• "Oh, if I could only put things into words as I see them! Mr. Carpenter says, 'Strive, strive -- keep on. Words are your medium -- make them your slaves -- until they will say for you what you want them to say.' That is true, and I do try, but it seems to me there is something beyond words -- any words -- all words -- something that always escapes you when you try to grasp it -- yet leaves something in your hand which you wouldn't have had if you hadn't reached for it. ... I have written myself out for tonight, and am going to bed."
    - Lucy Maud Montgomery, Emily Climbs

    This is my place to "write myself out" -- sharing both my day-by-day thoughts and my artistic output. Thank you for visiting! - Carmen Pauls Orthner
  • contact

My “Christmas manifesto”

Filed under Christmas,Ramblings • Written by Carmen @ December 1, 2010

I am making a commitment to myself this year to chronicle my Christmas.

This is a remarkable season – filled with mystery, poignancy, history and traditions, expectations both met and unmet (whether you were awaiting the latest electronic gadget), pain and joy. It is a season in which much is magnified, in which the insignificant becomes significant – and sometimes that’s the trauma of what’s to be done with the turkey leftovers or why cousin so-and-so failed to send a card this year, and sometimes it’s shepherds staring open-mouthed at a night sky recently vacated by angels, and a baby born to a peasant girl in an obscure town who would become the Savior of the world.

What I want to record is both my day-to-day experiences over the next month, and reflections on the bigger picture – memories of past Christmases, my feelings and impressions, and what matters to me about this season.

I already know that this year will be different in two major ways: this is my baby girl’s first Christmas, and because of my sister-in-law Pauline’s at-risk pregnancy and the need for my mom and dad to fly out to B.C., it is also the first in 15 years that I won’t be with either my parents or my brother on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. There is also a good chance that this will be the last December that we are living in La Ronge, Saskatchewan – the small northern town where Bryan and I have spent the first 12 years of our marriage.

I want to make this season very special, and I know that even in committing to that, I run the risk of disappointing myself. But Christmas is not about perfection – it’s about anticipation, commemoration, and ultimately, a baby. I have my own miracle child to celebrate with this year, and I think that will make delighting in the birth of our Savior – and all the festive trappings that have built up over the centuries, and point to (and sometimes, unfortunately, obscure) the “reason for the season – special in and of itself. My mantra this year is, “Keep Calm and Merry On”!

So – on to Christmas!

This is the irrational season
When love blooms bright and wild.
Had Mary been filled with reason,
There’d have been no room for the child.

- Madeline L’Engle

I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach.
- Charles Dickens


No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment