Helga’s Post # 96: I found it somewhat challenging to strike a positive note in this post, but be assured I will try to find a few morsels.
Many, if not most of us are busy trolling the malls for bargains to find ‘stuff’ for loved ones and not so loved ones alike, the latter commanding we do so because it’s expected and they will probably show up on our doorstep with a beautifully wrapped box of something smelling of roses or lilies of the valley or some such.
The magic season for our part of the world is upon us with full force. Buy, buy, buy the latest and the greatest. Gadgets on offer are more tempting than ever before. Who could possibly do without a wrist health monitor? For sure, every niece, nephew, grandchild, cousin and respected neighbour has to have one. How could we ever have survived as long as we did without such a thing of beauty? For folks inclined to something a little racier, how about a copy of ‘Let’s Get Naked: Sexy Activity Book for Couples’ for a mere $14.95 from Gifts.com shop.
For those who believe in the gift of reading, (and luckily there are still a fair number of those around), and in the event you are still pondering what to put under the tree for loved ones, AND if you are the kind of reader or writer of those genres, you may get inspiration from the CBC’s list of ‘Best Books of 2014’.
Regardless, for most of us, readers, writers or simply consumer freaks, temptations of every kind abound. Whether we like it or not, time spent on preparing for the holidays takes over a major chunk of our lives. Sure, we may spend a few moments perusing the news flashes appearing on our iphones, such as news about yet more US hostages killed by Isis, and we glance quickly and spend a few moments or perhaps longer commiserating with the families. We may change our shopping plans and decide to pledge money on our loved ones’ behalf to deserving charities. Especially those that work towards peace on earth.
But reality remains. The world, as 2014 draws to a close, is in a huge mess, globally speaking. No, not in our part of the world, thank you very much. Apart from a few little hiccups, US and Canadian stock markets have done very well, and oil can’t drop much further, right? So all is well in our own backyard. We can decorate our house for little money with Christmas lights that could make it look like out of a futuristic movie, and we could, realistically speaking, roast half a dozen turkeys without breaking the bank if that’s what we feel like doing.
But seriously, isn’t that the time of year when we should take stock of what we have been doing all this past year to make the world a better place? Even just a tiny, miniscule bit? Even in our own little pathetic backyard?
There is no shortage of people who have done, and continue to do, exactly that. Even though it’s on a micro-level, taken together, these people are improving lives everywhere, in a most meaningful way.
Take instances of illness. From daily calls and texts of encouragement from friends who find the time in spite of busy days, to flowers and heartfelt messages sent to a hospital bed, and pre-heated soft blankets to ease the chill of chemotherapy while holding the hand of a loved one – all of it counts. Gratitude goes to the countless nurses who offer sincere and never-ending empathy and patience beyond the call of duty and sincere words of caring and hope.
Kindness that knows no boundaries. Family members stepping up to the plate when illness strikes, easing a move to a new place, tool box in tow, hanging favorite paintings and art on the few wall spaces modern condo living provides.
One of the sweetest treats?
The picture above says it all. Home-baked Christmas cookies, prepared by a family member from traditional Viennese recipes of decades, if not centuries, ago. Labour-intensive, sweet and delicious beyond words, sure to ease the side-effects of the strong toxins. I believe that this, together with all the caring and love we have received from everyone, are worthy of writing about in a novel. You know who you are. The plate of delicacies above is a symbol of your love. It won’t make the world a better place, but it surely brings joy where it’s welcome, needed and appreciated most at this time.