Today was a good day…and a bad day.
I began the morning alone, made myself a couple of breakfast tacos, and got gifts, a bottle of wine, and the cookies I made together to take to my parents’ house for lunch. Good.
I discovered the possible failure of a friend’s marriage. Bad.
We had a great dinner with family and friends. Good.
We exchanged gifts. Good
As we wound down dinner, I heard George Michael had passed. Bad.
As much as the great moments of the day made it pretty spectacular, other news got me to thinking that this day is really difficult for so many. It also reminded me that for many of us, Christmas is the most “bipolar” day of the year.
Driving home, listening to my shuffled Christmas playlist of artists ranging from Bing Crosby and Sufjan Stevens to Bruce Cockburn and Polyphonic Spree, my favorite recording of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” came on.
I don’t know if it’s his voice or the arrangement or the style, but when I hear James Taylor cast out those phrases into the atmosphere, it somehow ties together the extremes the holiday season can bring about and make me think I can get through this day. We all can.
Sometimes you hear lyrics a thousand times and then you hear them for the first time. It struck me today that these words are a call for us to be present…to live in the moment…to honor the past and keep an eye out for the future, but to embrace the time we’re in today:
Christmas future is far away, Christmas past is past
Christmas present is here today bringing joy that may last
Have yourself a merry little Christmas, may your heart be light
In a year our troubles will be out of sight
From now on, have yourself a merry little Christmas, make the yuletide gay
In a year our troubles will be miles away
Here we are as in olden days, happy golden days of yore
Precious friends who are dear to us gather near to us once more
I know that in a year we all will be together, if the Fates allow
Until then, we’ll just have to muddle through somehow
And have ourselves a merry little Christmas now
Look around. Hug your family. Give your friends a kiss on the cheek. Tell them you love them.
We will muddle through somehow.