Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Christmas’ Category

The soothing Sunday thoughts: peace, love and joy

I hope we are all at peace with each other

Since we are still sharing the candlelight

And a hug, a kiss and I love you

Whether you have just one slice

Of bread and a glass of wine

Whether you are in a castle

And you would never know

How much suffering is out there

I hope we are all at peace with the world

The fighter, the lover and the loser

The dreamer, the angry and the doubtful

The smart, the holy and the simple

I hope we are all at peace with our heartaches

Since we can still send our love

To those who are desperate, hungry and forgotten

I hope you can see some snowflakes

Dancing down and falling from the sky

The promise, the hope and the wisdom

Of someone who we all know

I hope you can see how snowflakes

Cover the graves, the streets and the cities

So that we all could have peace and joy

Like white, untouched and pure snow

At least in our thoughts

And the soft warmth of this calming candlelight

For I hope we are all at peace with ourselves and others tonight

Merry Christmas! Peace, love and joy to every home and family! Happy holidays blogging friends!

Advertisements

Wrapping up the shortest day of the year

Wrapping up the shortest day of the year feels good. Knowing that it will be in the past very soon is uplifting. Having more daylight every day means moving towards the spring. This means to me almost like going home. Spring, summer and early fall are the seasons I live and reside in, so yes, every day which brings me closer to the new spring, is a good day and a reason to celebrate and to forget about nasty winds and colds. The weather has been extremely pleasant so far, I cannot even believe Christmas is just some 48 hours away. The sun showed her smiley face today and I think squirrels couldn’t understand what was going on. They were running and jumping and didn’t seem to be concerned about freezing in a near future at all.

Christmas cactus

My Christmas cactus was blooming just a few days ago

I love the rush before Christmas; in fact, I love it before any festivity or celebration. Since Canadian celebrations have to be arranged months ahead and even then nobody shows up, preparing some food and decorating our place is the only celebration I have.

Christmas ornaments

Beautiful decorations and lights

Decorating Christmas tree

The greens of the tree have the most attractive color

We used to invite many people, and biggest half couldn’t make it. I tried to invite those few people, who I could consider at least acquaintances, and everybody was busy and nobody could come. After a while I gave this invitation thing up because I understood, it will never be like it was in Latvia. Somebody calls 2 hours before dinner, fine, he or she is invited, or I call and ask if I can join, and they were happy to see me. If I have the tree put up 2 months ago and all gifts wrapped up a month ago, I have no Christmas spirit. I do it like this: I put on Christmas songs, boil something in 5 pots at once, whip cream, butter breads and cut vegetables for salads while meat is roasting in the oven. I run around with wrapping papers and decorations and makeup my face and do hair between finding something lost first and second floor. This is how I love it. Light up candles, as many as we have, put everything on the table and then I can dance a little bit or sing some Latvian or German Christmas song. Now it’s time to go to the table. We used to always go to the church first, but the only Protestant church which I know about is very far away, therefore I can just watch it on TV and say a prayer by myself. Blessings are very important part of Christmas and we should all have them.

Christmas gift wrapping

The gallery room

Beautiful gift wrapping ideas

Gifts are getting wrapped up

Christmas gift wrapping ideas

Paintings are easy to wrap

Decorating for Christmas

I love wrapping up gifts with colorful ribbons and I would usually add at least some small branch or shiny ornament to make my gift shine. Takes very little time, looks excellent.

Latvian Christmas song

Once you are done with the most urgent things, you could listen to one Latvian Christmas song, 2 brothers are singing it. Brothers Ziemeli. It’s title is “White snow has been falling”. The main idea is: if nobody loves you, you can still love somebody. There is always somebody who is freezing without you. They would be thankful for your warm hands.

It’s winter solstice in the Northern hemisphere. Therefore, we will be moving back to light and longer days very soon. What a great reason to be happy!

