Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas Bug Bites

Well, I've just been sittin' around kinda sorta pleased with myself as I look at a few of the Christmas packages resting at my feet. Up until last weekend, I had yet to be bitten by the Christmas bug. Not deeply at any rate. A couple of Saturdays ago, I had time to kill while waiting to see a friend of mine performing in a Christmas show in Burlington. So I decided to do an errand at the city mall where I just so happened to turn in. My first thought, as I heard the first strains of Christmas music filtering through the speakers strategically placed throughout the mall, was of feeling sorry for the many clerks having to hear 'that Christmas' music day in and day out. Bah Humbug, I thought momentarily. Who am I to talk? I actually have a collection of around 20+ Christmas CD's and realized I should just shut those stupid thoughts. After all, I was on my way to listen to some of those Carols later that evening.

I quietly shuffled around the mall looking at all of the displays in the windows, taking in the colorful and sparkling decorations and inhaled the unmistakable smell of gingerbread cookies. Off in the distance I could hear the rhythmic jingling of a bell and the muffled but distinct sound of somebody's jolly Ho Ho Ho's. Stopping briefly to get a cuppa, I then walked around the corner and came smack dab into an endless line up of children anxiously waiting their turn to have a chat with the jolly ol' elf. That was when I could feel the first nibbling at my butt. As I walked around the display where they had Santa holding court, I smiled as I saw on the back of the shack the feed buckets of Mr. Claus' Reindeer. One each with their names proudly displayed, there was Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and of course one for Rudolph. A lot of creativity went into that particular setting, I thought with a grin.

The parents couldn't take enough pictures as they patiently posed their children all around the display. Naturally, this put a smile in my heart as I began looking a little more seriously at some of the merchandise and began making a mental list. It didn't take me long as began picking up this and that and realized that maybe the bite went a little deeper than I had originally thought.

Tonight as I began typing my thoughts, I dug out the buried Christmas CD collection and popped one in. I have many favorites and not just the usual round of suspects. The first compilation I stuck in was an old collection of Country Christmas Classics which includes Let it Snow by Lorrie Morgan, The Kid by Clint Black and Christmas in Dixie by Alabama. But, I have to say, one of my all time favourite Christmas songs is one by Clint Black called Slow as Christmas. (Sorry I couldn't find a clip to include here but I will include the lyrics.) To me, the lyrics kind of epitomizes the agony a child goes through in the weeks leading up to Christmas fearful of missing it. But as an adult, I look at this and think how precious little time we have to actually sit back and enjoy it.

If we aren't busy working, we are out fighting in the malls. Planning and scheduling this and that. Taking care of family matters which appear to become exacerbated at this time of the year. There are just so many things our brains are capable of juggling. And now, more than any other time of the year, people become more aware of the stresses which surround them. Not just their own but by those who are close to them as well. Every nerve ending appears to become that much more sensitive triggering uncontrollable emotions. Our inner strength, which generally motivates us throughout the year, seems to fail some of us as the Festive Season draws closer. Scar tissues seems to suddenly become a little more tender. Old memories which were safely tucked away at other parts of the year, suddenly and painfully are brought to mind, yet again. There is nothing we can really do about that. It happens.

What we can do is to keep in mind that we have the capacity to create new, fresher and longer lasting memories. Memories worth remembering don't just create themselves. Every day something special happens either around us or because of us. We should be at the forefront ensuring that what we do today becomes somebody's memory tomorrow. Christmas is not just a's a Season. And a very special season. There is the religious aspect of the season, which of course, we should never forget. Generated by the humble beginnings of the Christ Child. Then there is the Christmas as seen through the eyes of a child. And seeing as how we are all God's children, I don't see the harm in trying to be one, for just a little while.

What is the harm in forgetting that you are an adult for a few moments at a time. Life is short......precious......but short. If you don't have fond memories of Christmas as a child, create some. When the snow flies, build a snowman or a snow fort. Take the kids up a snow covered hill and fly down on a toboggan with them. If somebody you know would never expect you to wing'em with a snowball, fall behind them and gather some in your mittens. And then, when the time presents itself, (insert mischievous grin and giggle here), let 'em have it! I guarantee that you will get a reaction.........and a memory. As the cold north winds blow and the snows begin to fall, bundle everybody up and take a stroll in your neighbourhood. Enjoy the many brightly decorated houses which are normally just a passing blur as you are rushing to get home from somewhere.

Not everything has to have an adult theme to it. Like cocktail parties and adult only dinners where alcohol and sob stories abound. Invite your friends over but have them bring their skates with them. Go skating on the ice in front of City Hall. (Okay, I'm lucky. This year I will have two to choose from). Have a festive pot luck afterwards and watch Christmas movies or a Christmas Carol sing along. These things cost but a pittance when you think of the priceless memories you will get in return. And take pictures.........lot's of pictures. These will add to future celebrations.

As I said somewhere up above. I was just sitting around, kinda sorta pleased with myself. Knowing that I have already put into gear, memories that I know have not happened yet, but will. My heart has swelled up just a little bit more today and that's okay. I will just eat a few more hor d'oeuvres and make some room. As the upcoming days tumble off the calendar and we get a little closer to Christmas Day itself, take time for an occasional pause. When somebody wishes you a Merry Christmas, don't just say, “you too”. Look them in the eyes and say it from your heart. When somebody offers you their hand, hold it a little tighter. And when somebody gives you a hug, hold them a little longer. Remember, todays treasures are tomorrow's memories. Enjoy the Christmas Season and as Tiny Tim would say, “God Bless us.....everyone.”

