With the Christmas lights on, it’s less dangerous. Here we are now, entertain us. I feel dazed, not contagious. Here we are now, entertain us…I’m worse at what I do best And for this gift, I feel blessed… Our little blogging group has always been. And always will until the end. HoHo, HoHo, HoHo, HoHo, HoHo, HoHo. Ummm, Smells like Christmas spirit?
In a kind of Welcome-to-the-Christmas-Jungle-type way, it’s been a strange few weeks, so Dear Santa, I Can Explain….
1. I’ve fought a prolonged battle with a vicious cold, it almost won, until I released my dragons, ok, it was chicken soup, but it was epic.
2. I overindulged in great gently used ‘finds’, tea with seniors, and raffles – if loving Christmas Bazaars is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.
3. I fell out of bed (and not in a fun way), luckily no serious injuries, but it sure knocked the stuffing out of me.
4. I was baking for Christmas and I had to taste, right? I couldn’t serve it or give it away without tasting, right?
5. Got the results of my colonoscopy, turns out my colon is a trophy wife, looks beautiful but doesn’t work.
I love Christmas, always have, but things have changed, become confusing. I feel like I’m being visited by the ghosts of rampant, raging, unrestrained consumerism – past, present, and future. The wraiths of oblivious conspicuous consumption, the specters of overt displays of wealth swirling around, I feel chilled, haunted, saddened – what could all that money be used for, who could be saved, cured, comforted, how much joy could be spread to so many instead of so few? This time of year isn’t about gifts, lights, food, carols, it’s about people, everywhere, whether they celebrate the holiday or not. How can anyone admire, emulate, and/or trust those who consume without a care?
Having lost so many of those I love in the past few years, the holiday season has more and more become a time of remembrance. Most of the memories are wonderful, but some are tinged with regret and loss; I listen to the carols, the songs sing, yet part of my heart wishes for more as it swells with remembers.
Here’s my Christmas card to you, dear readers. Let’s share some tidings of comfort and joy. Please join my 12 Links of Christmas Blog Party. It’s ongoing (why put a time limit on fun?), so keep on coming back right up to and after Christmas! The posts you link to don’t have to be Christmas-related and I’m not going to ask you visit other bloggers, comment, or share, but please, if you feel so inclined, give to others: press Like, reblog, share on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, etc. No badges (we don’t need no stinking badges).
If this is your first time joining a blog party, I’ll be gentle. Cut and paste your link. Then in the comment box below, paste that link and tell the readers and other bloggers a bit about your blog and/or yourself (if you wish, not necessary). Leave up to 12 links (one per box please). Here are my 12 Links of Christmas…
I’d also like you to tell us what brings you comfort and joy at Christmas or anytime. Here’s an example, I get comfort and joy from doing nice things for people, little things, they’re not truly selfish acts (anyone remember that Friends episode?), because I enjoy them. I also love Christmas movies, the one place in the world where I’m pretty sure everything is going to work out well. Reading, walking, baking, board games, and I find my joy of writing has returned, creeping in. Of course, I find comfort and joy in wonderful son, family and friends, including my amazing blogging family.
I know everyone is busy, but please, join my holly jolly Christmas Blogging Party!
Nog nog. Who’s there? Virtual eggnog or hot cocoa (with mini marshmallows), take a sip, dip a biscotti or cookie.
Happy Holidays and take time to enjoy what really counts.
I know this might be a stressful time for some, but I hope this finds you in good stead. Every choice has consequences.
In the course of human events it
becomes necessary to distract ourselves at times, I don’t know about you, but there’s no limits to what I can accomplish when I’m avoiding doing something else, yet we hold these truths to be self-evident, some choices must still be made, hopefully informed choices.
Some choices are easy. Some hard. Some seem like a joy or a joke. Some involve danger, some choices even have underestimated peril, ie. household chores – germs, cleaning tools, boredom, hiring strangers, using pets (who hasn’t wondered if pets could help with household chores?) and imagine trying to really ‘clean house’?
Then there’s the danger of choosing ice cream or chocolate and/or chocolate ice cream as a remedy for the common cold, it may not lessen the tyranny of the infirmity, yet if you add whining, comfy clothes, and sniffling, the choice is clear. Sniffle.
Admittedly, choices would be easier if everything was simply spelled out for us, without: lies, manipulation, false promises, hidden agendas, threats, deceit, complex small print, and if we weren’t at the mercy of drama ‘monsters’.
Life is a leap, we’re always jumping into the unknown – every second, minute, hour, day. Life changes, there are peaks and valleys, but as long as you breathe, there’s hope.