Christmas memories that can make us cry

There is a house on a hill far, far away, across the ocean, across huge fields and deep forests, and my mom is writing a Christmas card to me sitting at her old table, wearing a blue warm shawl around shoulders in her small lovely room. Letters are lining up unevenly, and the card always starts with “My dear daughter”.

Winter night light

Christmas time is very special time not only because we are trying to do something good for others, to give more than take, to support more than we usually do, but also because it brings back memories. If you’re older like me, you are having plenty of memories, as well. Each year has been marked with some event, some person, some special gift, somebody’s birth, wedding or death. I intentionally sometimes do not look through photos. These are the old, real photos on paper that I’m talking about; a few are grey-yellowish already since they’ve been taken more than 50 years ago. I don’t want to hurt myself too much because that is the past and it’s not in our power to return to life those people who have walked away either from us, or from this dimension.

If you are like me, your friends and family live very far away in another continent. My husband’s family is in Canada, but nobody resides close to us. Our Christmas means only two of us, and I am so grateful it is two, not only one. I have had completely lonely Christmas and bad ones, too, when there was no food on the table and when I even couldn’t get a bus ticked to get to my family back then in Latvia. I have been sick during some Christmas and I have been extremely happy also. I have been even freezing terribly during some Christmas, there was very little firewood at home, and we needed it badly to keep the fire in the stove going and ourselves from freezing.

If you are a very sensitive person who easily slides into depression, you should keep yourself away from the most painful memories, too. Some tear or a few running down the cheek is absolutely fine, but we shouldn’t submerge ourselves into a deep, dark, lonely lake of tears and melancholy. It helps to be among other people, at least chatting with online friends or somebody over the phone will make it feel as if together with somebody. There are always events at the church, and nobody feels lonely there. It is wrong to assume that one has to be only smiles if they want to cry in reality. It is fine to let your memories unfold as long as they don’t wrap you up in a too thick layer of regrets, feeling of guilt and sadness. The worst companion for a lonely grieving person is alcohol. It can create the illusion of joy and pleasure, but it fades away very quickly leaving one in deeper depression than ever. Whatever you do, do not use alcohol as a pain reliever. The blurry mind gives us wrong instructions and takes onto wrong route.

Winter night Christmas memories

Whatever our memories and situation at Christmas, there is always something to be grateful for. It is fantastic to be with somebody. It is great to have good food. It is excellent to have lights and candles and to be warm. It is a blessing to have somebody who loves you and who you can love in return. Don’t have a party? So what? Have to stay in bed? Well, next year should be having a better ending then. Things did not happen as you expected? They here and there do, and they very often don’t. Too busy, too many guests, too boring and tiring party? Relax; take your time, one can always find an excuse to sit down at some quiet corner.

My best Christmas memories are associated with family which is far away at the moment. We were very happy together. Celebration was not that much about plenty or expensive gifts those times, but mostly about the great feeling, Christmas warmth, delicious self-made meals, Christmas songs. Our tradition also includes saying a Christmas poem at the tree, and all kids were doing that in order to receive their gifts. It was always a bit different in Latvia: the biggest celebration is on December 24. We are supposed to have 9 dishes on the table; we are supposed to eat something 9 times during this night, we sing a lot of special Christmas songs and we have also other 2000 year old traditions: like dressing up in special costumes and visiting other houses in the neighbourhood.  It used to be so much fun that sometimes we returned home only by 3 or 4 in the morning. We were laughing a lot, even dancing. Giving, receiving and unwrapping of gifts was always done on December 24, as well. Therefore, Canadian Christmas seems quite boring to me. It’s most likely a very nice celebration when somebody gives a Christmas party, but it is a really slowly unwinding night for people who do not have any guests, visitors and who are simply lonely.

Winter sky and tree

We cannot buy love or happiness with a gift, but we can show our love and gratitude. Giving somebody an opportunity to feel safe and preventing somebody from loneliness is a valuable gift, as well. There are people who only need you to be with them, and not much more. To light up a candle, to make a place for joy.

%d bloggers like this: