a Manger

 

(Okay, one very important point to make here, this is my story, and should not be applied to others…there are folks out there whose truth is deeply rooted in sadness and despair, during the holidays those emotions can intensify.  We should all hold them in our hearts, without trying to fix them by saying, “It’s the holidays, stop being a Scrooge or Grinch.”  Depression is real, and should be respected, not iced over with a “get over it” attitude.  Please, for those folks that might read this, if you feel lonely or suicidal, please reach out for help – National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255). 

 

This is simply my story of dealing with a deep-rooted sadness, if it inspires you, great, but it should not be taken as a reprimand.)

 

 

Letting Go of the Negatives

 

Can I say that one more time, without sounding like I have had a little too much spiked eggnog?  You bet I can – Merry Christmas to one and all!

There were more Christmases than I can count, or care to admit, that were not and have not been too merry; in fact, they were strained at best, and at worst just another day to go through the motion of joy.  But not this year.  Why the change?

 

Let me answer that by first saying that my deepest belief about the 25th of December is that it is a day to receive the greatest gift given to me and many others – the birth of Christ on a bed of straw in a lowly manger, surrounded by farm animals, with only his young parents and a few shepherds to greet Him. 

 

That one scene tells us all we need to know about celebrating, truly celebrating, Christmas Day…it is the day of our souls’ birth: it is a day that requires very little, but your presence to receive the present of unconditional love, joy, and a baby’s innocent smile; and it is a day to embrace those that are there with you, while wishing a merry day of love to others.  So why the “not so Merry Christmases” of the past?  Well, just because you know something, and hold a belief deep within your heart and soul, does not mean others feel or think the same way…and as an empath, I kept absorbing those negatives.

 

 

As I approached this holiday season, while in the middle of filming and editing my first documentary, seeing my first book come into print, and evaluating my relationships – personal, familial, friendships, and professional, I simply got tired of not feeling happy during this joyous season.  So, what is a girl to do?  This girl decided, enough is enough; it was time to address the blocks (The Negatives), and embrace solutions (Perspectives).  The following are the biggies that got a huge lump of coal this year….

 

The Negative:

 

The Little Drummer Boy

 

Yes, The Little Drummer Boy.  The beautiful song that tells of a poor child giving his only gift to the Christ child, and my daddy’s favorite song of the season.  He knew what it felt  like to be a poor farm boy with little to give, so he understood the Drummer Boy’s joy in giving the baby his all. 

 

When my father passed away on December 7th 2006, my daughter, Tyler, sang the song at his funeral.  It was the first time I wept at hearing that song, and each year after I have wept at the memory of seeing my dad listening to the song, while he tapped out the beat with his fingers on the dining room table, his head gently swaying with closed eyes as he pictured himself as that little boy honoring God’s gift.

 

Perspective:

 

 

 

I reminded myself of Daddy’s advice whenever I sat too long in my sadness, crying for the pain to go away, “Cindy, you have to stop crying over spilled milk.  Pull yourself up from your boot straps and get to living.” 

 

I went onto accept the truth, in not honoring the song for its message of the true meaning of Christmas – God gave us a gift of eternal and unconditional love – I was denying the message of the Little Drummer Boy, and that meant I was sitting in spilled milk denying my dad’s wisdom and love for the song.  This year each time I hear the song, I close my eyes, seeing my father and tapping my fingers to the beat, and gently swaying my head, while I sing to my favorite Sailor…

 

Come they told me
Pa rum pum pum-pum
A newborn King to see
Pa rum pum pum-pum
Our finest gifts we bring
Pa rum pum pum-pum
To lay before the king
Pa rum pum pum-pum
Rum pum pum-pum
Rum pum pum-pum
So to honor Him
Pa rum pum pum-pum
When we come

Little baby
Pa rum pum pum-pum
I am a poor boy too
Pa rum pum pum-pum
I have no gift to bring
Pa rum pum pum-pum
That's fit to give our king
Pa rum pum pum-pum
Rum pum pum-pum
Rum pum pum-pum
Shall I play for you
Pa rum pum pum-pum
On my drum

