A Vision of…

Kel has Christmas Dreams

‘Tis the week before Christmas, and all through the house,

All the creatures are stirring, including the compost bin mouse.

The cats are nestled, snug on our bed,

While visions of catnip toys dance in their heads.

Jim in his cowboy hat, and me in my cap,

Aren’t able to settle for any sort of nap…

Everywhere there is such a clatter,

I find myself wondering what is the matter.


I could go on, but I’ll spare you.

Christmas is a week away.  If you’re like most modern American adults, you’re feeling stressed, rather than merry.

(I don’t know how other nations celebrate these days.  Feel free to let me know.)

Daily, my e-mail and social media remind me how little time is left to buy things.  Buying gifts is apparently not enough.  On one passing feed, a woman extolled the joys of elaborate wrapping, adding how the “package embellishment” would serve as an additional gift.  Wow!  Jim and I are lucky if we manage to get the wrapping paper more or less straight.

Hey, I like Yuletide celebrations.   Jim and I don’t have kids, but we still decorate.  We make seven or eight types of cookies.  We provide gifts for both family far, and friends near.

I’ll admit, there are times I feel more like the Grinch than like Santa, especially because, being self-employed, I don’t get any paid time off.  I’m squeezing my holiday preparations in between keeping ahead of my various tasks.

So, what to do?

For me, surviving holiday stress always goes back to counting my blessings.  Here’s one.  I can make seven or eight types of cookies, even the ones with expensive ingredients like nuts.  I remember when I’d stretch the budget so I could make my family’s recipe of butterballs using real butter (not margarine) and walnuts.  I’d look longingly at some of the other recipes and think “someday.”

And, guess what?  It’s someday.  Not only did I make the butterballs with butter, I used butter for all my cookies. I made maple pecan cookies and hermits, both of which call for nuts.  It’s someday.

Today is your someday, too, even if this year hasn’t turned out quite as you dreamed.  Why?  Because we all dream bigger than it is possible to achieve.  That’s what dreams are about, envisioning big.

Nightmares, by contrast, are about envisioning small.  The monsters under the bed make you afraid to get up.  The lost boarding pass keeps you from making your flight.  The thing you can’t quite see that is chasing you keeps you from stopping, relaxing, assessing…

I’m sure many of you are having a rough time, feeling small, feeling stressed, maybe feeling sick or tired or something else that’s making all the sparkle dim, all the jingle dull.

Dream.  Not just “I hope 2020 is better than 2019,” but about what you might do today, tomorrow, next week…

Remembering to dream big is why, no matter how busy my life is with the holiday season adding numerous new tasks to my day I’m making time to read.  On the top of my list is the new DreamForge magazine.  I’ve only dipped in, but I see that the theme for this month is “The Risks and Magic of Hope.”

Hey, that’s cool.  That sounds like the sort of stories I want to read, the sort of stories I want to write.  Suddenly, I can feel my personal winter solstice happening: the sun is warming, hope is born.

May you find a blessing or dream, no matter how small, and use it to kindle your holiday fire.

10 Responses to “A Vision of…”

  1. Beverly Martin Says:

    Thank you! This post was very timely and a good reminder that I needed! Merry Christmas!

  2. Dawn Barela Says:

    The part about the fancy wrapping brings back memories. I used to get real creative by weaving together multiple ribbons and cutting bows into fringe. It would take n=me 20 minutes or so per gift. After seeing them torn open without even looking I gave up. There was no point in fancy “embellishments” if they go unnoticed.

    On the other hand, I used to do a lot of cookie baking which did get noticed. My Mom bought a Better Homes and Gardens Cookie Book in the late 70’s. My original copy got lost in my last move. I suspect it is in a box of random stuff. I have extra copies, so I can still make the brownies that became an instant tradition in my family.

    • janelindskold Says:

      Y’know, I think the embellishments can be nice if the gifts are sitting under a tree for weeks, but that isn’t my world. Cats would eat the ribbons.

      I’m glad you were able to find extra copies of your book. I lost one recipe somehow, and will be hunting for a copy of the Frugal Gourmet’s Christmas book so I can get it again!

  3. CBI Says:

    My wife and have almost completely foregone wrapping and instead use the gift bags available fairly inexpensively at Ross’. We have a friend who *loves* to giftwrap, so she did the three or four too big to fit into a bag (with help, of course). Using the bags has been a nice stress reducer.
    May you and Jim have a very blessed Christmas celebration.

  4. Harried Harry Says:

    You have truly learned to understand the “true meaning of Christmas”. Since two of our three kids (all adult now) live in other states, my wife has fun buying stuff for them on-line. She does this so she won’t worry too much about the items being shipped since she doesn’t have to ship them.

    At one time, we sent out 20 to 30 Holiday cards, but now we only send a few. We cut back after we found fewer and fewer people would respond. Of course, the internet & email allow for cards to be sent electronically, but I think a lot of the true meaning is lost.

    Whether people have children, grandchildren, or no children is really not a major consideration. Having friends, even if brand new, is what really matters. Celebrating the holiday is for all to enjoy. I agree, thinking about how blessed we are instead of considering the negative things which have occurred is a much better way of preparing for a New Year.

    For me, I’m celebrating my wife’s recovery from her second bought with cancer; the Great bounty of my pecan trees, and my better health. My children are healthy so I’m fortunate in that way. Our dogs keep us entertained and they are healthy. I’m able to read so I can keep up with new stories and books as they are published.

    Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays to all your readers, friends, and editors.

  5. Dawn Barela Says:

    There are a several copies of The Frugal Gourmet Celebrates Christmas on eBay. In a variety of prices, some with free shipping.

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