depression/anxiety, Festivus, Lake Waccamaw

Merry Christmas from the O’Neills!

Actually, we don’t really do Christmas in the good old Murican way any more. I’m much happier this way, and I think Sandy is too, as long as he gets to have Christmas with my sister and brother-in-law. We had a wonderful Festivus dinner with them at their rental house at Lake Waccamaw. Still too chilly to do any boat riding or pier sitting, but the sunset view was nice across the road. Lisa pinned Rascal on Christmas Eve morning so Festivus is officially over.

Today Sandy is working until 2, as he often does to let others have the morning off. He will be working the morning shift on New Year’s Day also, so I guess that means the Steampunk Ball in Saxapahaw is out for us this year, although he says he would deal with it if some friends decided to go. We enjoyed that last year.

We didn’t have a tree and I didn’t even bother to get the stockings or decorations out this year. Last year we strung up lights and two lighted Christmas balls on the front porch and never took them down, so I just plugged them in. Lights are my favorite part of Christmas anyway. I did not send cards. I am determined to unplug from the Christmas machine and do it in a non-commercial way. I am beginning to enjoy most Christmas music again, with the exception of very repetitive songs like Ring Christmas Bells and The Little Drummer Boy, which set my OCD a-twitchin’ and make me want to scream. I played bells in high school concert and marching bands and Christmas music is where I naturally got to shine. Sleigh Bells is one of my favorites because of this.

Being able to deal with holidays in my own way has been a key part of my mental health healing. It’s tough when your parents are gone or you have had other loss in your life. I’m not sure that you ever get over not having your parents during Christmas. I just saw a photo of Mama from Christmas five years ago in that house that a stranger calls home now and it was like a stab in the heart.

Anyway, I am nearly finished hand sewing the binding around the t-shirt quilt. I keep saying that it will be finished by this date or another, but I really think I will get it finished today. Then I will pull out all the quilting threads that are loopy or snarled and over time I will hand-quilt in those areas. I am very fond of this quilt. It is a nice weight and cozy. I doubt that I will ever do another one because ironing on all that interfacing was a big pain in the ass.

Once I finish that, I am busting out the big Macomber loom and warping it up. I’m also going to start back on the Cathedral tapestry. The tapestry diary is going to have to take a back seat, maybe for forever. It has negative connotations for me now. This tends to happen on the rare occasion that I weave a tapestry when I am severely depressed. If I manage to finish it, it is given away or rolled up and put in a closet. I was afraid that this might happen with the tapestry diary once I got my brain chemistry back in gear so I don’t see any point in finishing it now.

We have been invited to a Christmas party this afternoon at a retired history professor’s home, “to hang out with a diverse crowd for food and conversation.” I love this guy – he is known for showing up at music events all over the area and dancing by himself. So warping the loom may have to wait until tomorrow morning. I’m going to Susanne’s tomorrow afternoon for an afternoon doing creative stuff with the girls.

Then the rest of the week is gloriously free of any work, scheduling or obligation! I’ll do my annual yearly wrap-up blog post somewhere in there.

Merry Christmas, y’all.

Festivus

Happy Festivus!

Or, as I saw on an ad from Dharma Trading Co, PAINLESS FESTIVUS!!!

It’s a Festivus miracle!

Frank Costanza: Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for the last one they had, but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way.

Cosmo Kramer: What happened to the doll?

Frank Costanza: It was destroyed. But out of that a new holiday was born: a Festivus for the rest of us!

Kramer: That must have been some doll.

Frank Costanza: She was.

coffee pot posts, consumerism, Festivus, voluntary simplicity

Sunday morning coffee pot post

Actually, I wrote a long one yesterday that I lost and didn’t have the heart or the patience to rewrite it.

We are in the middle of the holiday season, which brings out the imp in me, because I love to bug people who love to shop and who hate the phrase “Happy Holidays,” so I try to use it as often as possible.

My favorite holiday of the season is Festivus, celebrated on Dec. 23. From Wikipedia, here is the story of the origin of Festivus according to Frank Costanza.

Frank Costanza: Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for the last one they had, but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way.

Cosmo Kramer: What happened to the doll?

Frank Costanza: It was destroyed. But out of that a new holiday was born: a Festivus for the rest of us!

Kramer: That must have been some doll.

Frank Costanza: She was.

Excuse me while I get a tissue. This lovely story gets to me every time.

In our house, after the airing of the grievances, we have to pin Miss Jazz, which makes it a fairly stress-free ritual.

I have not yet erected a Festivus pole, but there are actually such things for sale. Yes, even the sacred holiday of Festivus has been sullied with commercialization. I guess I could buy one of those leg lamps to illuminate it.

I would love to celebrate Buy Nothing Christmas if the others in my family would go for it. Mostly, they have, but we still buy presents for my mother, my grand-nephew, and my brother-in-law. Two of these have been covered.

I don’t mind buying a perfect, unexpected gift for someone but the obligation of having to buy something for somebody on a particular day no matter what really bugs the crap out of me. Especially if they are difficult to buy presents for. My mother usually is a toughie, and will let you know if your present is not up to snuff. It’s more of a respect thing with her, I think. She grew up in the Depression and gifts mean more to her. Fortunately, she told us exactly what she wants this year.

Gifts to charity don’t do it in these cases. Personally, I would love a gift to a worthy organization like Heifer International or Oxfam in my honor.

When people stress over the dozens of gifts that they “have” to buy each Christmas, I thank God that my family has never emphasized “stuff” at Christmas. As kids, we got presents but never loads of stuff. We would much rather get together over a good meal, sometimes in a nice place at the beach, than worry about shopping for each other. We are not rich, but we know that we are blessed, and that is enough.