Remember, even if…
1. You did something, said something that embarrassed or cost you, and/or offended, disturbed others. Learn from it. Social media can be flat, most humans are 3D. Keeping your dimensions, they’re important.
2. You stayed too long and gave too much, trying to save a toxic relationship with: a partner, friend, family member, group, organization, political party, etc. That doesn’t mean you’re trapped, mentally chew off that leg and get away.
3. You got caught up in the hype machine, most have at one time or another (even if they won’t admit it). Simple answer – accept responsibility, and change, start again.
4. You fell head over heels, with stuff, especially during the holidays. We instinctively hunt and gather, now for stuff. You felt momentarily joyful but less than triumphant. Don’t feed addictions, accept them to overcome them.
5. You found out the hard way talk is cheap – words, words everywhere but not a lot of truth, common sense, or depth.
6. You gave your trust, your love, your dreams to people who sometimes didn’t deserve or care about those gifts; that’s about them, not you.
7. You forgot, while you’re responsible to many in this life, in the end, you’re only responsible for yourself and your words/actions.
8. You took things for granted, got comfortable and forgot everything can change, end or disappear. It can, they can, it does, they do…so don’t.
9. You gave up, settled, but it’s never too late, at least to have a modified version of your dreams.
10. You’ve worried, fretted, brooded, hoped, believed, over thought, agonized and still things didn’t go your way, the other shoe still dropped. You fell and it looks like you’re down for the count. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, get up, dust off, there’s no time limit on getting back up.
Halloween has come and gone, election buzz drones on and on, even if it seemed more like The Hateful Eight and clickbait than democracy. We lived through this horror for 9 years in Canada until we were,er, ‘saved’ by sunny ways.
Thanksgiving – we should be thankful every day, but maybe we shouldn’t eat that way.
Even before we take a day to remember and honour our soldiers,
Black Friday and CyberMonday deals send cash registers pinging, Christmas bells start ringing, everywhere there’s singing. What will it be like this year? Still holiday cheer? More chances to learn and grow, to stop seeing each other as us or them.
Love is all around, going backwards wastes it. You can never tell what’s next so just keep going. You’re gonna make it after all.
Twas the week before Christmas
(almost two till my birthday)…
When all through the blogosphere…
not a blogger was stirring…
ok, some are stirring, but mostly cocktails…
Yet posts were still flying out with hopes that readers might give them a shout!
Christmas isn’t the most wonderful time of the year for bloggers, readers and many bloggers are off prepping for the big day, partying, waiting in line for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and of course, searching for perfect gifts.
Here are some, er, helpful last-minute gift ideas for those hard to buy for folks:
1. O Christmas tree! As a cautionary note, unlike in the movies, apparently it’s ‘frowned upon’, some might even say illegal, to just randomly cut trees down. Who knew?
2. Draw happy faces on all their socks/nylons so they’ll feel happy as they start each day. Or sneak into their house or room and draw a happy face on their wall, or mirror in red lipstick or paint. Wait, is that creepy? Nah, it’ll be a fun surprise.
3. Fix something for them: TV, car, fridge, cellphone, alarm system, computer, appliances, sewing machine, etc. Even if none were broken (but might be after), it’s the thought that counts.
4. Donate to a cause in their name or better yet, start a foundation in their name, I’m sure it won’t affect their taxes…much.
5. Sing them a song, but only if your voice doesn’t resemble fingernails on a chalkboard, mastodons dying in a tar pit, Bridget Jones singing, or my Mom singing (love you, please don’t sing).
6. Indie books. Mass-produced can be good, but a steady diet can leave you feeling flat. Best thing about indie, less cookie cutter, same goes for everything. Like indie author/blogger, A.H. Browne who kindly beamed aliens into my email. As they scurried around my brain, I was laughingly sucked into space to cavort (hey, I can cavort with the best of them) through the Saloon at the Edge of Everywhere. That sounds familiar, did I spend time there in my youth, next to CBGB, right? Book One of The Otherwhere Chronicles made me reluctant to return to Earth, like when you’re at a party, it’s past time to go home, but you think, just a few minutes more. If you’re feeling brave and in need of some fun, visit Arthur at http://pouringmyartout.com/ – don’t say I didn’t warn you! Any indie authors reading this, please add links in the comment box below where your work can be found (heck, it’s Christmas, anyone add links).
And here’s more indie talent (and keep checking the comments for indie author links):
7. Taco ties, socks, and hats. Also available in: lasagna, kung pao, pizza, chocolate, wine, beer, hamburger, and curry flavours. Hungry? Bored? Clothes never tasted so good!
8. Make a sculpture, coat, hat, scarf, or quilt out of your hair and nail clippings – natural, organic, and very, very personal.
