Thursday, December 6, 2012

Season of Happiness

I know the holidays are a season of stress for a lot of people. Memories of loved ones, money issues, and dealing with excessive crowds at the retailers is enough to put even the cheeriest into a funk. But how much of that is a mindset? We may not have much to give, but lets put the joy back into giving. We may hate being among all those noisy people at the checkouts, but do we notice the smiles, the gratitude, and the excitement of being part of a worldwide holiday? I know that it is difficult to celebrate when you have a hole in your heart because you are missing someone dear to you, and it hurts to be reminded of the past, but there is  healing and a bittersweet pleasure in channeling that loneliness and longing into doing something that you know they would want you to carry on and do. 

Tonight we went to a Christmas dinner that is open to the community, and in the gift shop were the snowmen above, holding their banner "Season of Happiness." N. said it reminded her of us three sisters (I'm the one in the middle, because I'm tallest). This year will be our first Christmas without J., who will be in the Great Lakes area with her husband's family. I have missed her enthusiasm about the holidays... growing up, she would always decorate her room and have a little tree where she would put out her impeccably wrapped presents on display for us at a tortuously early date. Being an introvert, and not usually inclined to do things on my own, she has always been my buddy for looking at lights, carriage rides, ridiculous blizzard walks, and Christmas parties. I can remember many Christmas Eve's when we would somehow squish onto a twin bed for a "sleepover" and promise to wake the other the minute we opened our eyes Christmas day. 

Now, I'm the one who is initiating, convincing Mom & N. to get out and enjoy the festivities. And I'm glad we went, because afterwards we stopped by the B's house and had a lovely time. I also got a cookie, which as you all know, I'm very fond of...

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