Wednesday, December 17, 2008

holiday brain

Yesterday afternoon I spent about three and a half hours stuck in nasty traffic. It was very stupid of me to attempt to take Bernie to her dance class. I should have known! This morning it took us 45 minutes to get to a place it should have taken 15. I don't want to talk about it anymore except to say that I am very down on Minnesota right now. I know that some of you in the northeast have experienced worse lately with the ice storms. So I'm down all all northern states right now.

And I'm suffering from serious holiday brain. Part of this is forgetting things or doing things with half a mind so they turn out wrong. Like the other night when I mindlessly stuffed envelopes with our Christmas card and letter. Forgetting that I wanted to at least sign them personally or jot a few words of holiday cheer to the friends and family I send them to. The other part of my holiday brain wakes me up abruptly in the middle of the night and makes me think I've left the dog out in the 20 below windchill or that one of the kids screamed. It takes such a long time to calm down again and fall back asleep.

Forgive me for really disliking the holidays right now. Forgive me for Scroogishness, which is what J and I are up to as we try to squelch holiday spending. "A Christmas Carol" is such a spendthrift kind of tale when you think of it. The message is that buying stuff equals Merry Christmas.

Last night when I got home from the dance class traffic nightmare, it was time for J and I to go out on the road again for my surprise Christmas present to J. I did not want to go. I felt bad hauling J out of the house when he'd just got there after a grueling work day. But we went. Yes, the traffic was nuts. It took us an hour to get to the Guthrie, but I didn't mind. J and I got to talk much more than we usually do at home. They held the show a few minutes because there were many arriving late. We saw "Shadowlands," a play about C.S. Lewis and his wife, Joy. I am so glad we went. "Christmas Carol" is also playing now at the Guthrie as it does every year and while that's a marvelous show, I'm glad we saw "Shadowlands" instead this time. It reminded me why we're really here and what our mission is. It reminded me of the Savior. It gave me peace. Last night holiday brain did not wake me up, not once.

I read "Shadowlands" for a class once, but I'd forgotten most of it. It's the story of how Lewis and Grisham develop a deep friendship that eventually becomes romantic love. The play asks, if God loves us, why does he let us suffer?

I loved the play and the Guthrie production was wonderful. The two leads were very good and the sets were stunning. I forget how novel the Proscenium is with its sliding, dropping sets. So cool! I felt like applauding for each new set.

Getting tickets for this play was presumably my gift to J, but I told him he could count if for his to me, too. Aren't I generous?


Karen ~ said...

I absolutely LOVED that play, too. And I came away with the same appreciation for the sets - as did another friend of mine wh osaw it. Funny that we were all affected the same way! Glad to enabled you to sleep well last night.

And I did the same thing on my Christmas cards ... I had such good intentions, but just put them in the envelopes and was done with it. Ah, well.

Anonymous said...

I don't think that's the message of A Christmas Carol at all. I always thought the message was that even if you have all the money in the world, if you don't have love for any of God's creatures you're going to end up sad and lonely. The Cratchits were already enjoying a fantastic Christmas together with basically nothing.

Don't let the superficial Christmas get to you. It's there, and admit it, it's kind of fun sometimes, but try to remember what you said about why we're here.

Shadowlands sounds really good. I love Lewis; he's a brilliant author.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Mal on "A Christams Carol". I just watched the version with Patrick Stewart and thought it was brilliant, and it made me cry. After all, Ebanezer didn't give the Cratchits tons of money and gifts, he simply bought them a bigger turkey and gave Cratchit a much deserved raise. He didn't give his nephew tons of money and gifts, he simply showed up for Christmas dinner. He spread the wealth so that others might not starve and saved little Tiny Tim!
I loved the movie Shadowlands, very moving. I bet the play was good, and would make me bawl.

Calandria said...

I am a big fan of Christmas Carol in all its Victorian splendor. :)

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like you have the winter blues. There is killer traffic here too. Not sure what the lesson is with that except that maybe we all use the car to much but then what's the alternative?
It will pass when the warm weather comes. If it doesn't give me a call. I'm a pro with that in the meantime keep you chin up and let things slide. After all, Christmas cards aren't the beginning and end of the world.