December 2009


2010 is rapidly approaching.  

2009 probably won’t stand out as a particularly memorable one, but still there were many changes along the way.   A new position in Creative.  A new devotion to yoga and meditation.  A new outlook on life balance.  A new canine friend.

Small, in the big scope of things, but positive.  I hope to see that momentum continue in 2010…

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It’s not Christmas without Erma Bombeck’s column:

There is nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child.
Not to feel the cold on your bare feet as you rush to the Christmas tree in the living room. Not to have your eyes sparkle at the wonderment of discovery. Not to rip the ribbons off the shiny boxes with such abandon.

What happened?
When did the cold, bare feet give way to reason and a pair of sensible bedroom slippers? When did the sparkle and the wonderment give way to depression of a long day? When did a box with a shiny ribbon mean an item on the “charge?”  A child of Christmas doesn’t have to be a toddler or a teen. A child of Christmas is anyone who believes that Kings have birthdays.

The Christmases you loved so well are gone. What happened?
Maybe they diminished the year you decided to have your Christmas cards printed to send to 1,500 of your “closest friends and dearest obligations.” You got too busy to sign your own name.
Maybe it was the year you discovered the traditional Christmas tree was a fire hazard and the needles had to be vacuumed every three hours and you traded its holiday aroma for a silver one that revolved, changed colors, played “Silent Night” and snowed on itself.

Or the year it got to be too much trouble to sit around the table and put popcorn and cranberries on a string. Possibly you lost your childhood the year you solved your gift problems neatly and coldly with a checkbook.

Think about it. It might have been the year you were too rushed to bake and resorted to slice-and-bake with no nonsense. Who needs a bowl to clean — or lick?
Most likely it was the year you were so efficient in paying back all your party obligations. A wonderful little caterer did it for you for $3 per person.

Children of Christmas are givers. That’s what the day is for. They give thanks, love, gratitude, joy and themselves to one another.
It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have children around a tree. It’s rather like lighting a candle you’ve been saving, caroling when your feet are cold, building a fire in a clean grate, grinding tinsel deep into the rug, licking frosting off a beater, giving something you made yourself.
It’s laughter, being with people you like, and at some time falling to your knees and saying, “Thank You for coming to my birthday party.”

How sad indeed to awake on Christmas and not be a child.
Time, self-pity, apathy, bitterness and exhaustion can take the Christmas out of the child, but you cannot take the child out of Christmas.

Being snowed in can be a good thing.  If you have the basic necessities.  Like oboe music, a clean, silky Corgi, a great cup of coffee, and a stunning landscape of sparkling white snow.

It’s difficult to tell how much snow we got yesterday…  reports are that it was about 16″, give or take.  The wind created large drifts in some places and smoothed it out in others.

The timing was perfect.  At the start of a weekend.  No particular plans.  All my Christmas shopping done.  And a new Corgi at my side.

No doubt 16″ inches of snow will look quite different to me in about a week, but for now, I’m just going to sit back, pour another cup of coffee, give another tummy rub, and enjoy it.

It’s better to give than receive.  We all know this instinctually.  Then why can giving be so difficult at times?

I don’t mean charitable giving.  I’m really talking about the people you know and love the most.  Loved ones that we want to thrill in finding just the right gift…  by knowing them so well that you can predict their level of excitement for this gift.  But that often escapes me.

I could chalk that up to me being a terrible shopper.   Or to not being attentive enough to the wants and needs of others.  But in reality, I believe it is the current state of the world we live in.  We consume.  We buy what we want, when we want it.  It makes it very difficult to delight someone with a gift.

In the movie Enchanted April, one of the commoners said to a priviledged woman who arranged for her own comfort

It’s nice to know what you want.  But you shouldn’t deny someone the chance to do something nice for you.

Dylan has entered our lives. An adorable Corgi.  

So many signs seemed to indicate that the time was right for getting the Corgi that we spend so much time talking about but not acting on. A couple of weeks ago, on my birthday weekend in Bucks County, we ran into a fine Corgi specimen. It was the sign of luck for the following year. And last weekend, while out for a walk in a preserve, we encountered another Corgi, Brandy, who took a real liking to me. Just remembering that encounter during the week made me smile.

So, when the SPCA came up in a google search that seemed totally unrelated, I was curious enough to see if they had a Corgi. Unlikely. But, there was Dylan. His parents were divorcing and moving. He was three years old. I didn’t even tell Tom right away. But when I did, he insisted that we should go see him first thing in the morning.

And we went prepared. With some basic dog needs in the back that we bought along the way. We suspected, honestly, that Dylan was already gone. But, no. He was still there.

What a beautiful announcement the volunteer made over the loud-speaker to the rest of the dogs and workers… “Dylan is going home!”

“Don’t take life so seriously, it ain’t nohow permanent.”  Walt Kellly the cartoonist originally said that.

Maybe I’ve just become more pragmatic as I get older.  Or maybe our society has become too productive.  Too efficient.  Too focused.  Too consumed.

But I like the teachings that we are meant to be happy, and wonder why we don’t spend more time focused on achieving that.