Since I was a little girl, Christmas was the greatest, most fun time of the year. I always had a blast helping put up decorations and decorating the tree. There were parties and just general "good cheer" all around. For about the last I'd say about 10 years, I have not seemed to be able to have the same "happy" feelings as before. Now I know that as we grow older and more mature (I know I'm getting older, not sure about the other yet) that we change roles and it's about making our kids and others feel those happy feelings. This is where I start to feel very inadequate. I no longer have the physical or emotional ability to deal with many of the things that go along with this. I'm not fond of shopping, can't cook very much, (I used to be the hostess all of the time), and my kids and Dan have to hang the decorations. Even wrapping presents becomes a literal painful experience. My poor Megan has had to take on WAY more than any 14 year old should have to. I really want to have those feelings back. I can't teach my family how they should be feeling at Christmas if I can't put myself there.
This time of year has become very scary for me. Not only is it a time of year that I become physically unstable on my feet, even more than usual, but it is the time of year that I have had a relapse of the original "strokelike" event. At least for the last 3 years. I know that the weather is a huge part of this, but I have paid very close attention to life happenings since this happened to me, and have decided much of it is that it is the time of year where I try to be most normal. I want to be involved in things like I have been in the past. Don't get me wrong, I still do want to be involved, if not, I would probably go crazy or die. But after I had been singing at some event 4 nights out of 7 like last week, that this is a huge part of my neck and head pain. I love to sing. I do it anyway and then pay the price later. Also, it is a really hard reality for me to not be able to play the piano the way I know I have been able to in the past. I appreciate those who are believing in me and asking me to play. It makes me feel much more a part of things, even though I know I can't give them the best that I have known I could before. My fingers and arm swell after doing pretty much nothing, so therefore not only is my coordination while playing off, my fingers don't move like they should.
I wish I had a picture of our Christmas tree this year. I don't remember EVER having a tree as loaded with presents as this one. We finally had the financial means to give our kids a very good Christmas. We have probably gone way overboard, but we have never had one like this before, and probably will never again. The idea behind it is to have at least this year that our kids will remember. They have gone without a lot in the past. Not that things are what's important, but they are a little. We have encouraged our kids to do service projects, especially at Christmas, every year, this year included. We hope that it will instill at least a little bit the reason for the season. Jake was sick during the first major snow storm this year and it was really hard for him to not be able to shovel all of the neighborhood driveways. I don't know why, but this year it has seemed to be really hard to find opportunities. Wonder if we are not looking in the right places. It just seems like much of the world has become very ornery and bitter. It's very hard not to fall in to this. We were at the store the other day and all 4 kids had done their shopping, with their own money and when we left they all wanted to put their change in the Salvation Army bucket. It was a proud moment, until I heard some one say, why would that mom let her child go all the way back there just to put in a quarter? To my 8 year old son, that quarter was a sacrifice for some one else. Why would some one want to diminish that feeling he was having of helping some one he didn't know with what he had to give. I don't think he heard it, at least I hope not. I guess maybe I am having a depression spell, but I was proud of my kids for that moment, and proud of Dan and I for doing something right in teaching them. I don't feel adequate to my job very often anymore.
Well, I'm sorry that this has been a pretty sad post, filled with sorrow. I long for the old days of people remembering what Christmas is all about. My wish for all of you is that you have a very wonderful Christmas with family and friends and loved ones. May we all find that inner child at this time of year !
Love to you all- Christy
If it doesn't work by clicking on it, copy and paste in to your address box. Very good things to remember at this time of year.
Good thing that gambling in Utah is illegal - everyone would want their money back if they don't win. What a bunch of whiners. With the exception of a few people that said that someone in the ticket office told them that Jordan was there, everyone else went on the assumption, or the gamble that he would be there. This game was promoted as "WILL HE SHOW?" Most of the people said that they would never but another ticket - they never bought a ticket before - I cannot believe you are offended that he was not there. Lighten up, if you missed a Jazz game and gambled that he might show up, get over it!!! If you watched the Flash come back from a halftime deficit to win the game in an exciting finish, then you got your moneys worth and should come back and enjoy another game. Every sports fan in Utah knows that there is a dnba team in Utah county now - come and enjoy the family friendly entertainment at a good price. B Russ stayed and autographed stuff for the fans after the game, and people who's expectations were not unrealistic had a good time. Thanks Brandt.
Dan has worked at the McKay Center for several years now. He is always gone working, almost constantly during this time of year. Concert and games avail. He starts in like October trying to find out which concert or whatever I want to see. I am an avid music lover, so the concerts are very cool for me. I have seen Kurt Bestor every year,( it's been just knowledge that I was going to see him) and this year when he chose to not do a show at MEC, I started wondering what else I would like to see. I had never seen the Forgotten Carols and had often wondered what it was all about, so that is what I asked for. I have to say, I can't believe I've missed it in years before this. I love the music of KB, but Michael McLean stole KB's title. This show is a miraculous thing that pulls you out of whatever place you're in and plants you in a better place. There was mention afterward about how civil the traffic jam was. I said that everyone was in the Christmas Spirit and a mood for giving and that's why. If it had been a loud basketball game, things would be different. I do truly believe this. I have left many a game there, and have never been just happily let into a line of cars afterward. I had noticed in years past , that Dan always came home filled with a different spirit after working one of these. Now I know why. Kyler also got to experience it this time as he was working.
Let me explain a little about this show. It's about a person who through their trials in life has become very closed and emotionless. Even ornery. The show takes you through a series of things and this person is encouraged to find their "Carol". It's all about looking inside ourselves to find out who we are and show love. To find our 'Carol". Afterward, Michael McLean comes out and talks and plays some more songs. Then he has everyone sing together. It has really had an impact on my thoughts. I am trying to look inside me and find my "Carol".
My sister came and picked me up last weekend and took me out for an afternoon. It was much needed and much appreciated. I have been so busy this month and needed the reprieve. The traffic and attitudes on the roads that day were horrible. I mentioned to her that none of these people had seen the Forgotten Carols and that's why they were so ornery. She laughed, and now this is a standard statement when we come across this attitude.
This time of year is very scary for me. All of my major relapses have been during December. Mostly do to the cold weather. Plus, I am not completely stable on my feet anymore, so the snow and ice make things a little treacherous. I have really tried this year to bury myself in service. I have days that I've done WAY too much physically and have to take some time to recover, but emotionally, trying help some one else who may be struggling has made a way for me to get out of my own struggles and feel good about myself for a while. Plus usually the person or persons I have been helping feel better, so it's good all the way around. I am very happy to be included and given some responsibility in my ward. I know that people were just looking out for me before, but it has been hard to not have much responsibility. I feel more included now. I can't do a lot physically, but I'm good at planning and organizing. This year alone I have been in on the planning of at least 3 Christmas parties, and a birthday bash. Family ones included. I'm not so sure that my kids are happy about doing the leg work, but it's good for them :-)
I am so profoundly grateful, especially this year, for the love of my family and friends. Especially Dan, and my kids. It's been a very rough year for me personally, and I would not have made it through this far if it weren't for them. I hope that they feel of my love and appreciation. I am grateful for this season, and for the reasons we celebrate it. I am working on looking to a brighter future, even if it means experiencing it from afar.
May All of You Find Your "Carol"
PS- I typed this a 4 AM, I hope it's understandable :-)