The New Senior for December 1, 2014
By T. Myers
I have a feeling that music is not on your list of things to think about- and at the same time, this is one of the most important times of the year to appreciate the seasonal music of Christmas. There is nothing like putting a record on the turntable, plugging in your I pod, inserting a CD or tape into the deck and cranking up the volume to listen to an array of Christmas tunes and familiar verses. I just went through my old CDs and tapes and set a box aside to go to when I am in the mood. I play the songs all the time to keep my heart happy and my spirit ready for the different tasks I undertake and the people preparations I make for company. I love the songs, and no, I do not get tired of hearing these wonderful musical offerings because it happens only one time a year. After all, I love the 24 hour a day Hallmark Christmas movies that start as early as Halloween day and I never get tired of them, either!
What traditions do you enjoy at your own home? I decorate and build on the decorations every week until my house looks like a Christmas store, because it makes my heart happy. I bake cookies and other goodies all year round, but there are a few that we always have at Christmas- because it makes my heart happy!
I am sure to ask a few friends to stop by the house during the holidays and I make soup or bread or a casserole that is easy to serve and we talk and enjoy the evening- because it makes my heart happy!
I hang special ornaments on the tree from when I was a child and I add a few that are gifts from friends or family and I put up more lights than I have to, because it makes my heart happy!
What am I getting to? The holidays can be stress filled, crazy with responsible and challenging things to do, activities can jam you up, the party schedule can make you feel used and abused, but when it comes right down to it, when we slow down enough to think about everything:
- We get to spend time with family and friends during the season.
- It is the one time of the year when we can eat things we love and not worry about the calories or the waistline.
- We get to see the wonder in a child’s face when Santa pays a visit and they see the reality and hope of giving and getting coming true right in front of them. A real live bearded Santa that holds a child on his knee and listens to the child is also a gift that we can receive when we watch it happening.
- We get to see the way that stores decorate for the holidays.
- We can watch all kinds of holiday oriented TV shows to get ideas about our own family activities.
- We can mail out Christmas cards with those annual letters to our friends this time of year and no one tells us we cannot.
- We can get all snug in our beds early in the evening when it gets dark and cold and no one cares.
- We can choose to reject invitation or accept invites to other events because we can and since it is busy we have license to decide for ourselves.
- We can take a walk in the deep of night and look at the stars or admire how the snow is building up because we can.
- We can sit by a fire and drink a cup of tea or a hot spiced drink and enjoy a couple of minutes because it is Christmas.
- We can thank our friends and family for being part of the rest of our year and remember them for all of the ways they make our lives better.
- We can appreciate- truly appreciate what we have and be grateful for the little and big things we have to do and be part of during the holidays once a year.
- Be kind.
- Enjoy a few minutes when you can take them
- Love yourself.
The Christmas New Senior
By T. Myers
It is that time of year to celebrate the birth of Jesus and be part of the joy of the season. But, sometimes this time of year is not easy for a new or old senior and we need to be sure that we have people to talk to, places to spend time and avoid the pitfalls that come with spending too much time alone. The holidays can be full of the blues if we let loneliness and sadness into our days and nights.
I am recently put in the position of being a new grandmother. The new grandson symbolizes so much in my family. It is the beginning of life anew, the hope for the future, a chance to start again with good parenting and grand-parenting and just the fact that we get a second chance to do better is very important. With the chance comes the thrill of seeing a new baby develop and recognize all of what life has to offer as he winds through discovering things like Christmas trees, Santa Clause, colored lights, presents, family gatherings and the love of his family and friends.
I can get tired of the commercialization of Christmas, but the songs and decorations and cold nights, snow, winter sunrises and sunsets, icy roads- everything about the short days and long nights lit by strings of lights is a wonder. Sitting and looking out the window while I drink a cup of coffee, baking cookies or hanging up my ornaments on the Christmas tree makes me feel lifted and I enjoy doing these things.
When it comes to friends, many of us are very busy. I just hope that you do not lose sight of the reason for the season and that you take a few minutes to appreciate the time of year for what it can give to you. Try not to let the parties and events overtake the common sense aspect of your life with so much activity that you get tired and worn out. Make sure that you are giving yourself time to travel safely in bad weather. Plan your time away from home with a calendar that gives the whole picture of everything you need to do during the holidays.
What can you do to make things richer and more fun? Try to plan small gatherings of four or so people, who will come over and eat a cookie and have a cup of coffee or sing a few carols with you. Keep events small and manageable so you don’t get stressed having company. Make sure that you are ready to travel for the big holidays and if you don’t feel like you cannot drive to the valley safely, let the kids know it is not safe and go later for the New Year instead.
Churches here in the area have good Christmas programs and if you are alone you can go to Sunday services to check out what you can attend. You can also go to the American Legion for Christmas dinner and spend time with others at their potluck. Make sure that your closest neighbors know if you want to say hello and need some face time. No one needs to be alone at Christmas. This time of the year can be miraculous or sad. The choice is yours and I hope that each of you has a safe and Happy Christmas!
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