If you’ve celebrated fifty or more Christmases, chances are that you may be finding it hard to connect with the true Christmas spirit this year. Face it, we’re not exactly the demographic the toy and computer manufacturers are going for. I mean, do you really want a Princess Elsa doll or a USB backup for you Mac Air? I thought not.
What we need, you and I, is something to help us put the constant and dizzying changes in the holiday celebration into perspective. Luckily, the whole problem is put into perspective in a timely manner by one of our most gifted local writers. Who would that be? Well, as Mark Twain said, “I allude in these vague general terms to … myself,” Dorothy Wilhelm.
The fact is, just for Christmas, I’ve written a book called Catch The Christmas Spirit And Keep It All Year Long. It’s a collection of updated Christmas and holiday columns written over twenty years. Most first appeared in the Tacoma News Tribune.
The book contains the sort of pieces you can read to yourself, or even share as many people do, with their adult children. You call them and read them passages that will make them feel guilty. Just a little. Here’s one and a few other excerpts from the book:
Christmas has changed a lot at my house. I am not even sure I’ll have a tree this year. Last year’s tree was too big. The trunk cracked the tree stand. Water pooled in hitherto undiscovered crevices all over the hardwood floor. I had to call Rent-A-Son to clean up the mess.
– Or –
My friend Patsy is thinking about spending the holiday in a hotel. “None of my children are speaking to each other,” she explains. “Last Christmas, I went on the cruise from hell. I tried the singles line on the Internet again. When I answered an ad from a man who said he was a writer, he sent me a story about The Stork That Brought The Baby Jesus. I’m sorry. I’ve got six kids. I’m not buying that.
There’s a lot of fun and a lot of inspiration in this book and I’ll be pleased if you’ll share it with me. There are decorating ideas:
One year in an excess of Yuletide spirit, I actually spray painted everything in my path gold. This included a dozen artichokes (for a centerpiece), the kids’ Legos, (Christmas castle) and the dog. I don’t recommend that, though. It turned out the dog really didn’t appreciate it.
– Or –
Now that downsizing has struck, the carol heard most often this year begins “For heavens’ sake Mother, aren’t you ever going to throw anything away?” No. No, I’m not. But thanks for asking.
It’s a book to read with the other people important to us. About the changes that have happened in our lives.
Now it’s time to make new traditions again, and as always, it’s not easy. The children are grown and don’t get home often at Christmas. I hardly recognize the young man in Navy uniform as the little boy who once waited breathlessly for Santa to leave him a jet airplane. He now has a rime of frost on his dark hair and is close to retirement from a career of flying real planes. The trick is not to look back longingly to that magical cold Montana Christmas, but instead to create small new traditions that bring the same delight
There’s Personal Philosophy:
My battered purse hangs from my shoulder by one shredded strap, held in two places by pins. Last week a lady stopped me to ask if I’d been attacked by a pack of wild dogs or simply been the victim of a mugging. “Neither,” I replied with dignity. “This is a designer bag. It’s meant to look like this!” That isn’t exactly true. But it was a gift and I just can’t bring myself to throw my gifts away.
Catch The Christmas Spirit And Keep It All Year Long was released on December 1.
Ben Sclair, diligent and far seeing editor of The Suburban Times, has asked me to supply some Christmas trivia and fun for the next four weeks. Well he didn’t so much ask me, I jumped up and down and begged, and he said, “Let’s get this clear, you’re not going to just talk about your book, right?” and I said, “Right” and he said, “Let’s do it”. So we’re going to. Each Tuesday and Thursday, between now and Christmas, There’ll be a short Christmas feature: our gift to you – for us to enjoy together.
So if you’re in the mood for the Christmas Spirit – and a friend to share it with – I think you’ll enjoy Catch The Christmas Spirit And Keep It All Year Long.
Of course, Book Signings are scheduled:
- December 6 –Lakewood History Museum from 2:00 to 4:00
- December 13 – DuPont Library at 10:00 a.m.
- December 13 – Western Heritage Center in Puyallup at 6:00 p.m.
- Date TBA – The News Tribune Lobby in Tacoma
- Date TBS – Hearthstone Active Living Community in Seattle.
Catch The Christmas Spirit is available from Amazon in print and kindle editions and at my website, www.itsnevertoolate.com. The book is paperback, has 149 pages and costs $15.
HOWEVER, a special discount is available just for Suburban Times Readers, so call 1-800-548-9264 or send an email to Dorothy@itsnevertoolate.com. Identify yourself as a Suburban Times reader and get your book for $10. Quantity discounts are available also.