Christmas Is a Going

105182105411111CDPby Neva Bodin



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.

(Sung to the tune of “Christmas Is A Coming”)

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.


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 “that will warm the cockles of your heart.”


7 thoughts on “Christmas Is a Going

  1. What wonderful thoughts! I often find myself yearning for the magic of Christmas from my childhood, but I spent a lot of energy this year trying to make it about celebrating Christ and also about giving back so others may have some joy during the season and it lightened me considerably.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Love, love, love, this post. Thank you so much for making this wonderful post it so mean to for this time of year it helps to lift the spirit after Christmas because people get so high over the Christmas season and then the day after Christmas I feel let down so this is the time that passed and I’m going to share more than once thank you so much God bless you hope you had a wonderful Christmas. Cherley.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. My Mom died in November 2003. She was under at-home hospice care for the last months of her life. It was a small Ohio county bordering the Ohio River. That hospice sold Christmas ornaments as a fundraiser. My sister Jody, the primary caregiver for mom, buys one each year.


  4. The idea of a lasting memorial, like the ornaments, is a lovely one, Neva. I could get a paper on Christmas Day, though don’t, but I’m sad to say there are probably some very harrowing stories about ‘lost’ people who have have no family to brighten up the season.


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