Tis The Season


Photo by Dean Hesse

It’s the season to give based on Saint Nicholas of Myra, an early Christian bishop, who gave secretly to people in need. According to the era, he would’ve worn simple robes of grey or brown, not the flamboyant bright red suit with white fur. The Santa Claus myth evolved and became popular in the late 1800s based on the Saint Nicholas’s good works. Not surprising, the saint looks different in different cultures. He is not always a white male.

One of the books I’m reading is Stillpoint, second edition, by Sheila K.Collins, PHD and Christine Gautreaux, MSW. This book reminds me all of this giving requires saying “yes,” but it is important to say “no” and regain some sanity and joy. Finding stillness in the mist of shopping and preparing for family festivities can be elusive and exhaustion sets in.

When my mother was alive I wanted to please her. She always over did every project, and the holidays were no exceptions. She expected her family members to get onboard, and Christmas was no exception. Besides endless shopping to fill the huge stocking for every child in the Tharp family and your turn to host, there was the live nativity production and Santa Claus’s early visit to the Tharps on the night of their party. A wooden backdrop, lighting, costumes, and music had to transported to the hostess’s house. Santa Claus needed to be chosen and invitations sent out with a list of who would bring what dish to the celebration.

With Tharp children grown and responsible for the celebrations the parties are smaller. The excitement of the extravaganzas are missed, but I don’t miss working shift work at the police department and dealing with holiday upswing in suicides and vehicular deaths, and then racing home to wrap hundreds of gifts to please others who already had plenty.

May you have a happy Christmas and holidays of your own making.

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