My first Christmas in San Francisco. My first Christmas on “my own”.
I know Christmas or this Holiday Season brings mixed feelings to people. There are so many expectations. Expectations on happiness, good food, fulfilled traditions, togetherness, Christmas gifts… and not everyone has that.
To me, Christmas is a very dear holiday with many meaningful traditional elements. And historically attached with a fair amount of hospital visits as well. Some easier than others. My mom always tells me that the fact that I wasn’t aware of how severe the situation was when she was in hospital (probably 30 years ago), and that I came joyful to visit and also was very keen to get home on time to see the Christmas Calendar on tv, helped her in the process of healing.
This past Thursday I got the question from someone “I need to give her something. For Christmas she is going to her friend who is severely ill and maybe dying.” The book I chose to quote was Osho’s “Maturity”. It is a beautiful book that I warmly recommend you to read. I was recommended to read it many years ago and ended up reading it first on the way back to California after my fathers passing. Wishing that I had read it earlier, and grateful that my attitude to the situation with my father hadn’t been too far off.
“Life should be a continuous celebration, a festival of light the whole year round. Only then can you grow up, can you blossom. Transform small things into celebration. For example, in Japan they have the tea ceremony. […]
An ordinary thing – just tea – and they have made it a beautiful religious festival. Everybody comes out of it nourished, fresh, feeling younger, feeling juicier. And what can be done with tea can be done with everything […]
Even if you fall sick and you are lying in bed, you will make those moments of lying in bed moments of beauty and joy, moments of relaxation and rest, moments of meditation, moments of listening to music or to poetry. There is no need to be sad that you are sick. […]
When you are sick, call a doctor. But more important, call those who love you because there is no medicine more important than love. Call those who can create beauty, music, poetry around you, because there is nothing that heals like a mood of celebration. […]
Make everything creative, make the best out of the worst – that is what I call the art of living. And if a man has lived his whole life making every moment and every phase of it a beauty, a love, a joy, naturally his death is going to be the ultimate peak of his whole life’s endeavor. The last touches. … his death is not going to be ugly as it ordinarily happens everyday to everyone.
If death is ugly, that means your whole life has been a waste. Death should be a peaceful acceptance, a loving entry into the unknown, a joyful goodbye to old friends, to the old world. There should not be any tragedy in it.”
Now, this was not at all what I intended to write about – but it is something important, especially at times when things “should be” jolly, and they don’t appear like it.
I have gone with the flow and created my own little celebration of Christmas, had a really nice day, and ended Christmas Eve celebration together with friends. Now, stats from Sweden shows that the elements that are the most important at Christmas are:
1) Christmas Tree (89% of Swedes has one)
2) Christmas gifts
3) Christmas Ham
4) Donald Duck and his friends wishes Merry Christmas (3pm Swedish National Television)
5) Santa Claus
7) Christmas Pourage
8) Christmas Mass
And yes, since I woke up yesterday morning I have been trying to get SVTPlay app to play Donald Duck and his Friends – but it “can’t at this moment”. I do have a recording of it somewhere… but luckily I found it on YouTube. And the first one that I landed on was from my very first Christmas 1975! This is now a 52 year old tradition for the Swedish people. Very important. Indeed. Here is a compact version:
Create the celebration – whatever it looks like!
Enjoy, God Jul and Merry Christmas!