Christmas Passed – Decs Deferred

This is the year we were caught by surprise.

There were a few good reasons why our house seemed a poor uninspired effort amidst the joy and celebration visible all around us. We witnessed our neighbors welcoming and hosting a blockful of cars and SUV’s. Although our own family was outside of this arena, it still felt strange to come home and have to navigate a darkened driveway without all those garish eyesores blocking the way.

One of the reasons we forewent all of that was that when the time came, there was a daunting situation. How does an older physically challenged person climb a ladder, get those lights in perfect alignment and take hours doing it. Then, the decorations themselves were old. Old, elder lights that were crumbling with oxidation just like our old bones. Older Christmas village that may have been magical beyond when a small child, looked like a group of old paper covered in sparkles which were quickly falling off. Sad.

Then there was the tree itself. It isn’t a tree; it’s the top part of an artificial tree that was also very old, and long gone and forgotten. The needles are out of proportion to the tree, making it impossible to hang trinkets. This year my patience was lost. The tree sits on the dining room table, making it impossible to use the table in the event of a rare, rare, rare, visit by friend or family.

Hence the desire and the drive to make it up. Yule season, thee is not forgotten nor forlorn. No longer will I ignore, and deny myself the magic and anticipation of the return of the light to the earth.

Next year will be hard, yes, with new involvement in environmental and social pushbacks. Despite not speculating and guessing, my life will be just as difficult as anyone else’s. But I’m up to it.

Putting my needs before anything else, downsizing does not mean ignoring. A modified, sale priced lighting display and new tree that actually looks festive, is a goal. So I made sure of this.

Several shopping trips later, I’ve become the proud owner of a plan that will startle and surprise. I will walk the grounds, splying wires and tiny lights. I will attach, hang, tape and smear sparkles and color over all the surfaces out there. And after the feast of the epiphany on January 6, 2018, I will do the entire act in reverse.

Such is life. Holding breath until it is time to exhale simply causes one to understand the importance and peace of the wait. Seasonal decorations may be held absent now, but will brighten our eyes and hearts in years to come.


Dear Santa, here’s my Revenge

Hi, it’s me again. I know I’ve been bad a lot of the time. Like plotting vendettas over people who don’t even know they annoyed me. Or stores that give up using reusable bags in favor of their own plastic crap. Or people who adopt animals only to find out they have an allergy. Really.

I suppose I have an inability to be patient with things that don’t go my way. But that’s because I’m only human. My soul feels like like the cavernous hole where the stuffing goes into a dead burned turkey carcass, my dark side emerges yearly during the holidays.

But I’m all into it this year. After diligence yearly, yearly diligence about gifting any of my relatives who are still under 18, they have exceeded that limit, but are still on my mind. I show up, again and again, prepared to be generous, to show that I thought of that person. And go home disappointed. Not even a card.

I get some apologies. They are precious to hear. I have no money. I have no job. I have no car. I have no right mind. So who is left out in the cold. So I plot vendettas.

But this year, I’m putting up my tree, a small piece of a much larger fake fir. I’m decorating it with my lovely ornaments, collected over many years and from many places. I’m placing gifts under it. Gifts to my cat, my dog, my husband, myself. Yes, to myself. I’m buying and wrapping gifts that I will open on Christmas Day, happily and with much anticipation. New toys like software or camera accessories. And my gift to all will be a small donation in their name to my favorite rescue organization.

So goes my holiday. As for you, Santa, be aware. There my be something for you as well. A wish for a safe trip, good weather and many long years with Mrs. Claus and the reindeer, and the little elves who you keep in that little shed with barely any heat all winter. Long wishes for a long long winter and a better spring to come.

Merry Merry Ho Ho Ho

If it smells like…to the tune of.


To the tune of Deck the Halls:

Deck the halls with cru-el excess


Tis the season to passive aggress


Don we now our worst atti-tude


Don’t expect a reasonable outcome


Don’t forget our best memor-ies


Make sure no one forgets your mala-dies


Keep the mean frown on your face


that will mean you’re head of the race


Yes, folks. Make up your own holiday tradition. X-mas, Holidaze, it’s all good. Nobody wins on Christmas Day. Pack up your gifts, your food, and warm gloves. Leave the vodka in the sled; no one needs it tonight.

Just hope that you survive tales of childhood bullying and embarrassment. Because you need to be reminded, on this humblest of nights, that you too are prone to idiocy and not special.

The baby Jesus will magically appear on everyone’s lawns, and the blow-up decorations will inflate one last time. Yet I will be the one noticing the one light bulb that has…blown!

Jo’s Not-so-Silent Night

Ever wonder what the difference is between Christian or Jewish or any other established religion’s traditions and legends are at this time of the year and mine, a Pagan, earth-centered tradition? It’s so easy.

I can prove my faith. I can prove that it gets darker around this time of the year, and that no crops are growing and that the fur on my animal companions is getting longer and thicker. I can prove that in a couple of weeks, as the moon waxes to full, there will be an impressive, noticeable lengthening of the daylight and a shortening of the nights. The nights right now are downright oppressive. We are hardly done with dinner, and it feels as if there are countless hours stretching ahead before we sleep.

So, I read, watch TV, play computer games and delete blurry photos from my archives.

It is not strange to admit that some things can be proven, and should be acknowledged amidst all the fascination with olden tales. What is strange is the plastic santa claus or animated snowman sidling up to the column of wise “men” on their way to the front yard mangers here in town. There seems to be a dichotomy. Many homes have one side of their display devoted to Disneyland icons or Charley Brown statues, and the other side mangered complete with almost life-sized donkeys and sheep, who were supposed to have kept the baby Jesus warm and safe. All this is fine. I am more than elated that Santa is still an honored guest at the birth of the Sun. For that is all it is. Any savior birth stories we know are but stories, put together and preserved at the whim of a Pope or writer, some 2,000 years ago.

We must remember that the physical, empirically proven event of the Sun actually being reborn on the Solstice is beyond time, and is the universal signal for rejoicing and renewal with our families, friends, and livestock.

Once I am geared up to celebrate the Solstice, the shortest day of the year, my spirit rejoices as well. I know that soon, I will be able to enjoy a later walk with Missy, despite the cold. I know that the cold will eventually give way to warm, and occasionally foggy mornings will be extra welcomed.

I know that once again, I can look forward to a new year and new experiences. Life goes on, and it is okay to wear my pentacle and talk about earthly tidings.