Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Spirit Of Christmas

  Every year as Christmas approaches I wonder when or sometimes if I will get a feeling of the Christmas Spirit.  I almost always do, though the time and degree may vary. Usually it is music and movies that trigger it.  This year, the feeling of Christmas gradually crept into me today.  It started out with a few almost imperceptible snowflakes drifting down.  Then, as I ran errands, the excitement of the children in the stores caused a smile on my face.  I listened to the radio in the car (as I always do) but only listened to Christmas music, today.  Every year there is one particular carol or song that always stands out for me.  This year two songs got my attention.  
  The first one was a melody of Peace On Earth and Little Drummer Boy by an unlikely combination of Bing Crosby and David Bowie.  It was recorded in September of 1977 as part of the Bing Crosby '42nd Christmas Special that was broadcast on November 30, 1977.  Unfortunately, Bing never saw it as he passed away in Spain on October 14, 1977 at the age of 74.  Click here and listen and watch!
  The second song was also Bing Crosby, singing Silver Bells with Carol Richards in 1952.  What I like about this classic is the clarity, harmony, and richness of the music.  In the lyrics that are posted with the song, you will see "Here the snow crunch, see the kids rush", but if you listen carefully, Carol says "Here the snow crush, see the kids rush".  In later versions of the song, I believe the words "Here the snow crunch, see the kids bunch" are used.  Enough with the technicalities!  Have a listen here.
  So all of this has me feeling a bit more 'Christmasy' today and what made it even better, was the company of my sister as we did some Christmas shopping and visited our uncle who is now in a nursing home.  Many of his memories are fading, but there are some memories that are indelibly marked into his mind.  When he relates these moments from his past, his eyes brighten and a smile goes across his face.  This is when I see the uncle I am familiar with.
  So, dear readers, I hope you have Christmas glowing inside of you and that you and yours have a very Merry Christmas and an exciting and Happy New Year!

Unless we make Christmas an occasion to share our blessings, all the snow in Alaska won't make it 'white'. - Bing Crosby

Friday, December 7, 2012

Defining Existence

  Today, I was working in a supermarket doing some CCTV (closed-circuit TV) work.  An additional duty that I occasional do besides cash registers.  Anyway, I couldn't help but overhear a couple of the cashiers talking negatively about their husbands and how they want to divorce them.  Primarily because they were lazy.  One woman was in her twenties while the other was in her fifties.  I was more curious why the older woman had given up on her husband and asked her so by saying, by way of a bit of humour, that he must be useful, occasionally, by mending a leaky faucet or something.  At that point she went into a little soliloquy which included the fact that he isn't able to fix anything.  All he does is come home, watch television and drink beer.  I said that he must have some kind of hobby or goes hunting or something.  She said, "nope, just sits and drinks beer and watches TV".
  I decided, at that point, to let the conversation drop and resumed my work.  However, I continued to think about the man that just sits, drinks beer, and watches television.  What caused him to go into such a repetitive and vegetative existence?  Since Humans can be very complicated by nature, there are probably a myriad of reasons for one to become that way.
  Of course, I am not a professional at understanding such problems.  However, as one gets older, one can develop an insight and understanding about some basic human fundamentals.  I like to think of it as one of the potentials of growing old.
  In my opinion, when someone gets frustrated or disappointed in one endeavor, he or she may focus on another activity that is more fulfilling.  For example, let's use the husband mentioned above and call him 'Joe'.
If Joe is finding his marriage uninteresting, he may focus more on his job by spending more time there, or bringing it home.  Especially if it is work he likes to do.  Or perhaps Joe might find enjoyment hanging out with his buddies and go hunting or go to a football game.
  Naturally, these aren't the only scenarios.  In fact, it could be the opposite situation.  Maybe Joe loves his wife and home, but his job is pushing him to the edge, or, worse still, he is unemployed.  As I said, there are many reasons why people's personalities can degenerate in certain surroundings.  My concern is for the individual who appears to be in despair in ANY surrounding, home, work, leisure, or anywhere.  The correct label could probably be Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) commonly known as clinical depression.
  At that point, we are no longer talking about someone merely existing, but someone who needs professional help.  This complicated world can cause complicated problems for people and my amateur insights end here!