Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Time

Christmas Eve is my favorite day of the year. I have had more difficulty with it as of late with deaths in the family and the absence of traditions and the and of the year blahs. I am in a since writing this blog to try and reclaim some of the wonderful feelings that dominated the season well into my college years.

I remember the old traditions of Christmas eve like they were yesterday. We would get up early and go have a breakfast with the neighborhood. It was hosted at a different house each year and I think we even had it at our house once. It was a pot luck affair and I remember playing with most of the neighborhood kids while the adults met upstairs. This affair ended when I was in early high school it is sad through it was enjoyable. The last one was easy to remember because it snowed. Not the kind that sticks to the road but the fluffy kind that sticks to the ground a bit and is pleasant to look at.

When getting back in I would go out with my grandfather and cut down his Christmas tree. He loved cedars and we usually walked into the field near my house with the hack saw to take it down. We would then carry it to the house and my grandmother would decorate it. This was a neat event as I grew up withing walking distance of my grandparent's house. This was a tradition that we ended after my grandfather got weaker and had he eventually got an artificial tree. He had it decorated and we carried it from his house to the garage each year.

During the evening we would go to my cousin's home and have a family Christmas party where we would celebrate Christmas and my Grandmother's birthday that took place on the 26th. This was a fun event we would have deer meat balls and plenty of other country style foods along with many many fine sweet treats that marked the holidays. I really miss this party as it was a great for the family to get together and share good times. We still try and celebrate my grandmother's birthday each year how we can.

We would always take time to look at Christmas lights in the wealthy neighborhoods around where we lived. this used to immediately follow our Christmas party but this time we still work hard to see the lights before the season starts.

After getting home my grandparents would come down to our house and we would exchange gifts. This was usually followed by coffee and good conversation. This is deeply missed as we currently are unable to enjoy this tradition. I still think of my grandparents at this time of year.

Before going to bed at night we would watch the movie White Christmas. This was a tradition my mother's mother began with her and passed it down. We still do so every year with my father yelling the same expletives at the screen at the same parts of the film each year. At first they were annoying but at this time as this is the only tradition remaining they actually have become quite comical.

I still love this time of the year. I always believe that change is what you make it enjoying the memories of the past and using them to try and grasp the future and look at it with a new light is the only way to make things work.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Things We Have in Common

            With so much tragedy surrounding the holidays with shootings, political tension, racial tension and of course the end of the world I decided that a new blog was in order. I believe that as human beings we are for the most part wired fairly similarly and in the spirit of pulling us together I would like to run through a few of them in order to share something positive for the season.

We Don’t like to kill: For the most part humans don’t like to kill each other. Even with violent music lyrics movies and video games there is still a very big difference from this and violence in the real world. Usually people have to be conditioned to kill one another and even then the first part seems difficult and guilt feeling usually seem to follow. Humans do have a violent nature but killing each other tends to bother us greatly. We should take heart that the vast majority of us have to be brought up to kill or have something going wrong with us mentally or physically to bring us to this point.

We Like to be with other people:  Even the most avid hermit tends to go crazy without other human contact. We may not always want people around but the majority of us like to have people in our lives. Pack nature is in our DNA and it show with interest in having close friends and family. Some studies have shown that people who have a fairly social childhood grow up to be more stable individuals and that many seniors that have an active social life tend to live longer. We as people like to be with people and this is a positive thing.

We are typically upset when we see someone crying: I have noticed this a lot working with mental health but everyone seems to get a tinge of feeling when we hear someone that is upset, especially if they are crying. Some of us try to shut it out and go away as others try to help out but almost all of us feel uncomfortable and this is a show that we are not entirely dead to the world around us or devoid of feeling as many people tout about the younger generation. We are attached emotionally to each other for better or for worse. I personally feel this is for the better.

Laughing with others makes us happy: Just like hearing crying provokes emotion, laughter does this as well. I am not talking about mean laugher but about the type of laughter that all can enjoy. It is hard to not feel heartened by the sound of mirth. Just as sadness is infectious our connections also extend to those that are happy around us.

We love to eat together:  Eating is a past time that we all must take part in. Many times we mix socialization and eating (which are both of human favorites). Most of humanity loves to eat and this transcends, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation and culture as well as most other differences we might have. Food is a fascinating subject and something that we can all bond over. It is usually hard to find someone who is eating well and remains in a bad mood under most normal circumstances.

We have a love of art and music: Lastly we all love some form of art or music. We are creative creatures and love to experience art either by observing or crafting it. This is something again that transcends all barriers. Even a contract killer can find something that they enjoy musically, or artistically. Creation and enjoyment of art is one of the few things that separates us from most common animals it makes us unique and though we may not all like the same art I can guarantee that every one of us has something that we like.

            I know this was a short list but I want you to ponder on this and anything else that brings us together as people. If you have other ideas please comment and add to the list. We are people first and foremost before we are anything else. Happy holidays to all and luck willing I may share something else in the future.