Sorry, folks. I’ve had enough. Every which way I turn, I’m being bombarded with another message or update of some disaster, man-made or otherwise. There are children freezing and starving, waiting to be allowed in to Europe, having left behind everything in the homelands. There are children freezing and starving in the UK, because the current party in power has made the poor, poorer and the
rich, richer. The shootings in Paris. The shootings in America. The floods in India. I’ve had to take a break from almost all media, social or otherwise, to not fall down a crazy panic-anxiety-depression spiral. I’ve been knitting myself calm. I’ve worked on my Pinterest Christmas board. I have drunk a LOT of herbal teas.
But I still get requests for aid in my inbox and by snail mail. And I feel guilt. So much guilt. For being able to afford a decent Christmas. For being able to afford to have a holiday at Christmas. For being safe. And warm. And I’ve had just about enough guilt now.
I love this time of year. I love the lights, and the silver and gold, and just the wonderful slow-down (in my family). We’ve never been big on the gift-giving tradition as a family, but when it comes to food and vegging out with movies, we do that like champs for the two weeks between 18 December and New Year’s Day. I cannot and will not give up my joy in these moments.
So what’s the alternative? I will continue to give to charity via my bank account every month, but this holiday season, DD & I have hatched more immediate & productive plan. DD gets a visit from the Icelandic Yule lads every night beginning on 12 December. They always leave her something little in her sock, like fun stickers, or a lip balm, or a bookmark. This year, we’re going to imitate the Yule lads. We’re going fill a box (or maybe boxes) with seasonal goodies (they have to be dried or canned, so we’ll have to get creative), and take it to our local food bank so another family can enjoy a good Christmas, too. I show my love by feeding people, so this idea makes perfect sense to me. Doesn’t charity begin at home?
How are you handling all the dire news? Do you ever feel completely helpless and hopeless about the state of the world? How do you put things in perspective for yourself? For your children?