Christmas Is a Going

105182105411111CDPby Neva Bodin (Published this last night, and I don’t see it. So I’m trying again)

Christmas is a going

And the ads are coming still

Please to put a dollar

In the big store’s till


If you haven’t got a dollar

As you look at Christmas bills

Use the ads to start a fire and

With warmth your heart fills.



Would we get a paper on Christmas? Half hoping the paper staff got a holiday, and half hoping I’d have a paper with some funnies to read, I stepped out on the front step at 5:30 AM Christmas morning and found a paper. The front page had the Christmas story according to St. Luke, although it wasn’t on their web site. And lo, a small, but significant, pile of ads fell out.

The “one day, opening at 7 AM, after Christmas sale” is on. I’ve hardly had time to savor the memories of looking for the perfect gift before Christmas, and now I feel compelled to go find bargains for next Christmas, which I’ll have forgotten I bought, and won’t seem like the right thing to get by then.  I have a big plastic box on the top shelf of my closet that has been almost filled with gifts that never seemed to find their time.

This year, I wrapped and gave some of them, ready or not, along with what seemed timelier of course, and donated some of those wondrous gifts to the second-hand store before Christmas. It’s freeing.

I’m not sure why we get a daily paper. Perhaps after years of farming, and not having a daily paper delivered to our door, we still haven’t gotten over the thrill of that luxury, even though it’s 18 years later.

I don’t usually read the police calls, but today I did. There were a number of suicide calls. Were the people successful or were they taken somewhere safe? I wondered. I have been on call for psych emergencies on a Christmas Eve. And yes, between the holiday blues and alcohol and drugs, there will always be attempted suicides.

How can we indoctrinate in our young children that holidays, any holiday, is meant to give us hope, teach us to give thanks, or bring honor to someone who deserves to be honored for something good? They are not days where we should set unrealistic goals for ourselves or our loved ones.

Loved ones who are usually grouches or scrooges, will not become generous and loving for one day. (Although I saw more smiles at Walmart when I was shopping two days before Christmas than I have ever seen there I think.) And grief and sadness can become stronger, if we don’t hold onto the real reasons for the holidays—to celebrate someone’s life or give thanks for the positive things we do have.

And how do we teach our children that the best treatment for sadness is to do something for someone else?

Our adult hospice grief group celebrated the lives of loved ones who died by decorating clear glass tree ornaments with ribbons and crystals—ribbons of a different color for an emotion, some with messages written on them, perhaps even a dark ribbon of grief, and crystals for memories. They were beautiful.DSCN2593

Sad things will happen on holidays; some we create, and some we have to endure. But I believe, remembering why we have a particular holiday, will lessen the power tragedy might have on dimming the joy we can also have in the holiday.

And if you need cheering up, get up at 7 AM the day after, and look for a bargain with that last dollar in your pocket! Or start a fire with the ads and warm the “cockles of your heart.”





10 thoughts on “Christmas Is a Going

  1. You pose questions and ideas that bear some thought. I’ve always believed that each day should be a special as the Holiday. To me the Holiday focuses on whether I was successful or not. If I wasn’t then, I have the gift of bringing it to life. Some people just don’t seem to have the ability to see past the momentary pain, and that, I think is where we need to focus. Yes, life has pain, but that too can be lived with and put to use to make life better for others.



    1. Yes, pain makes it difficult to see past that pain, especially if it’s chronic and physical, and if it’s emotional, it can be hard to let go of also. But using it to make life better for others is a way to help make the pain worthwhile I think. THanks for commenting.


  2. Beautiful post, Neva, and the ornaments are gorgeous! I hope to carry over the “holiday spirit” into the New Year, with a fresh focus and better attitude. I’m spending time listening to webinars, charting professional courses, and invigorating myself with re-commitments to important relationships, including with the Lord. I’m pressing into my brain and heart that 2016 will be my “best year ever!” and taking the steps to move in that direction. I pray each of us will have our best year ever in 2016! Thanks for a lovely post!!


  3. You write about many situations that are often not addressed. For instance, the number of suicides that happen over holidays. Although people are often in genuine pain, emotional, physical, or both, the holidays are harder to bear for some, whether being estranged from family, money issues, drugs and alcohol, fragmented thoughts or wishing to give up on a life that to them has no value. How grievous, and how sad that often the public only hears things about mental health issues during the holidays and because of that, tend to ignore it during other times of the year. As you said, we can take a proactive approach by just learning about mental illness and try to help in any way we can. Your tale of “the day after Christmas sales” made me laugh. When my kids were small and our budget was an issue I would buy everything I thought I’d need for the next year, including toys. Not only did I often forget where I had hidden things but by the time the next Christmas rolled around my children were no longer interested in those playthings and I would donate them to a charity. Loved the ornaments from Hospice. Thanks for sharing.


  4. It’s possible to get a newspaper on Christmas Day here, Neva, but I’ve never bought one or had it delivered. I imagine if i did read a local one, it would probably be full of sad things which would jar with the family enjoyment that’s usual with my extended family. Alternatively, it would probably be money wasted since I imagine it would be unread – there’s rarely an opportunity to even watch TV news during 25th December when my noisy family are together.


  5. Unfortunately the holidays can often remind us of those that are no longer with us. However I think spending time with those that are still here is what the holidays are all about. Hope you enjoyed yours.


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