I wonder why text color and background don't work here. I have a thing about colors. I am sure you can tell if you have seen my profile page. I have loved colors forever. I have an early memory of going into a car lot (inside my parents' car) and noticing those colorful triangular flags that hang above from some string or rope. Do you know what I am talking about? Some gas stations and/or car lots have them. I was mesmerized by the sheer joy of the intensity of the primary colors. I also remember clearly Christmas trees in my parents' home when I was a kid. The amazing texture of the real or fake trees and the tinsel dancing on the branches. And the star or angel at the tippy top of the tree. And all the merriment of dancing bulbs and the vast array of decorative things dangling at the end of branches. But my favorite memory is of peering into a glass colored bulb and seeing my own reflection as well as the tree's in it. And everything is the color of that bulb. Shiny, luminous and magical. Splendid reflections of Christmas. And to this day, I am enchanted by Christmas trees. My mother used to put plastic blue candles in every window. The kind of candles that have a colored light bulb at the top in the shape of a flame. And the lit blue of those candles communed with my soul in a mystical way. I love blue plastic candles in anyones' windows to this day. I don't think I have seen any this past Christmas.

Always color has been a positive backdrop to my life even through many many years of depression. It is as though something beyond the depression was there. Despite it. Yes, I still have felt a devilish constant companion of "the black dog", as Winston Churchill called his depression. And I still have felt blackly depressed since the age of 10. Until recently about 5 or 6 yrs. ago when I got on a high dose of Lamictal. But still, even now every Christmas I love those twinkly little lights that people line their doors and windows with. Particularly the little ones that twinkle in their intensity of color.

I hate Christmas. What you may wonder am I talking about? I just spent two paragraphs talking about the beauty of lights and bulbs and Christmas trees. I do love that. And I do like opening presents and watching my family open gifts I have bought for them. Every year I dread the money part of shopping for 15 family members as I am on SSDI and SSI. Every year I live on next to nothing for the months of October, November and December. Sometimes in September too. And it is SO hard. Of course everyone in my family has more money than me. And I HAVE to get decent gifts. So every Thanksgiving it starts happening ALL OVER AGAIN. We exchange our Christmas lists with one another in the living room. And everyone knows what everyone wants. So it makes it easier. And for instance, if I leave the room, then everyone has my list in their hands. The list I wrote that says what I want for Christmas. So as I am in another room, the rest of the family will decide who buys what for me on my list. After they decide who will buy the socks, CD player, soap, lotion etc. that I wrote on my list; they call me back into the living room. And then my sister or aunt or whoever will leave the room. And each of us will decide who gets my sister what she wants from her Christmas list.

And then the shopping begins. This year I had a hamstring injury so my nephew drove me everywhere. Thank God that my family is big on gift cards. That makes life easy.

Well, I am too tired to write much more. But suffice it to say that I wish my family would forget giving any presents except to my young nephew and niece and maybe my mom. And wouldn't it be nice for every person to just have ONE person to buy gifts for? My brother requested that but my sister just couldn't do that. There is a status quo to maintain. I personally think we should all donate all our Christmas money to a charity. So I could get a present saying someone donated in my name to a charity. I would love that. Just ONE year I would LOVE to forget about exchanging presents all together and just have a decadently spiritual holiday. And besides giving presents has nothing to do with Christ being born. Giving presents is some pagan custom. And besides, supposedly Jesus was born another month. I forget which one.

So that is why I hate and love Christmas. I love the lit up part of it and the Christmas tree part of it. I hate the buying presents part and living on nothing money wise for 3 or 4 months. Oh, and then there's the compulsive card decorating I do every year. I feel I just HAVE to decorate my Christmas cards to the nth degree with glitter and all sorts or Christmasey designs on both sides of the envelopes as well on the inside of card (where the greeting is.) And I always put in Christmas sequins. And each glittery card takes up to an hour to make. I drive myself nuts doing it year after year. But people kind of look forward to my cards. I don't know what I hate worse, the cards or the gift part. Oh, and then there's the wrapping. And let's not forget the thank you notes for my gifts. Which I haven't done yet this year cuz I have not motivation whatsoever. But I will grudingly do it. I got a TV this year and that is the least I can do.

It feels like Christmas is half the year. I know it isn't but it feels that way. And then there's Valentine's Day which is my favorite holiday. Christmas just rolls right into Valentine's Day. I used to make my cards. Way too much work particularly so close in time to decorating those Christmas cards. So I bought Valentine's cards these past couple of years. But STILL I go nuts decorating them. But I so love the beauty of them all. I LOVE the LOVE aspect of Valentine's Day. And to me, it isn't about romance, it is about sending love to those I love. Whether a boyfriend is included in my life or not. I love the shape of hearts and what they symbolize. As the poster in my bedroom says: "Love Is The Reason We Are Here." Along with another long thin poster that has a musical staff on it that has musical notes that are hearts. What can I say? I HEART you for reading this all! Please comment!

Love, Jeannie

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