Sunday, 14 December 2014

Christmas 2014 Is Not Going To Be Normal

Tis the season.

Christmas is right around the corner, and I'm a little nervous. I haven't felt the spirit yet this year for a number of reasons, first being my ongoing struggle with the whole state of mind issue. I sink into a depressive state so easily now, and when I see people going on about how wonderful the season is shaping up to be I get quite disturbed. When I go shopping I get quite perturbed. More often than not a panic attack ensues. Tough to pull up the socks and move forward into the best time of the year. It's got nothing to do with money or commercialism. It's the simple fact that I'm supposed to be happy and I'm not. 

That being said, I move forward knowing that I'm completely in the wrong mindset. I can't do that. If there's one time of year to thank God for what I've got in this life, regardless of how else I feel, it's now. Christmas is a time for thanks. I have a wonderful (if not dysfunctional) family, I have my physical health, I have good friends, and a neurotic dog. It's all good! I have more in my life than many others have. This year like so many we've experienced, we have too many people with nothing. People on the streets or in refuge camps in some far off land. I feel for them and think of how we should be trying to change that. One step at a time.

This year things are different, and so the season will reflect that. 

We always get a real tree at Christmas. It's an annual tradition, we load up and head out to the tree lots and spend hours in the cold slush trudging around for the perfect tree that 'talks' to my wife. She's the deciding factor. The tree must speak to her and her alone. Nobody else can hear trees talk. And they call me crazy. The best times are when we head out into the county and cut down our own. Doing that brings the whole nostalgic feeling of the season to fruition. But it begs the question, why couldn't Christ have been born in July?

This year is different. We didn't get a tree, we built one. Out of books. 

Two factors led to that decision. Ok, well three. First, we have no car this year and it's a long frickin' walk back to the house lugging a live tree behind you. We figured by the time it got home there would only be needles on one side. So no. Secondly, we have a dog that will eat anything. (see previous post). We were afraid that we'd wake up one morning to a bare dead skeleton of a tree and the dog happily sitting on the couch licking his chops. Then there's the whole antique decorations thing. Wasn't going to happen. The third factor was that we have a ton of books, and technically they used to be trees. So we decided to recycle.

The tree is up, it took the four of us about two hours to assemble it, each one of us picking books based on size and thickness for each stage of the project. Moving from large coffee table books for the base and working towards small pocket books at the top. Each book had a meaning. They weren't chosen at random. Here's what Kim had to say about the selection process....

A brief story about the tree that adorns our front hall. We did not randomly throw books into the pile.....books were chosen so that a piece of each of us is included in this tree of knowledge. We have Harry Potter from Bug, Winnie the Pooh from when the children were small. We have The Complete Works of Shakespeare and of course a Dictionary..From my Gramma Nora a copy of Gone with The Wind. From my Dad, a copy of Poem's to be Read. Faith's copies of Anne of Green Gables, and of course Papa's Poems of Robby Burns. My first copy of Little Women, and my original copy of Now We are Six. Keith's copy of The Chronicles of the World and Iain's copy of Mighty Machines, that he and Papa used to read together. It is a history of our family both present and past. It is the perfect reflection of who we were and who we are. It is Love.

The tree is done. The dog hasn’t attacked it, the stockings are hung with care, the mistletoe is up and more will be put out soon. But it’s starting to feel like the season. We had a problem that needed a creative solution, and because of that problem, this Christmas is shaping up to be one of the best instead of the mindset I was in just a short day ago.

This morning made me happy. It made the anxiety and fear go away, at least for now. 

And that’s all I really wanted for Christmas. Joy.

Merry Christmas everyone.

1 comment:

  1. That was one of the most wonderful posts I've seen from you yet, Keith. In the spirit of Christmas, I would like to apologize to you and your family for the hurtful things I said to you so long ago. I also want to say that I have been enjoying your blog for some time, almost as long as you've written it, and continue to come back from time to time to see if you've posted anything.I wish you well in your fight to get healthy again, and most of all, I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas. Mike Spratt


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