The Bleak Midwinter

Yes, it is possible for New Mexico to have a bleak midwinter, but it’s not the kind some people would think of- especially those states that have snow from November to March! No, there’s no snow on snow on snow. Here, a bleak midwinter is when it’s pretty cold, everything looks gray and brown and tan- and nothing seems to be happening. I am usually thrilled to see a Junco, just because it’s something new to look at (also because I just like small sparrows that come to stay for the winter).

But in this case, what I mean by a bleak midwinter is what happens when Christmas stops being what it’s meant to be and I just turn it into- well, a bleak midwinter. (Or rather the start of winter, which seems much the same as Autumn). It is bleak. It’s dull. Basically: we don’t have Scrooges the way we’re used to thinking of them: old men with hooked noses and grumpy expressions, probably drawn by Arthur Rackham. The Scrooges nowadays are all around us. We are the Scrooges! I mean, after all, Dickens wasn’t making a point to Scrooge that he ought to go out and buy ten presents for each his relatives, panic about that one troublesome brother and wonder if he should bother with getting presents for his friends too. Dickens was saying that we needed to remember the season- and, to put my own, petty twist on it, not let it be a bleak midwinter. Winter can be dull enough as it is.

This came to mind last night when I was thinking about today and all the things I need to do. Tomorrow is going to be busy, so I’m basically going to have to scrunch 2 days in 1, and I wanted to do a little extra. That little extra, taking photos of Christmas gift bags I’m going to put on Etsy, is especially what’s irritating (and the fact that I need to finish sewing the mug warmers I was working on before Christmas is over)

Then my mum came in and gently mentioned that we could maybe make some Christmas cookies. I immediately thought: “I don’t have time for this.” And then I thought: “Something’s wrong here.”

And then I figured it out. I was being Scrooge, getting into rushing around, trying to make money by using Christmas as a convenient footstool, in a way, something that might help me get the money, and that is never what Christmas was about. I was getting too worried about that, rather than making the cookies. And no, making cookies is not what Christmas is about. But I was neglecting the joy and spirit of Christmas for something that’s not worth it.

This Christmas is going to be interesting, sense my dad is out of a job, and I think it was this that is making me think I need to get something on Etsy. But I just can’t let something like greed or worry make Christmas less than what it really is. That’s just not what Christmas is.

To help confirm this fact to me, this morning I took a look at a ticket for one of the events that’s going on tomorrow. A very dear friend paid for us as a Christmas present- but I didn’t realize that each ticket cost $25! If that kindness didn’t convince me I’d started on the wrong track and I needed to get on the right one, nothing would!

Of course my writing hobby (‘career’) is always affected by Christmas . I always mean to write a Christmas story and this year it got swept clean out of my head due to present difficulties, so it won’t happen again. Someday I’ll do it! Actually my next NaNoWriMo novel might be a Christmas novel! But that’s another story (pun unintentional)

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