22 December 2008

Be Good for Goodness Sake

Notice how there is no comma between 'good' and 'for.' This is intentional.

You know how every single year there are at least a couple of new sappy holiday movies or moving Christmas songs or heart warming human interest stories in the news that try to force upon us a lesson about the 'true meaning of Christmas?' Telling us that Christmas isn't about the presents or the endless shopping. That we shouldn't get all wrapped up in the wrap and flashing decor and parties with overwhelming amounts of alcohol and questionable behavior.

And after years of these thinly veiled lectures, many of us tend to groan and roll our eyes. So cool and jaded are we, that the moment we hear Linus say "Lights, please," we flip the channel hoping to catch the latest version of a scantily clad Santa Baby music video.

Get the biggest aluminum tree you can find, Charlie Brown, maybe painted pink. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

Earlier this year, when the economy became the hot topic in all corners, it felt like some cosmic force was trying to send my heart a message about this Christmas. I made it my goal to have as little to do with a Retail Focused Chri$tmas as possible. I was determined to, as much as I could, not fall in that easy trench of years old behavior directly related to the local mall and all its inbred cousins of neighboring shopping centers. It wasn't about my trying to spend less. It was about Christmas outside the lines. It was about making sure I didn't stumble into another mindless Christmas season.

I was on a pretty good path toward my goal and was feeling relatively satisfied with my efforts and their results but I admit I was starting to vacillate a bit. You see it turns out that shopping for a quick gift is so much easier than thinking deeper and more specifically about giving gifts. Christmas was getting ever near and I was beginning to think of ways I could save myself the trouble.

Then the universe said, "No seriously! You are going to have to do this Christmas differently." And do you know how she (the universe, that is) said this? With snow!

About eight days ago, there were a given number of days until Christmas and I could see how things were going to go until then. Which day I'd pick up this gift, or stop by that store. I had a Christmas countdown plan for pretty much every day. I had a list and was ready to start marking things off: "Check, check, check!" Then the next day? Snow. Everywhere. The entire Puget Sound area was under a mantel of white. A thick one. A long lasting one. It snowed heavy and then it got North Dakota cold. Okay, well maybe more like South Dakota cold but you get the drift. Ha, get it? Drift? Snow? Hey lighten up. It's Christmas!

So I switched to Christmas countdown plan B, which was "Stay home for five straight days." Go no where, buy nothing. And watch it snow some more. It was in affect, the Countdown Screeching Halt plan. The only thing was as I sat on my sofa watching it fall, Christmas kept right on coming. Tick Tick Tick...

I'm not sure it's original with her but I once heard Oprah say that when the universe wants to tell us something, it starts with a whisper. Or something like that. And that if we ignore the whisper, it will speak louder and louder until we get the message. Now the economy struggles are obviously not a whisper. And a foot of snow keeping me home bound for almost a week is not a whisper so it makes me wonder, how long have I been ignoring the message? And how many others are ignoring this same message? Because certainly I am not the only one under the current economy or cold cold weather.

How much snow did you get? I think this Christmas we should listen to our heart. Even though all the gifts are mostly wrapped and ready, breathe Christmas with your heart. And maybe get ready to do Christmas differently next year. I'll be back in a few days after the openings, to let you know how my new Holiday mind set was received but I'm not worried. It feels really good. Because of the cold weather I was forced to go even more off-retail than I had planned and I'm so happy. Christmas gratitude. Can you feel it?

Did the snow inconvenience you? Did it mess up your plans and schedule? Breathe and say Thank You because it's a message.

Linus: [Linus and Charlie Brown are shopping for a tree] Gee, do they still make wooden Christmas trees?

Charlie Brown: This little green one here seems to need a home.

Linus: I don't know, Charlie Brown. Remember what Lucy said? This doesn't seem to fit the modern spirit.

Charlie Brown: I don't care. We'll decorate it and it'll be just right for our play. Besides, I think it needs me. [Picks up a sad tree; a lot of needles fall off]

Breathe Christmas Spirit out into the world. Jingle when you walk.