Thursday, December 18, 2014

Staying Untangled

I came across this the other day ... it made me giggle ... as I thought it described perfectly what often happens during the holidays.
Zoom!  Zoom!  Zoom!  We find ourselves running in circles ... baking ... gifting ... parties ... shopping ... the list seems endless.  It is so easy to lose sight of what the holidays are really about and we often find ourselves tangled in the stress instead.
A brisk morning walk helps ...
... drinking coffee while wearing warm woolen mittens helps ...
... and having a sweet walking partner like Kysa is especially wonderful.
But ... here in my remote corner of the world ... Mother Nature is often fickle ... she doesn't always cooperate with my relaxation techniques ... ;-)!
I have used reading as a way to deal with stress for as long as I can remember!  There is nothing better than losing one's self in a good book!  It is a forty-one year tradition for me to read this simple book ... I first read it when I was 16 years old!  The background story can be found in this 2009 post.  This book works its magic every year ... it holds such a special place in my heart!
For over 20 years I taught one or more levels of English here in our Jr./Sr. High School.  No matter what age group I had, we always read The Christmas Carol!  Of course, all the students had seen one or more versions in film ... how I loved introducing them to the magic of Charles Dickens ... and the depth of his timeless message.  This is the first year I am not teaching this piece of literature ... it felt like a small empty spot.  I decided to take care of that ... and downloaded the audiobook!  This year ... instead of reading the book to others ... I am enjoying having it read to me!
 Remember this family?  How I looked forward to Sunday nights as a child!  First ... the Wonderful World of Disney ... then Bonanza!  I think Little Joe was everyone's first crush and we all wanted Hoss as an uncle!  And then there was Ben Cartwright (Loren Greene) ... the wise and loving father ... who knew how to make everything right in the world!
Lorne Greene is the one who introduced me to another favorite piece of holiday literature, O. Henry's The Gift of the Magi.
In 1965, he released this holiday record, Have a Happy Holiday.  Long before the concept of audiobooks, he recorded on this album, The Gift of the Magi!  My ... how I feel in love with the story and all it represents!  Of course I have no idea what happened to the album ... and even if I had it, would have no way to play it.  On a dillydally whim ... I looked ... and found it in the iTunes Store!  How exciting is that?  I couldn't believe it!  Many childhood holiday memories come flooding back every time I listen to it!  Wonderful!

So ... as I am zooming around like a crazy person, Dickens and Loren Greene help me remember to find joy in what I'm doing.  And every evening, as I read the greatest love story ... the stress melts away.  The message of the season is hope ... hope untangles all of life's complications.

Do what you love.  Stay untangled.  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

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