I do love Christmas time. I love the lights, the decorations, the cookies, the family time. Uh oh, family time is a no go this year. I’m going to miss it. I love my family. I have enjoyed having two of my grandchildren with me for the last few weeks while my daughter did seasonal work. She would have to report for work at 4 a.m. so it was easier for them to stay at my house. I forced them to eat Christmas cookies, ride around in my 2001 Toyota Camry looking at Christmas lights and watch Christmas movies every evening (while eating more Christmas cookies and drinking hot chocolate). It’s been great (for me, my grandkids aren’t sure if they’re in agreement with my assessment). They’ll be returning home today, and I won’t see them, or my son’s family until after the holidays.
My Mom married very young and went to college when my younger sister started elementary school. She worked hard to complete her degree in education. This was in the late sixties/early seventies, and was during a time when progressive ideas were welcomed. Mom embraced the theories of Transactional Analysis (TA) for Tots by Alvyn M. Freed. “Warm Fuzzies” made us happy and “Cold Pricklies” made us sad. Mom spent seven years completing her degree, and then seven years later had her teaching career cut short by a large benign brain tumor (an acoustic neuroma). That was one big Cold Prickly. Most of my Christmas decorations were made by Mom as she struggled to find post-tumor-removal creative outlets. Getting those decorations out and putting them up each Christmas wraps me in a cozy Mom-generated Warm Fuzzy. She passed away fourteen years ago at the age of sixty-nine but I feel her presence every Christmas.
Warm Fuzzies abound at Christmas time (or Hanukkah, depending upon your faith tradition). There’s honey cookies and latkes for my Jewish friends and Posole and tamales for those of us here in the Southwest. Warm Fuzzies can be very tasty. There can be Cold Pricklies, too: gift disappointment (don’t go there – remember it’s the thought that counts), bad weather, illness, grief following a loss, a pandemic.
So I want to share (sharing is a big Warm Fuzzy) my tips for a happy holiday that you can apply even during a pandemic. Watch holiday movies that make you laugh. Limit the amount of news that you watch. If you are lucky enough to live with people, watch those holiday movies with them. Laughing is always better when done with others. If you are lucky enough to live with animals, pet them while watching holiday movies. Holiday movies are always better with soft animals. Drink warm beverages. They warm fuzzy you from the inside out. Call your friends and family members and reminisce about holidays past (just the good ones) and laugh. Breath in deeply the scents of holiday cooking and baking (my favorite aromatherapy). If you can’t smell them, go get a COVID-19 test. If you’re missing someone you’ve lost, say a prayer of thanksgiving for the joy they brought to your life. Love, love, love… Life is good.