Tuesday, November 28, 2006

On Holidays and Feelings

Okay, so now my therapist has this crazy idea that I should actually feel my feelings. You know, before I totally rationalize them away. With stuff like, "Well, I should have known better," or, "That's just the way they are." She suggested we could begin this insane experiment just in her office. So if you see me jotting notes, well, you'll know: I'm recording my feelings. That's assuming I actually notice I'm having them in that blink of an eye before I begin rationalizing.

As one might imagine, the Holidays During This Year of Major Changes are going to be challenging. Thanksgiving was tolerable, but Christmas is going to be really tough. So I'm working on creating some new traditions. I am, as a coworker of the Jewish faith once observed, a secular Christian: I love the trappings and the spirit, but not so much the actual beliefs. In fact, my family's traditions are very much of the pagan/secular Christian/look-the- days-are-gonna-get-longer-again variety when it comes to this time of year.

So, here's your homework: describe the cool tradition of the winter holiday season that you'd like me to try. No choosing weird stuff you've never (and will never) done--gimme something you enjoy, or think you might enjoy. I can test it out for you and let you know.

My first: I always loved the advent wreath of the Lutheran Church, and even tried putting one up a few years back, but it seems awfully, well, Jesus-like for me. So I think I'm going to do some sort of Solstice version. I'll post a photo of what I come up with.

In the meantime, gotta find me a tree!


Tyra said...

i was always fond of advent calendars, you know, the cardboard pictures with all the doors & the cheap chocolate inside that you could only have one piece of each day after carefully examining the picture to find the right door. my brother and i would get *so* excited about getting to the 24th piece of cheap chocolate!

(plus these are not lingeringly decorative and don't require moving--you can look at them all season & then the chocolate is gone & you throw the box away!)

Jonathan Benda said...

Well, one of my usual holiday-season activities consists of sitting around feeling depressed, but I'd better not recommend that to you. I seem to enjoy it, though--I do it every year...

How about singing carols? There's nothing like harmonizing (or trying to harmonize) with others. (Though you might have to try to ignore the words...)

Anonymous said...

We always baked stollen, the German bread that has currents and jellied candies in it, following my grandmother's recipe. The only other suggestion I have is to listen to Christmas music--perhaps something that takes you back to your childhood: Mahalia Jackson? Harry Belafonte? Donna Summer?