Well, it’s all over. Christmas has flown back to the North Pole, leaving us with leftover snow and fewer house lights, but we’re content nonetheless. Perhaps I should speak for myself. Gifts or no gifts, Christmas always enlivens me, and for that, I’m grateful. Friends call from afar, cards and packages arrive, carols stream from servers, shops, satellites, and old-fangled radios. The endless bad news out of America abates for awhile. Best of all, the convenience of Amazon.ca has turned holiday shopping into a simple joy: scroll, point, click and deliver, usually the same day or the next (I know, I know….it kills jobs, but it saves my aching legs).
I’ve noticed a paradoxical angle to my Christmases. Each year that I cut back on holiday activities, my seasonal enjoyment increases. So, for me, no more entertaining, dinner-hosting, party-going, store-trudging or standing in line (or “online”, as New Englanders say). Even concert-going becomes unpleasant, a shame, really, since I do so love Christmas choral events. But just getting there! No, no. I now enjoy one lovely turkey dinner with relatives at my brother’s place in Port Moody, and then I hunker down for some real fun.
On balance, and not only at Christmas, the older I get, the less outside activity of any kind do I need or desire. My legs are less steady, but luckily, the rest of me still works well, and my own head is full of wonder, with resources enough for ten. Cleared of past cares – and without Alzheimer’s yet – I can wander Vancouver’s Festival of Lights at Van Dusen Gardens from happy memory, or visit warm Waikiki, or dine with myriad relatives in Finland and Sweden. I can stroll once again the magical streets of Paris (sigh). The whole world awaits, without pain or impediment. I can still swim and write, two major joys.
Less activity! It’s a new and wonderful freedom. I’m thinking of becoming a hermit (JK!)
As I sit at my computer post-Boxing Day, JazzRadio fills my ears with soft, complex sounds, and with a slight turn of head, I can see it’s snowing. This alarms me not, as I have nowhere to be today. The Crown awaits on Netflix, and my electric blanket periodically beckons. My fully-charged IPAD holds the Wizard of Oz game I like to play (Level 575 and climbing). I have a book on the go, and my best friend texts me regularly. I’m seldom lonely, and besides, my husband is nearby.
What could be better?
The house is quiet, my cat asleep in the next room.
Until the furnace guy comes and the vacuum noise sends him into the snowy cold.
I’d best go check on him; he’s old too.