Holding onto the real

Since putting up my christmas themes on my pages this week I've been asked several times "isn't it too early for Christmas???" My first thought is always heck no!!! I'm ready for Christmas in July sometimes!!! LOL I could never put my finger on why though. Why do I feel such a draw to certain things? Why did I feel an overwhelming need to "christmas-up" my pages so early? Tonight while doing some reading it came to me.

I'm reading (however slowly) Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. In one particular part of the book she's talking about Italy and trying to figure out why Italians have such beautiful art, music, cars, etc. when they have had such a war-torn history and make a mess of everything on a large scale...like wars and army's. She then recounts something that she had read in another book written by an italian on just this thing. Basically it said:

"Because the world is so corrupted, misspoken, unstable, exaggerated and unfair, one should trust only what one can experience with one's own senses, and this makes the senses stronger in Italy than anywhere in Europe." She also says, "In a world of disorder and disaster and fraud, sometimes only beauty can be trusted....Pleasure cannot be bargained down. And sometimes the meal is the only currency that is real. To devote yourself to the creation of beauty, then, can be a serious business--not always necessarily a means of escaping reality, but sometimes a means of holding on to the real when everything else is flaking away...My life had gone to bits....but I felt a glimmer of happiness when I started studying Italian, and when you sense a faint potentiality for happiness after such dark times you must grab onto the ankles of that happiness and not let go until it drags you face-first out of the dirt--this is not selfishness, but obligation. You were given life; it is your duty (and also your entitlement as a human being) to find something beautiful within life, no matter how slight."

That explains it. Looking back on my life I can see how when things seem to be crumbling or flaking away I instinctually am drawn to things that make me happy. I sit for hours searching for graphics and clipart that make me smile. I find songs that inspire me...and I decorate for Christmas.

For me, Christmas is a magical time. My heart responds to twinkle lights, smells and music. The covering up of the ordinary, everyday life with magic and wonderful garlands sparkly bits. It's the potential for a stolen kiss under the mistletoe. Laying on the carpet with your head under the tree and staring up at the lights through the branches. Seeing pretty wrapped packages with your name on them and knowing that someone thought just about you while they were picking it out. Everyone is usually on their best, most well-mannered behavior. Good tidings, happy thoughts. The kids are (for once) content to have the tv off and smile...actually SMILE while staring at the christmas tree. And most of the world comes together to celebrate my savior.

It's an awesome (and I say "awesome" in a way that means way more than the 80's slang for "cool!"...I mean leaves me in awe of) way that a red background with white snoflakes and a playlist of holiday music can spark such peace in my soul. Rachel's comment to me earlier says it all... "Your page makes me smile! :)"
That comment made me smile too. :) Because I know that her heart is hearing mine.

Right now with so much of my life crumbling around me I find my soul steering me towards my comfort places... and Christmas is a big one. Having said all of that, I don't think that it was any coincidence that the biggest disasters of my life have happened right around Christmas. I found out about the evil one hurting Courtney on December 18th. God knew I would need the comfort I guess. My father always takes care of me....and he knew last week that I would need a little Christmas, right this very minute!