 


Mary nodded
Pa rum pum pum-pum
The ox and lamb kept time
Pa rum pum pum-pum
I played my drum for Him
Pa rum pum pum-pum
I played my best for Him
Pa rum pum pum-pum
Rum pum pum-pum
Rum pum pum-pum
Then He smiled at me
Pa rum pum pum-pum
Me and my drum

 

 

The Negative:

 

Gift giving!  The emphasis on the number of gifts under the tree, to the point that the tree almost becomes obscure, and the idea that that was the meaning of Christmas, basically made me not want to play a part in the gift giving game of one-upping.  With money tight years ago, I began to make gifts.  Taking the time to really think about the person and their likes.  I would either paint, adding mixed mediums to create a one-of-kind piece of art, write a letter of thanks with a small story, make grapefruit Bourbon marmalade, or develop a photo of a memory from the year.

 

The negative this year is that I simply had zero time to create, make, or write anything for anyone, and I refused to get into the number of gifts…not happening. 

 

Okay, there is one exception…two…my grandsons, Henry and James! 

 

 

They get multiple gifts, because as their Grams, they give me an infinite amount of love and joy.  But that is the beginning and end of piling on the gifts.  Still what would I do with three days left until Christmas?

 

Perspective:

 

Breathe!  You have three days.  Stop, and think about the person you want to gift a present to…do they like working with their hands, do they love to read, what about music, or a new ornament for their tree?  Make a list that includes one big gift and one small one.  DONE!  Yes, I added a small bag of treats and a toy for everyone…it is the time of childhood fun and Santa, after all.

 

It truly is not the amount of gifts, but the love and thought put into a gift that makes it special.  I can still see the tree, and I know the small number of gifts under the tree are being given to those I love…that is the meaning of a Christmas gift born in a bed of straw in a manger, when there was no room in the Inn.

 

The last negative that I tackled for the year…

 

The Negative:

 

A Norman Rockwell or Griswold Christmas…

 

 

The Grinches (the Pouters)  and Scrooges (determined to make everyone miserable) crossing my path!  Talk about a double whammy of negativity…rolling my eyes…these folks just cannot stop with the grumbles and whoas.  They complain from the snow falling to no snow falling, not having enough money to really not having enough money, or living by the worst, deeply held belief that Christmas is either the extreme of a Norman Rockwell or a Griswold Christmas.

 

Both drive me crazy – as many know, I do not have far to get there – I mean to the point that I held up in my room until prep time, dinner, gifts (hey, I’m not that crazy), and then I would head to my room.  I just did not and do not want to hear how things could be better, how disappointing the day was, or listen to silly disagreements because of narrow-minds.  The art of conversation is a lost art…sad for someone like me, who enjoys a respectful civil debate on just about anything.  So how would I approach this year’s big day?

 

Perspective:

 

I am morally opposed to extremism in any area of life, but none more so than on this holiday.  I have never understood the need to be miserable or the need to make others miserable.  The first step was to admit that I was miserable hiding away from the Christmas tree, music, and desserts!  I was allowing others’ negatives influence my happiness and joy, so I was the one with a choice to make. 

 

My choice was to apply a two-step strategy.  First, with a loving voice I will let the offender know that they are stepping on my HOHOHO spirit, so check it at the door.  Second, if they just cannot stop with their “Bah Hum Bug” or “‘I must find some way to keep Christmas from coming!’”, then I will place a piece of coal in a Mason Jar for each offense, and give it to them on their way out the door.

 

 Maybe, just maybe, these folks will take Dickens and Dr. Seuss’ advice and get it together, because Christmas is the gift of love and being present with those in front of you, and those deep within your heart and soul.

 

 

Well folks, like Burl Ives said in Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer, “Ahh. I

 love this Christmasy time of year. Especially when everything is running happy and smooth, like it is this season.”, so get on Santa’s sleigh and enjoy the gift that a small babe brought to this world…PEACE ON EARTH AND JOY TO ALL MEN, even the Scrooges and Grinches.

 

 

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas

from Cindy and Bridget Rose

 

 

 

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