We all know that great John Lennon lyric: "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." Well, "life" happens during the holidays too—the death of a loved-one, a relationship torn apart by conflict, an unwanted medical diagnosis. For many of us, "holiday season" is not synonymous with "happy season."
I know because, over 50 years ago, my father died in early December. From that date on, when the month changed from November to December, a deep sadness began to descend on me, intensifying as the month went on. This continued to happen even after I had children of my own and then grandchildren. But last year, when the sadness began to descend, I said, "Enough." I decided to let my father go—to treat his life as a complete one and to be content with my memories of the years we had together.
I share this because, had I not done that, I wouldn't have put this piece together. So, it may have taken over 50 years, but at last for me (and hopefully for you)...
It's time for some holiday humor:
"The worst gift is a fruitcake. There is only one fruitcake in the entire world, and people keep sending it to each other."—Johnny Carson
"What I don't like about office Christmas parties is looking for a job the next day." —Phyllis Diller
"Once again we find ourselves enmeshed in the Holiday Season, that very special time of year when we join with our loved ones in sharing centuries-old traditions such as trying to find a parking space at the mall. We traditionally do this in my family by driving around the parking lot until we see a shopper emerge from the mall, then we follow her, in very much the same spirit as the Three Wise Men, who 2,000 years ago followed a star, week after week, until it led them to a parking space."—Dave Barry
"Most Texans think Hanukkah is some sort of duck call."—Richard Lewis
"That's the true spirit of Christmas; people being helped by people other than me." —Jerry Seinfeld
"Christmas is a time when people of all religions come together to worship Jesus Christ."—Bart Simpson in The Simpsons
"The Supreme Court has ruled that they cannot have a nativity scene in Washington, D.C. This wasn't for any religious reasons. They couldn't find three wise men and a virgin."—Jay Leno
"I once wanted to become an atheist, but I gave up. They have no holidays."—Henny Youngman
"Santa Claus has the right idea...visit people only once a year."—Victor Borge
And, as is only fitting, Andy Rooney gets the last word:
"One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don't clean it up too quickly."
© 2011 Toni Bernhard www.tonibernhard.com
Thank you for reading my work. My most recent book is titled How to Wake Up: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide to Navigating Joy and Sorrow.
I'm also the author of the award-winning How to Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and their Caregivers.
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