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Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas - Not So Bad After All

My grandson Liam (3) holding his brother Isaac (9 months)
For me, the Christmas season is like air travel: the dread of it is far worse than living it. 

Right before Thanksgiving, I think "Oh no, another Christmas season will I get through it?" 

But then December 25 comes and goes and I find I actually did enjoy it. This should not surprise me; I have made it easy on myself. I don't bake cookies or send Christmas cards. My house decorating takes exactly 30 minutes. I have eliminated so many of the "shoulds" that what I have left is fun. The hardest part for me was preparing for two family parties when I felt like I was swimming through Jell-o (I get "SAD" - Seasonal Affective Disorder - pretty bad).

Earlier in December, at a party of a group of old friends, I posed the question, "What makes Christmas magic for you?"

The answers were all about the same. Seems like our joy comes from watching our loved ones together, and from giving gifts.

I'm glad I went to that friends' party, because afterwards, I found myself paying more attention to watching when my own family gathered. The awareness made it more precious. Even when I was busy in the kitchen, I could hear the happy hubbub...and I felt grateful. No family is perfect, but I feel blessed to have one, and especially blessed that we enjoy each other.

The movie "Prancer" captures the magic of Christmas for me. It's a 1989 film with superb acting, an incredible musical score by Maurice Jarre, and real Midwestern snow. This family movie is a fairy tale, but it gives beautiful expression to the theme of love and loyalty after death has fractured a family.

Love and loyalty - the two best Christmas gifts. 
Jessie and Prancer - from the movie "Prancer"

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Hello again!

Hi! I'm back!

I haven't written a blog in months because I was busy finishing a new book...and then the book went off to a publishing house for consideration and I was busy with inertia...and then winter set in and I was busy with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)....

Anyway, I just got a (nice) rejection letter from the publishing house, so it looks like I'll be self-publishing my book - sooner than later, I hope.

I hope to get back to blogging, and back to the human race. I never believed in SAD until it hit me a few years back. I hereby pledge to try to use my light box faithfully. It seems to help. At least during this dark season, we get to see DEER come to our feeder. Beautiful!

Hope to "see" you soon!

Gail Grenier is the author of Calling All HorsesDog Woman, and Don't Worry Baby, all available from