9. Lint kittens and puppies. Easy to keep – no walks, no food, soft and cuddly, and simple to house train. Do not expose to water.
10. Honesty – they may not appreciate it at first, but it might be the best gift ever, someday.
So, these aren’t the gifts you’re looking for (except the indie books), in the end, the best gift of all is still…you!
Happy Holidays to you and yours!
All the best in 2016!
I had too much to dream last night.
I feel like I have a dream hangover.
I woke from my confusing, at times,
A Christmas Carol-like dream
(unfortunately no Muppets), but
filled with revelations.
First, I was visited by Donald Trump who told me 3 others would visit that night. It was terrifying, he wore the chains of greed, intolerance, and suffering he’d forged link by link…it seemed like there was more of the hairspray than grave about him.
Then Colin Firth showed up as my Ghost of Christmas Past in the white shirt from Pride and Prejudice (you know the one ladies). This dream just got a whole lot better. He reminded me that all things past are actually always still with us…
1. Christmas songs are playing everywhere yet I rarely hear Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron by The Royal Guardsman. It’s my all-time fav, it’s about peace on Earth, goodwill, and about how even the worst of enemies can put aside their differences, if only for a little while…we sure need more of that.
2. Dean Cain and many others we haven’t seen in a while do still have careers, kinda, hey, I like Christmas movies.
3. And even on a crummy morning a gingerbread man still makes his bed with cookie sheets.
Then Taylor Kinney (without fiancée, Lady Gaga…hey, it’s my dream) floated in as my Ghost of Christmas Present (subconscious you’re so good to me) dressed as Fireman and reminded me that despite the season, it’s getting hot in here. Whether it was just a hot flash or I’m watching too much Chicago Fire (is that possible?), I woke up in a sweat. Back to my dream, rescue me.
4. Christmas is about giving. Though I’m broke and obscure I still believe in giving to others and weirdly, sometimes you get stuff back. For example, by donating, I won a month gym membership and a few other goodies. So now I can be buff like Arnold, though I’m saying this in Schwarzeneggar accent, the buff part seems unlikely.
5. I’ve noticed my Mom (a senior) and my son (a teen with Autism) have a much fuller social life than I do, I need to work on that. And the only action I’m getting is from my latest mammogram.
6. I don’t have to wait in line for some guy in a red suit to make me promises, I’ll make some to myself.
My Ghost of Christmas Future was Norman Reedus, well, actually Daryl Dixon (my dream, so he’s holding a cat reminding us to Shop Cruelty Free https://www.crueltyfreeinternational.org/ – I’d like to add, that goes for people as well), who showed me that…
7. Christmas could be a little late this year, instead of making toys, Santa and the elves are already lined up to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
8. The Christmas feeling could be there, even without the gifts, the lights, the decorations, chocolate (this one is iffy), turkey and toys, even without the Christmas.
9. Ordinary rules of time and space don’t apply to Santa or The Doctor (Hello Sweetie, Doctor Who Christmas Special on almost Boxing Day – Christmas but late, can’t wait, but it’s times like these I miss David Tennant), but they do apply to us, we only have so much time in this world.
Can happiness or success be measured by what we have instead of the joy and comfort we bring to others? Do we really think in the end, we’ll care about how much we shopped, what car we drove, how big our home was, if we had the latest iPhone, or what we were wearing? Or will we remember the good times, the fun times, the laughter, the kindness, the little moments.
This season, remember a date on a calendar is just that, but life, life is for living, every day.
Oh yes, and if you don’t see me around here for a bit, I’ve checked myself into Clementine rehab.
I can quit anytime I want.
Christmas is a time of cheer…right?
Yet during the
with images of
Everything from: Family dinners, parties, drinks with friends, hugging, skating in pairs, walking together looking at lights, Secret Santa and gift exchanges, spontaneous snowballs fights, eating roasted chestnuts, and of course, people running into the arms of loved ones at airports…
But what if those things aren’t in your life?
The social media holiday barrage, Christmas FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), anticipointment, Facebook, Instagram, TV, Google+, Twitter, MySpace (kidding, just wanted to see if you were paying attention) – all bursting with shiny images of happy people enjoying the holidays together. It can be overwhelming yet it’s only a day, like any other.
So if you find yourself less-than-surrounded by family and friends during the holidays, try to:
1. Marathon your way through the season, which apparently now begins in July with brief visits from other holidays. Don’t limit yourself to Christmassy stuff…be glad you’re not invited to a Game of Thrones Christmas party; see who survived (Christmas) on The Walking Dead; try to figure out what they’re cooking on Breaking Bad; or catch up with Mrs. Brown’s Boys (Dear Santa, I can explain…). Soon it will be January (sorry, I skipped ahead, was I wrong in assuming you don’t have anyone for New Year’s Eve either?), then you’ll have a few weeks to recover before the Valentine’s Day trauma begins, maybe.
