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Merry Christmas?

Cleveland Botanical Gardens, Chrismas time, December 13, 2014

The Cleveland Botanical Gardens’ Glow Show.

Once again home for the holidays; with music by Nat King Cole playing on YouTube. Gift cards are slowly being purchased for the big day, cards being mailed for people never seen and a little present to exchange at work due to peer pressure.

It’s really hard to express what I think about the Holiday Season. Of course, if you are a Christian, this is the time leading up to the day we celebrate the Christ’s Birth; which most historians now agree was probably in the Spring. Every show on the History Channel regarding Christmas will tell you that people celebrated around  the Winter Solstice and all the revelry was to celebrate the return of longer days and brace themselves for a rather hungry winter. Whatever the point, the holidays for me are complicated.

It’s difficult to be happy for the holidays, especially with all the work from ‘the job’ and performing triage with how I spend my money.  Most of the people I’ve known growing up are dead, including my mother.  My cousins can be in another country with the way I see them and my Dad’s wife (he remarried 10 years ago) and family are not the same.  As for friends, social media emails just don’t cut it.  For many, holidays are shared with co-workers at office parties or events arranged by organizations one is a member of.  That’s not the same as close contact with people you love.  While it’s true that the Holidays are a lot less stressful now than as a child when my parents jockeyed between visiting two households pleasing their own parents but these days it sure is solitary. Then again, I’m positive that many others in this country feel the same way.

Gale’s Garden Center in Willoughby Hills, Ohio, December 14, 2014

However, I do admit that it sure is nice driving around some of the streets in my town and seeing all the colored lights on the houses and civic displays.  Places like University Circle, and the Cleveland Botanical Gardens are quite festive and full of people bringing their loved ones to see the holiday displays.  Besides the gift cards, I have gone to the stores and actually bought presents, and being at the stores with all the decorations is kind of, well, merry.  Recently, I went out to Oberlin Ohio for brunch and the lobby of the Oberlin Inn was just beautiful. The Christmas trees, masses of poinsettia, and red ribbons made a very festive scene on such a sunny day.  Things like this matter.

The Oberlin Inn's Lobby decked for the holidays.

The Oberlin Inn’s Lobby decked for the holidays.

By Christmas Day, we will have four more minutes of daylight with more on its’ way. Soon it will be the New Year and the hope that, maybe, things might be better. Hope springs eternal.

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