This beloved children’s Christmas quote, by famous educator and author, Mary Ellen Chase, first appeared in a Christmas letter she wrote to the younger members of her extended family.
Christmas is not about the 25th of December. We don’t celebrate a date.
We celebrate the coming together of family. The goodwill upon neighbours. And the letting of bygones be bygones.
Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind.
One which puts a permanent smile on your face… and on your heart.
This past week I have had to work on my “state of mind” pre-Christmas condition. It has been a challenge.
I am going to cheat and share my “Holiday Monster” with you today to leave room for the sharing of all of yours coming… I hope. And also because it explains my different “state of mind” this Christmas.
Yes, this seemingly innocuous little frog, a.ka. “Holiday Monster” has brought me “silent night” and day. Don’t let the picture fool you…this devious little frog has taken up temporary residence in my vocal chords so that every time I open my mouth…only a “croak” emerges.
I mentioned in last Monday’s blog that the Mt. Pleasant Christmas parade on a cold, damp night, did me under. Prior to last Sunday I had been battling a nagging cough…annoying but not daily routine-altering.
Until, upon leaving Tommy’s and Kaitlyn’s drop-in party…my voice was gone. Over the past week it has fluctuated from no voice to raspy to croaky. After finally breaking down and going to get it checked out…I was met with more frustration. I had viral bronchitis that has settled in my vocal chords….no fever, all vitals looked fine…it is just the kind of “condition” one has to “weather” through to get to the other side.
I was told “Don’t talk…rest your vocal chords,” drink hot teas (see cover picture) and soups, get plenty of rest, stay inside as much as possible…especially on damp days….and you will soon have your voice back. “Soon” is Christmas Eve for me so I won’t have to croak out my Christmas story. I know I will get there…but if you have a moment…’throw me a bone’ in a form of a prayer…I think we need God’s “Big Guns” on this one.
This un-anticipated frog/monster has brought about last minute (everything) stoppages…forcing me to remain inside, listen to Christmas music, and stay warm with hot “toadies.”
I have been compelled to “Let it Go” this Christmas and it has actually given me time to pause and stop the “Santa Claus“… the endless buying.
The only flip side to the “Frog Monster’s” visit is a sense of isolationism.
I only have myself to talk to (mentally) and to be quite honest, I am getting pretty bored with myself right now. Me, myself, and I are ready to go play….get out there in the hustle and bustle and wish friends and stranger alike a “Merry Christmas.” (Not a raspy “May-We Chris-Muff.”)
Originally my “Holiday Monster” was going to be a cut-out of Medusa (remember the goddess with that strange hair-do of snakes?) and on each “snake” there would be an example of the things that we allow to slither in and play the role of “Doubting Thomas” during the holidays.
Then my second thought was to cut out a profile picture of me and attach it to this clock with wings…naming all my “Holiday” monsters on each point of the crown.
Instead I got “Mr. Toad” as my unexpected Christmas guest.
I propped him on my “worry” stone, said a prayer to God to help me find my “voice” again, and I have no doubt the story will go on. After all… this year…I am telling “His” story and I want my voice to match my happy “state of mind.”
So until tomorrow…Father, teach me patience and focusing on the things that are important, as my voice grows stronger for you each day.
“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh
* “Old Man Winter” arrived yesterday (December 21) and it sure felt like it…chilly and damp.
As I was walking by my “Happy Room” yesterday…I caught a glimpse of a wonderful photo opportunity. By peeking through the shutters…I caught a glimpse of the outdoor wreath and the completely bare (now) Bradford Pear. A beautiful combination to welcome winter in…a time to pause, reflect, and heal.
And now my hope is….that the “Middle Amaryllis” will bloom Christmas Eve…just like my voice!
If you can think of a “holiday monster” past, present, or future…please share it with us. Sharing our “monsters” build community by the comforting thought that we never outgrow the “monsters” under the bed. (To this day I refuse to dangle my hand down towards the floor)
Happy Birthday Mother. I love and miss you!
Safe travels for Walsh, Mollie, and Rutledge as they fly out today to spend Christmas with Mollie’s family. We love you!