Thursday, February 02, 2012

The winter that wasn't.

Today is groundhog day and here the groundhog didn't see his shadow, it's 60+ degrees, sunny and springlike. We've had only one brief snowfall and the grass has stayed green all season. Wintry no but very nice.

I always go into the winter with many projects in mind for those long cold dark days. Some of those projects never saw the light of day and some new ideas put themselves front and center. No matter, no one is paying for any of them so I do what I like. The happiest part of this past winter came when I realized I could make a significant change in my attitude.

But first I had a miserable Thanksgiving. I had accepted an invitation for Thanksgiving dinner with a friend and her family. On Thanksgiving day I found myself very ill with a prescription drug reaction. I was cooking my friend's turkey because her oven wasn't working. My friend's family was drunk and surly. After delivering the turkey, rolls and mashed potatoes, I fled that dysfunctional scene.

A few days later I heard myself telling this sad tale to another friend who had asked about my Thanksgiving. When he asked about my Christmas plans I heard myself say, "I hate Christmas." Now granted I've had some funky holidays in the past but really even I know it's about the reason for the season, the spirit of "peace, love and understanding." I decided that I needed to make a change in attitude and see if I could make some happy memories.

I decided then that I would embrace the spirit of the season every day for the month of December. I found that very easy to do. It was not about physical gifts but gifts from the heart. I found some way every day to let someone know they are appreciated and loved.

I cleaned, decorated and put up a beautiful tree grown by friends. I invited my family to come for Christmas and many of them did. They arrived Christmas night, taking long drives to do so. We had a wonderful time, visiting, feasting, walking, talking and just being together. Our gifts were designed to be stress free, the new socks and ornaments type. We ranged in age from 9 to 93, we treated each other with love and respect. I was so very glad they came and sorry to see them leave. It was the happiest Christmas I've know in years.

So while it's not been particularly wintry I'll remember this as a wonderful winter, one I hope to learn from and repeat. And this weather has made it easy to continue to get together with friends and cultivate good relationships.

May we all hold the blessings of the holiday season all through the year.