CORNER by Jeff Hartzer
#007: December 2004
Poets, writers and artistic types, no matter
their race or creed, love to be heard; they love to send
out their words and family pictures this time of year. Those
newsletters that come with a Holiday Greeting
may have been written by one of these cultural creatives.
We all have an innate need to connect with others in this
the darkest season. You've probably already
mailed off your Holiday Greetings and Gifts. Hanukkah's
Festival of Lights began on Pearl Harbor Day this year and
the Feast of our Lady of Guadalupe is long gone. Soon it
will be 2005, the Year of the Rooster in Chinese
Some days, it seems as if our whole world is jump-started
by seasons, holidays, and the simple rush to
rush around and get it done. Our first Christmas card arrived
this year on December First! Being the first to mail out
Holiday Greetings might be one of that family's holiday
traditions. Perhaps they spend Christmas in Paris or maybe
they just set really overly responsible goals for themselves.
Reminds me of those folks who go shopping at Four a.m. the
day after Thanksgiving. Congratulations
for your promptness and there are savings to be had, but
Golly Gosh, permission is hereby granted to r-e-l-a-x a
Making a chore out of the Holiday To Do list sucks the life
out of the season. Someone has to wrap those presents and
ship them off to the relatives and those Holiday cards ...
you think they just write, lick, and stamp themselves? Well
no, but ease up a bit on Holiday responsibilities.
Make those things that seem like chores become more like
true gifts. Have some fun. Be kind with your self-imposed
deadlines. Give yourself a gift like cutting down your card
list this year. Or skip sending cards altogether and make
a real connection with close friends by using those free
cell phone minutes to actually talk to them. What a concept!
Dont be so locked into the rules; if your HOLIDAY
card arrives for New Years Day, where's the crime?
Theres a War on after all. These are difficult enough
times we are living in. Let the whole month be festive.
Winter Celebrations dont have to end or begin on a
All we are trying to do with this season when the nights
are long and the days so short is to bring light to the
darkness. Arent our gifts, cards, and good wishes
really about that after all? Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice,
Christmas,Yule, each is a celebration of Light in their
unique ways. Is there any winters night that a little
Light cant help us with the darkness? And speaking
of lights, permission is granted to not have the most elaborate
set of blinking lights on your block of the world. And who
cares if your neighbor gets the decorations up earlier than
you or has fifty thousand more blinking twinklies than you.
Let a few good lights be your aim. Do your best to get it
out there and then, permission is granted to ENJOY it.
Enjoy an evening at the Balloon Fiesta Park or the Biological
Park or take in a movie. Check out Old Town or take a drive
out under a night sky of stars to Isleta Pueblo and enjoy
the lights and luminarias of both city and countryside.
Take time for your self. Journal about past and future Holidays.
Write about the mid-winters view from your own private
window. Bless those who have come and gone before us. Enjoy
our New Mexican incense and myrrh, that sweet
smell of piñon and juniper in the air. Fill your
emptiness with light. Gosh darn it all, permission is granted
to have some rollicking good fun. God Bless us all this