It’s Christmas morning!
You can tell because I have a candy cane in my hand while I read a book on my Kindle. It’s a little after 8 in the morning, still dark outside, and in a couple of hours I’ll make my way to Saskatoon to visit my parents for Christmas morning.
This is the first year that I can remember where Christmas didn’t creep up on me like before. I didn’t rush around and do things, I just did stuff I needed to do. Like yesterday, I did three loads of laundry. I know, not exactly Christmas Evey type activity, but it was something I needed to do.
As I’ve grown older, a lot of things have come into better focus (even though my eyes continual grow weaker every year). I hate driving long distances, I don’t like travelling, even going to Saskatoon. I figure Elbow and the beach on the lake is a good journey for me. Sure I’d like to travel to exotic places, but it’s not high on my list. Mostly because I’ll probably have to take a plane and that thought terrifies me. I hate the phone, I find it an intrusion into my life. Though, it is necessary, and I even have a cell phone for those times that I do have to travel a great distance.
That’s stuff I hate, but the list of stuff I like has gotten better.
I’m not so down on the Kindle or other ereaders like I used to be. I can see how it is awesome to carry around 40 or more books in your coat pocket. The bonus: less stuff to dust.
I’ve grown comfortable in the place where I live. I enjoy this small town and really don’t wish to move to a larger center. Cities terrify me, after all, so I’m content living here, in Outlook.
I feel very privileged in that I wrote a book. Sometimes I get down on my writing and find it difficult to get motivated, but I look back and realize that I actually wrote a book. It actually is put together and there are actually people reading it, whether that be the printed version or the electronic version. It isn’t perfect, but it’s there and it’s mine.
I have my aches and pains, but I sit back and realize life could be a lot worse for me. And really, in the end, I just hope there’s others out there that as they grow and as they deal with the inevitability of life, that they’ll learn from it, find some way to make it easier, and get to a point where they are happy.
Social happiness is one thing, that contract the government signs when they take office to ensure that people are cared for, that’s one thing. That’s something we all need to remind our respective governments about. But individual happiness, that takes a lot of hard work. For some it might come easy, others will be a little harder. And, in a few cases, it may not come to realization until you happen to be the age of the answer to life, the universe, and everything. Sorry, reading a lot of Douglas Adams lately.
Well, that turned rather philosophical in a hurry. I didn’t mean that to go down that road after taking a goofy picture of myself holding my Kindle and a candy cane (which, as of this paragraph, has been devoured). All things considered…
Happy Holidays and the best in the New Year.
Halloween is what 31 Days of Ghosts is all about. But Halloween has a history that dates back a very long time. After doing research, I found one of the best descriptions for this holiday was found at odditiesoflife tumblr. Here’s the history of Halloween, and don’t forget to read more Oddities of Life.
Curious History: The Origins and History of All Hallow’s Eve (Halloween)
Halloween’s origins date back more than 2,000 years. On what we consider November 1, Europe’s Celtic peoples celebrated their New Year’s Day, called Samhain (SAH-win). According to Irish mythology, Samhain was a time when the ‘door’ to the Otherworld opened enough for fairies and the dead to communicate with us; Samhain was essentially a festival for the dead.
On Samhain eve—what we know as Halloween—spirits were thought to walk the Earth as they traveled to the afterlife. Fairies, demons, and other creatures were also said to be abroad. It is still the custom in some areas to set a place at the Samhain feast for the souls of dead kinfolk and to tell tales of one’s forebears. However, the souls of thankful kin could return to bestow blessings just as easily as that of a murdered person could return to wreak revenge. Fairies were also thought to steal humans on Samhain and fairy mounds were to be avoided.
People stayed near to home or, if forced to walk in the darkness, turned their clothing inside-out or carried iron or salt to keep the fairies at bay. The Gaelic custom of wearing costumes and masks was a bid to befuddle the harmful spirits or ward them off. In Scotland, young men would dress in white with masked, veiled or blackened faces. They were known as ‘guisers’ and the practice was common in the 16th century in the Scottish countryside. Candle lanterns, carved from turnips, were part of the traditional festival. Large turnips were hollowed out, carved with faces and set on windowsills to ward off evil spirits.
Samhain was later transformed as Christian leaders co-opted pagan holidays. In the seventh century Pope Boniface IV decreed November 1 All Saints’ Day, or All Hallows’ Day. The night before Samhain continued to be observed with bonfires, costumes, and parades, though under a new name: All Hallows’ Eve—later “Halloween.”
Children going door to door ‘guising’ or ‘galoshin’ in costumes and masks, carrying turnip lanterns, offering entertainment of in return for food or coins, was traditional in the 19th century and continued well into the 20th century. At the time of mass transatlantic Irish and Scottish immigration, the custom of Halloween in North America began.
It’s my favourite kind of Easter Egg!
I got a space ship!
Seriously, though, I loved the old Kinder eggs and the different toys they had. Somewhere in my box oh stuff that I’ve been hauling around with me for the past 22 years from place to place, I might still have the old Kinder Kats. Cats dressed in Egyptian themed garb. I’ll have to look around for them.
At this time of year, many will look to Christmas with joy and hope and laughter. I do to. Many will also partake in the touring of Christmas lights, and I admit I enjoy taking the usual tours around communities to view what people have crafted with their light displays. Can’t forget food. Having a wonderful feast is great and satisfying. There’s also Christmas music.
Which I tend to distance myself from.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind Christmas music. For about three hours on Christmas day itself. But the rest of the time, I can totally do without it. My aversion from Christmas music can be blamed on my working ten years in radio. From December 1st right up until Christmas day, the frequency of Christmas music increases. At a few stations I worked for, it would start with one tune a day for a week. Then one tune an hour, then two tunes an hour, followed by three, and then Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were crammed solid with 100% Christmas music. There’s only so many versions of Jingle Bells one person can take.
So my tastes changed. I lean more toward classical fair. Dramatic music of certain movies, or video games, that come out around Christmas or announced around Christmas, and I listen to those.
The following is a large sampling of music I listen to around this time of year.
From Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
From Guild Wars 2
From The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
Also from Guild Wars 2, the Norn Theme.
Basically, this is usually what I’ll listen to. Not that I don’t like Christmas music, I just got very tired of it after ten years working behind a mic and playing tunes at radio stations.
However, in whatever way you celebrate the season, whether that be Festivus, Christmas, Hanukkah, the Solstice, or just getting together for good food, good friends and good times, have a Happy Holiday Season.