Monday, January 5, 2009

Snow Angels and Other Gifts of Innocence

Happy 2009! I've finally sat down (okay sobered up) long enough to reflect a bit on Christmas past.

I don't know about you, but I was happy as hell to see 2008 head on out the door (with the imprint of my size 8 stiletto planted firmly on its behind). What a year! Yes, we elected President-elect Obama but that joy was swiftly replaced by the reality of a deep economic recession that touches all of us--no matter how high or low on the hog we're accustomed to living. By Thanksgiving we were all left feeling scared, uncertain, vulnerable and just a little bit helpless.

And then the holiday season kicked into high gear and with it the need to give our families (particularly our kids) the kind of comfort and joy they are used to feeling around this season, while now, we broke-ass Santas were feeling a lot less jolly.

But, as they say, with every cloud there is a silver lining. I decided to let go and let God but also loose and let laughter reign. Once I stopped worrying about the fact that I couldn't surround myself or family with the high pricedthings this Christmas, I had this major 'ah ha' moment. A lot of expensive stuff may not be possible but I could surround them with pleasure and that's when I decided to give myself and my family the gift of returned innocence.

First, I made the house look and smell as joyous as possible. Fresh pointsetta plants, cinnamon scented pine cones and candles, a fresh pine tree decorated with treasured ornaments and colorful lights (wasn't in the mood for serene, classic white lights this year). Candlelight sparkled everywhere, every night. Music filled the house and though there was more room under the tree than in previous years, Christmas was alive and well in the Woolridge household.

Without all the shopping to do, we rediscovered how amazing the season could be. We cooked for family and friends--everything from gumbo to pork tenderloin with red onion jam. I also took myself into Manhattan for the sole purpose of walking, watching, window shopping and really enjoying the holiday ambiance--something after all of these years of living just outside of the city I rarely did. I didn't step foot into one store but instead witnessed a true wonderland. The majestic tree and colorful ice skaters in Rockerfeller Center, the decorated shop windows, the horse drawn buggies and the amazed and happy faces of tourists who picked a great time to witness New York City for the first time. The herds of smiling face blocking the streets as the Radio City Hall Christmas show let out. I sat in St. Patrick's Cathedral and prayed and meditated for a better year for all of us and was gifted by a chorus of angels rehearsing for Christmas mass.

It was fabulous, soul-stirring, smile-rendering and but for train fare--free.

And then it snowed. My world was covered in white, glistening snow just as Christmas time should be. And leaving behind all of their video games, ipods, iphones, and on- line social sites, my nearly grown kids went out and played in the snow. Snowball fights ensued, snow angels took flight and hot chocolate awaited them.

Santa regifted us with innocence this Christmas. It kind of sounds corny as I write this all down but to let me know that 2009 is going to be all right after all. It also reminds me that sensual living usurps material living any and every day.

What do you think?

1 comment:

Flintstone Always Ready said...

Thanks for helping me to see what Christmas should be about. I was in such a funk this past holiday season. I have to remember that it's not all about me. It's about living in the moment and being thankful for what I have been given, the precious gift of life. Thanks again. Continue to live sensually.