Slow As Christmas

(Clint Black/Hayden Nicholas)

You're as slow as Christmas, I was up before the dawn
Up so fast I missed it or was that old saying wrong
Every Christmas day makes every other day seem long
what seemed would never get here
Has so quickly come and gone

(Verse one)
I've heard old sayings, old cliches and
Most of them make sense
But we're wiser in our younger days not easily convinced
There's no way to look ahead with the wool over your eyes
And it seems that Santa's sled isn't the only thing that flies

(repeat chorus)

(Verse two)
We're bringing in another year let's throw that old one back
With my new train I'll be the engineer
And hurry down the track
While I know that time is standing still
I hear that old cliche
And I'm more convinced it does until......
that one December day

(Chorus two)

When I'm as slow as Christmas
I'll be up before the dawn
I'm not gonna miss this
I know that old saying's wrong
Every Christmas day makes other day seem long
what seemed would never get here
Has so quickly come and gone,
Come and gone.


Anonymous said...

I love having a little one in my home again because it makes Christmas mean so much more as far as the magic. I had completely forgotten why I go to the work of it until I saw him run past the open barrier gate when it had been left open. As he got closer to the lit tree he turned and got so excited he almost lost his balance. Then he squealed and pointed to it to show me as if I had never seen it before either. Next year I won't put it up while he naps. It makes all the difference to be doing it all for a child and for that I am grateful my life has taken this turn.

Beautiful post as always Bogey. Happy Holidays!

Natalie said...

You just write the loveliest posts, Bogey.
I am trying SO hard to get "festive', but it hasn't happened yet.
A little smile did escape me today though, when I bought a certain little man, a Buzz and Woody from 'Santa'. I know he is gonna LOVE them. It was my first trip to the shops, so there is hope for me yet.xx

Hilary said...

Lovely post, Bogey. It's a wonderful sentiment to be childlike through the season. Better still to remember that behaviour throughout the year.. at least sometimes. :)

Consider yourself snowballed!

Michelle said...

Nice post Bogey. Yes, maybe I will make it about creating some memories this

Nancy said...

You are so right Bogey. Lasting memories and traditions don't just happen - they're made. I had this conversation with my daughter the other day. She was saying she really didn't see the point of decorating and getting into the spirit because she wasn't Christian. But what she was missing was the meaning of Christmas - which is spiritual. I asked her if she loved Christmas as a child and she said yes. I then asked her why she didn't feel it was necessary for her two-year-old. It informed her that it took work and love to make those memories - did she really think they just happened?

I am happy to report that she and her husband have had a change of heart. :-)

Winifred said...

Glad you're into the spirit.

I love going to my grandchildren's school Nativity plays and watching their little faces. Brings all the memories back of Christmases with my parents and then with my children.

I've just bought my first Christmas CD. It's not a traditional one. I've wanted it for donkeys years and now I have it. The Phil Spector Christmas Album. See I'm a child of the sixties! Well a teenager really.

Renee said...

The complete opposite of humbug Bogey and I am so thankful for that.

This is a special post Bogey and how you had me thinking.

Love Renee xoxoxo

ms toast burner said...

Bah Humbug!


TechnoBabe said...

Making new memories is for me a sign that I am healthy emotionally. I like that you remind us that Christmas is not just a day, it is a season. It actually can last all year, we can have the holiday spirit to share all the time. Is this a picture of your Christmas tree? Enjoy your holiday!

Renee said...

You know what Bogey after reading your definition, maybe I am fine. har har

Did you notice that there are cardinals on your wrapping paper in the above picture.

Have a good day.

Love Renee xooxxo

Bogey said...

Rare moments like those are precious and priceless indeed. Too bad we can't always capture those in a KODAK moments. Thanks for the pat on the back Queen. Always appreciated.

Thank you Natalie, as always. I think manybe you have been bitten by the Christmas bug, but just haven't felt the sting yet. You will.

If only that were so eh Hilary. All we can do is try. Snowball fight eh! Back at ya.

That's the spirit Michelle, that's the spirit.

Nancy, that was a marvelous lesson you broght to your daughters attention. Maybe they do not feel in their hearts the way we do, but they should not pass that on to their own children. They will grow up to make up their minds soon enough. The less outside interference the better.

Winnifred, having opportunities to see the little ones performing is always a blessing. I'm happy to hear that you can indulge them in that way. Now that you have a Christmas CD, you may just wear it out. Better get another.

Renee, thank you for your kind thoughts. Glad to know that you are feeling FINE. Now don't you feel normal. Hopefully I had you thinking in a positive way. As for the wrapping paper, it was selected intentionally. One of the gifts I bought for some friend was of a pencil drawing, by a local artist, of their second child, a daughter. I had one done of their son on a previous Christmas.

Marnie, maybe you just need me to come and haunt you in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve. ;)

Thanks TechnoBabe for your kind thoughts. If only we could keep that kind of spirit going throughout the year; what a difference the world would be. All we can do is our own part. As for the tree, this was taken at a friends home. The gifts, however were provided by me. Most of them were for their two little ones in which I am an adopted Uncle. I have a tendency of being a spoiler.

smiles4u said...

I thought I had already posted a comment to this but maybe it was an e-mail I wrote? :) Once again this was a great post! I had just come back here to say, thank you for always reminding me of such things as your wrote of here. I am so grateful to have met you and to now call you my friend. Love and hugs to you my dear friend. XX Lori

Bogey said...

No worries Lori. Considering that you have been up to your elbows in, well you know. I'm just happy that you stopped by. Thank you too for being a good friend. Hope the little ones are feeling better soon. Keep an eye on 'em. Hate for them to be sick at Christmas.