2. Gently add yourself to someone else’s Christmas or add someone to yours.
3. Find dating sites/apps and go on a holiday dating spree. Eggnog your way through stories about his/her ex, mom, ex’s mom, work, football, baseball, hockey, fashion, cars…Who knows, maybe you’ll find a Christmas miracle.
4. Adjust your expectations. Social media is one long high school reunion. Everyone is wearing their best outfit, just lost weight, and sharing only highlights of their life.
5. Read, write, blog, sing, bake, work, clean, declutter, exercise, sleep, go to a movie…flashback to the 70s – dance, wear turtlenecks, bellbottoms, ponchos, and go see Star Wars, or not. It’s all good.
6. Have a Single Christmas Party (not for singles, just you, be your own party).
7. Ignore the season, the gaudy decorations, the commercialism, multiple Santas in multiple malls (unless you work there, try to stay out of the malls altogether) and create a Michael-Bublé-Bing-Crosby-Burl-Ives-free #safespace.
8. Start a new tradition with yourself or others, hopefully one that doesn’t involve eating your feelings (and don’t forget legal).
9. Help others this season – the best way to keep your mind off your problems is to help others with their problems.
10. Under no circumstances drink too heavily, that could lead to calling, texting, or emailing an ex, or watching other people having family time, especially through their windows. Though oddly specific, it’s good advice.
It’s not about what you have, what you get, or even who you’re with, this season is about anything being possible.
Want to know how to get away with Christmas? Simple, enjoy the season and each day, not the way everyone tells you is enjoyable, but the way you enjoy it.
I triple dog dare you.
Turns out, being an adult is hard work.
Adding blogging to that and anxiety, well, it could be the proverbial straw.
When it’s quiet here on my blog, I have time to think.
Why am I really doing this?
Should I be doing this?
I have so much else to do, is this a distraction?
Or is blogging just another version of chocolate, sappy movies, wanting to cry, desperately wishing a time machine would materialize in my living room to whisk me back to a time when the biggest decisions I had to make were: what to wear to school, who to hang out with, what to listen to…Probably shouldn’t go back, I might scream at myself to quit wishing to grow up and just enjoy growing up.
Some days I feel like blogging is more Hotline Blog (I’m assured Drake will drop this as a follow-up to his famous Hotline Bling)
You used to like me on my blog post
Late or early when I needed blog love
And I know when that hotline pinged
It could only mean one thing…
But these days, you’ve become a ghost
Wonder if you’re out there forgettin’ about my blog post
Doing other things, maybe making cinnamon toast
But blogging isn’t all about Likes, it’s about enjoying each other…
Learning. Teaching. Laughing. Crying. Smiling.
I try to imagine what my blog would have been if I blogged as a child, you know, before I knew:
1. I’d have a computer, in my home.
2. I’d use this computer to tell perfect strangers (well, maybe not perfect) stuff about my life.
3. My worst recurring nightmare wasn’t fear, it was the fear of fear.
4. Bacon would become both hero and villain.
5. Everyone lied to me about stuff, including but not limited to: Santa, this won’t hurt (it did), The Tooth Fairy, being “almost there” (we weren’t), there was no more chocolate (there was), and that I’d use math in real life…
6. Life is less Game of Life and more Monopoly.
7. Power is a commodity, not necessarily the one that lights up your home.
8. What skin tags are, let alone having them.
9. The world is crawling with serial killers, if TV is to be believed.
10. Some people will still be mean, even as adults.
11. I’d use numbers from a fortune cookie for lottery tickets.
12. My body would be my worst enemy.
13. I’d look more like Jessica Fletcher than Jessica Alba.
14. I’d still be watching Doctor Who, Monty Python, and so would my teen son.
15. I’d lose hours of my life to a mysterious world that delivers weird yet amusing things to me right at home (yes, including pizza and Amazon).
16. I’d ever tire of Christmas (well, the commercialism of Christmas).
17. I’d try figgy pudding…get out there – try, visit, read, comment, share, take part in something different.
18. I’d let zombies into my home at least once a week…and love it.
19. You can’t eat all the cake, you have to share it, same goes for blogging.
20. I’d have many families – the one I was born into, the ones I found and found me, the ones I’ve made, and this amazing blogging community.
So get out there, hakuna matata – visit some blogs, enjoy each other, and never forget, you’re not alone.