Posts from the ‘Santa Lucia’s Light’ Category

Today’s the day!

Happy Santa Lucia Day, everybody!

Today is about the light of tradition.

I am not a societal traditionalist.  Example: I tried to wriggle out of both my High School and College walking ceremonies (succeeded with the HS one).  I don’t like traditions that solidify into law.  Tradition–in society–has become a prescriptive rule that must be obeyed, no matter how miserable it makes people.

Thankfully, my parents have learned to be fairly tolerant of this tradition shunning.  And equally tolerant when I insist on family tradition.

Because I do love familial tradition.  Santa Lucia Day is one of those beautiful traditions that, while not unique to my family, is precious to my family.  And when we’re all together, having flour fights or singing carols for children or taking a picture of the sign that says, “Roast your nuts here!” (chestnuts, people, chestnuts) we’re lifted up!  We feel love and light and fun.

This is what got my family through all those tough times.  All the days when I was a total harpy, all the days I couldn’t crawl for depression, all the days I was psychotic with mania, and–of course–their bad days as well.  We made it because we are bound by our own precious traditions.

Infinite capacity.

Today’s light is that of faith.

I am not the best at having faith in people.  But, I have been taught one thing and will hold to it for as long as possible: people have an infinite capacity to change.

Not all people want to change.  Not all people invite change.  We all need to change.  Thankfully, I have been taught that mankind can change for the better.

And, no matter how long it takes, I will continue to hold on to this fact.  For I have faith.

Of myself.

Today’s light is the light of giving.

(By the way, I’ll try to make this a decent length, but I hate this stupid ergonomic keyboard with a passion (writing at abnormal place) so it may be a short one.)

Today I sent out my holiday cards.  Now, to be clear, I don’t say holiday in an effort to placate the rabidly PC individuals that seem to have become the voice for the more temperate masses, I say that because I have several different friends who celebrate several different holidays.  Will I send my Wiccan friend a Christmas card?  No.  That seems insensitive and ridiculous.  Will my Atheist friends send me an anti-religion card? NO!  They respect me more than that.  So, today I sent off my holiday cards to my friends of various belief systems.  And I LOVED it.

Why?  Because I got the chance to embrace the faiths and beliefs of my friends.  Because I got to sit down and design eight very distinct cards for eighteen different people.  Because I got to take in the current situations, events, and families of dear friends and relatives and make cards tailored to them.  Because I got to give of my time, my love, and myself.

This is my favorite part of the Christmas season: the giving.  In fact, if I could give presents that were meant to be given again and again and again, I would.  I gave Giggles her present the night of Thanksgiving so I could see her face as she opened it.  That’s the payoff for me.  Giving and seeing the light that comes to the faces of my friends and family who realize how hard I tried to make or find the perfect present.  It may not be the perfect present, but the effort means more to them than the gift itself, I think.  I’m always that family member who, when around the tree, encourages people to, “Pick mine!  Pick mine!”  If there were no presents under the tree for me, I would be just as happy, so long as everyone opened my presents first.  I think Elder Moose said it best in one of his e-mails home from Brazil: “Christmas is so much more fun trying to find the right gift than trying to receive the right gift.” (How wise is my little brother?)

Still, this is definitely the best part of the season for me–giving of myself.  I used to be pretty selfish about Christmas being family time, but I’ve learned since then.  I’ve learned that as I cling to my family, I keep them from helping others and feeling that rewarding light of giving.  Now, I’d be happy to kick them out the door on any day of the year, especially these important ones, if it meant they were enjoying giving of themselves as well.

It’s one of the best parts of being a missionary’s sister–I have someone out there who I know is actively giving of themselves every day.  Who cares how far away he is?  He’s happy.  And he’s making me happier because that kind of happiness is infectious and inspiring.  It helps me want to give more and love more and spread joy more.

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Only two more of these and then the Room for Christmas series. 🙂  Hope you’re getting your Saffron ready to make those Lussekatter. 😉

Silence.

I don’t like silence.

It frightens me.  It makes me wish I could be anywhere else, anywhere else where there is noise and laughter and attention being paid to all but me.  Silence makes me feel bare and exposed.

So, I chatter.  Perhaps not the optimal solution, as the attention then, surely, focuses on me.  But, at least then I know it is mine–and there is noise again to distract me from those who may be attending to my words.  I have a reputation for being friendly to the point garrulous and I am afraid–when faced with silence–it is a reputation I deserve.

I don’t like myself very much when I am searching for words to continue a conversation that is only to fill the oppressive silence.  I know I come off–and, frankly, feel–as trivial, perhaps even witless or unintelligent.  I don’t mind the last two so much.  My siblings are much more witty than I, so I feel my reputations suffers no stain by that assumption, and I’ve learned that no matter how much I learn, there are those more able to absorb fact and better able to interpret it.  But I do mind being thought trivial.  I’ve spent so much of my life developing skills and learning difficult lessons.  I would hate to be so chatty and meaningless in my conduct as to construct a reputation that brands me as superficial.

So, I really must hate silence and, in honesty, hate the more my reaction to it.

My closest friends may wonder, for they have heard for years that I think the most perfect expression of friendship and attachment is silence.  And that is the truth of it.  But there is a difference between the silence of an empty room and the silence of friends.  The second is much harder to come by.  Even my best of friends and I cannot always manage it.  However, when we do, it is wonderful.  The companionable silence, as opposed to the oppressive, states with the warmth of a clarity that can only be achieved without any sort of noise that all are accepted as they are.

And so, today, I think I will celebrate silence.  The silence that my friends and I achieve together.  The silence that sings, so beautifully, without a sound.

Today, I feel the light of companionship.

Good people.

Today’s light is the light of association.

I have a habit of surrounding myself with a fantastic, if eclectic, group of people.  I didn’t always, but now that the habit has developed, I find that my life is fuller, happier, and easier to bring new people into.  Because the core group is pretty fantastic, I can trust that the people they bring in are equally amazing.  And, after getting to know them, I learn the trust is completely justified.  Then more people get brought into my circle through the new friends.  The cycle continues and I am just full to the brim with a circle of people who could not be more awesome.

I’ve made a lot more friends since the recent years because I have learned how to make good friends first.

Love you guys!

Adorables and gumption.

The light of self-confidence.

I know I’ve talked about confidence in decisions, which includes an element of self-confidence, but today it deserves some special attention.

There’s something wonderful about those moments when you look at yourself in the mirror and just know you’re wonderful.  These moments are the culmination of years of conquering doubt and proving oneself, of friends and family and sometimes complete strangers lending you their confidence while you develop your own.  And, eventually, you begin to believe.

Then the moments happen.

Today, I am adorable and sassy.  Today, I am fantastic.  Today, I have self-confidence.

Nothing like family.

I have a pretty fantastic family.  And not just immediate family, as I chronicle in the You Should Read This First series.  My extended family is pretty incredible.

Sometimes I forget that.  Sometimes I get annoyed with the nonsense and the frustrations that come with family life.

And then my cousin and I debate the merits of different villains for the new Abrams Star Trek with my dad chiming in.  Plus some forays into the new Hobbit and all it’s trappings.  Geek abounds, as well as some good memories shared.

Sometimes I need a little reminder.

But my family is AMAZING.