Just thought I’d dedicate this post to some random holiday-related thoughts on this, 7 days after the American Thanksgiving Day. First, a very-late question for my fellow Americans: How was your Thanksgiving Day? Mine was spent with my immediate family (mother, stepfather, sisters, their families) at Mom’s place. Or to describe it more precisely, the combination lounge/kitchen on the first floor of Mom’s senior apartment building. Since our extended family is too big for Mom’s modestly-sized apartment, Mom reserved the lounge for our Thanksgiving shindig. On the good side, the lounge is pretty spacious and was perfect for our big family. However, the newness of the first all-family Thanksgiving at Mom’s apartment building didn’t give the day that “at home” feeling I always felt whenever Mom at her old house or Sis at hers hosted whatever holiday shindig we would have.
While I’m spending part of my Saturday morning bathing in the euphoria from and thinking up a post documenting my poetry performance Friday night (an awesome evening all around), I want to make a quick addition to “Allison’s Jukebox.” Have a listen to “Diamonds and Pearls,” the 1991 hit by Prince and The New Power Generation.
As I write this, it’s March 21… or as is also known on the 2017 calendar, the 2nd day of spring! Yeah, I’m a bit excited about it. Well, more reserved than excited. I mean, it’s great that the days are getting longer, which really perks up a person. But since I live in Wisconsin, my enthusiasm has to be tempered a little bit, since winter has a tendency to reel right back and bite us in the *ahem* backside when we least expect it, even if winter can be as relatively tame as the now concluded winter was here in Wisconsin. Today was a reminder that spring takes its time pushing winter to the past: Sure, it was mostly bright and sunny, but the wind was brisk and the chill was present. I’m not one to regularly check the thermometer, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the temperature didn’t rise above 45 degrees.
Well, the holidays are now over with. As usual, I dismantled my tree and stowed away the decorations late New Year’s Day afternoon and evening. And as usual, a little bit of melancholy started to settle into my mind. The joyous feel that the festive decorations generated is in the past. There’s that bare spot where the tree used to be. And I’m left wondering what might await me and everyone else in the new year. This is especially true with He Who Must Not Be Named about to become our “fearless” (re: egotistical) new leader.
So, here it is, the day after Christmas 2016, and you’re probably wondering how my holiday went. Well, I didn’t do too much on Sunday. The reason for that? For only the third time in my life, though the second time in five years, I spent Christmas Day away from my family. The reason for that is that my family had to reschedule our Christmas Day get-together as my little sister’s daughters had to spend the weekend with their father/her ex-husband (every other weekend, he gets to be with them, and Christmas weekend just happened to be his next turn). And since my other sister and our mom didn’t clue me in on any of their plans for the day, I didn’t make the 2-hour trip and instead stayed here in Madison.
Shalom, peoples! Yeah, you were probably expecting to see the word “Christmas” in that post title, didn’t you? And especially with this being posted on Christmas morning? Well, my Christmas will be a subject for another post (perhaps a little later on this Christmas day, if not tomorrow). But I wanted to note that yesterday was the first day of Hanukkah. Now, I cannot profess to being an expert on Hanukkah or any sort of rabbinical studies as I am not of the Jewish faith. But from reading up on the holiday for this post, I understand that Hanukkah is to commemorate these things (and if I am incorrect, please don’t hesitate to correct the record in the comment section below):
- A successful turning point in the rebellion of Maccabean Jews against Greek forces from the ruling Seleucid Empire, who had outlawed Judaism and established worship of the Greek gods after their conquest of Judea.
- The purification of Jerusalem’s Holy Temple, center of Judaism, where Seleucid monarch Antiochus IV established a shrine and altar dedicated to the Greek god Zeus (complete with — um, eww! — pig sacrifices).
- And, most noteworthy, the rededication of said temple (“Hanukkah” means “dedication” in the Hebrew language). This included perhaps the most famous aspect related to Hanukkah — a menorah that miraculously remained illuminated for eight days running on nothing more than a one-day supply of the only untainted jug of olive oil the Jewish worshipers could find.
This post is to promote a new video I added to my relatively spare but strangely bustling YouTube channel, and it’s about the Christmas tree set up in my apartment this season. But there’s something I must confess (no, not that): I haven’t really gotten into the Christmas spirit this year.
Now, you’ve probably taken a glance at that video’s title and thought, “Gee, Allison, you have a tree and decorations set up, so you must be in the holiday spirit.” Well, I decorate my apartment each holiday season for two reasons: To let the great decorations I have in storage out of the broom closet for several weeks at the end of each year (and I have some nice ornaments), and to try to perk myself up and get into the holiday spirit.
I am currently in the middle of a week-long break from work. It’s not that I need the vacation. Well, okay, I do. Let me actually rephrase that: I actually need to take a vacation. Let’s just say Male Mode Me is a workaholic and isn’t one to travel too far for a vacation, let alone take one.
But that’s not to say I don’t appreciate the good things that a week away from work can bring. I can just relax, do some volunteering, and… yep, go shopping! Especially at this time of the year, when every store is wrapped up, figuratively speaking, in the hustle-bustle of the holiday season. So it was last Saturday, when I decided to just browse around the mall down from where I live and came across several displays of cool clothing at Boston Store. Like, say, this one in particular:
Okay, I’m going to try my hand at this poetry thing again. The chilly weekend we’re having in Wisconsin (and it’s going to be just as chilly in the coming week) is the inspiration for this quick ode:
There’s snow on the ground
And snow in the air
There’s minus signs in the forecast
For temperatures not very fair
I can feel this weather
Even though I’m snugly secure inside
I can feel it in my nose and throat
And pray it subsides by sunrise
This is lovely weather?!
Oh, sure it looks lovely
But the cold is nothing to love
At least I am inside
Where I have a perfect way
To keep the cold at bay
Just slip on a bathing suit
Pull out a wide-brimmed sun hat
Perhaps add a matching shawl
Strap on some flip-flops
And close my eyes
Sure, it’s winter outside
But if the bedroom light above me can be the sun
And my bedspread can be the sand
It can be a lovely summer day
Virtually any day
(Take that, Old Man Winter)
We’re three days into 2016 now, and if you’re like me, you’ve already taken down and put back into storage your Christmas/holiday decorations (tree, ornaments, stockings, snowmen, etc.). I usually take my decorations down on New Year’s Day, a nice way to keep sort-of-busy while switching back-and-forth between college football and outdoor hockey. (Yeah, I’m a sports nut.) But since I was busy all day on January 1, I actually put away the decorations Saturday night.
A few things about taking down the tree I noticed on Saturday, thoughts that perhaps you’ve noticed as well when you put away your own decorations: First, no matter how sure you’ve taken down every single ornament from the tree, there always seems to be at least one snowflake or bobble still hanging down a hidden branch of the tree. To help alleviate that, I always make sure I never box up and stow away my decorations before the tree is put away.