Sunday, December 12, 2021

Sunday Afternoon Tea - When you feel like Puddleglum at Christmas

One of our favorite Narnia characters is Puddleglum, a Marsh-wiggle known for his gloomy attitude.  I have read that the character is based on a real life friend of C. S. Lewis but I expect most of us have a Puddleglum in our life.  

While telling no names here (smiling), my husband was given that nickname at one time by his children, along with Eeyore.  We are, indeed, a literary family.  His melancholic nature was especially baffling to his very sanguine daughter but she loves him, anyway.

I must admit this Christmas season that my inner Puddleglum has come out once in awhile. I find it very annoying when things do not work as they should, whether a well as mentioned in Saturday's blog post or dealing with Amazon charges.  Are there any humans on those Amazon chat lines?

I think all the little foxes nipping at my ankles are more annoying this year because, frankly, the nation and the world as it is annoys me.  I feel much like Lot in Sodom when the Bible says he was "vexed" in his soul.  Although, I do mentally remind him that he chose Sodom to live in but I guess I should extend him grace.  It could not have been easy and his wife did turn into a pillar of salt.

Last week, I felt the old symptoms of stress creeping into my usual love of this Season.  I wanted to write a Book Talk post but too many interruptions made that impossible. I really wanted to finish listening to an audible book but each evening when I finished washing the dinner dishes, all I wanted to do was watch something light and go to bed early.

As my insulin was switched, I have been battling dangerously low blood sugars that leave me drained of energy and nature is proving once again it has gone crazy with Spring-like tornado outbreaks in December that kept me up until the wee early hours on Saturday morning.

While all of this was going on around me, I realized that I needed to redeem all that is beautiful and joyful during the Christmas season and not let circumstances ruin it.  Which can be easier said than done but... it can be accomplished when one sets their mind toward the Giver of all Light.

I spent some time tweaking the Christmas tree ornaments until they were exactly what I wanted.  We have a different tree this year and I came to realize the way I had decorated our former tree that we have had for at least fifteen years was not working for this one.  With some tweaking off and on, it now looks lovely!

I switched around some decorations and decided to include a more natural look in the Living Room. Along with faux greenery, I purchased a $5.00 bouquet at Kroger that had red berries in it and inserted those stems within the greenery in a couple different rooms. They are in places Florentine does not go so she is safe.

If I didn't have a kitty, I would go retro one year and hang tinsel on the tree like my parents did when I was a kid.  Since I do not want any money going to a vet's bill, that will not happen but I am finding ways to create a more vintage look.  For instance, the collection of vintage ornaments purchased over the years now take front and center on the Christmas tree.

I think this year more than ever, I'm realizing the beauty that is in our home is there because I think of Christmas all year round and purchase items at Goodwill and thrift stores that add beauty for little cost.  Most of my vintage ornaments were purchased one or two at a time at the antique mall over the years.

My daughter sent a photo of their tree and I love how the ornaments reflect interests each member of the family enjoys.  Even with a large family, their Christmas tree is very personal.  I have had friends that like to change their ornaments every year, reflecting a different color scheme.  

Sometimes I get gloomy like Puddleglum because I miss the things I used to do this time of year.  Those events that I can no longer do because of health concerns or the people I enjoyed them with no longer live very close.  Some stores and restaurants no longer exist and I feel their loss at times as if they were a person.

However, when we know that the same Lord who brought us this far also holds the future, we can go into 2022 depending on God's care of us. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. 

Actually, that is what I am finding helps the most... taking my mind off of the things of the world and placing it on God's Word and His promises.  If we are still here while all these events are happening in the world, then He has a reason for it.  If that is so... and I believe it is... then He also will give us all the strength we need for whatever is ahead.

As for my immediate Marsh-wiggle attitude, I am planning a couple of fun things to do next week.  I am in desperate need of a trip to Barnes and Noble and not one associated with a doctor's appointment.  I want to peruse Christmas issues of British magazines and sip coffee at the in-store Starbucks.

If you are experiencing a Christmas slump, think about something fun to do.  It needn't cost more than a good cup of coffee.  Jesus certainly understands our humanity since He walked as one of us for over thirty years.  The same God who gives us Peace also created coffee and chocolate.  For which I will praise Him forever...

Just that thought alone helps to cheer me up today.  His salvation is free when we ask for it and we have all of Eternity to look forward to someday.  This old broken world is not permanent and we are but pilgrims and strangers along the way.

Don't feel guilty if you feel like a Puddleglum during this Holiday season.  The world really is crazier than we have ever known.  Maybe it would be stranger if we didn't feel a loss of the old ways.  But we know the end of the Story and that gives us plenty to celebrate this Holiday season.  The best is yet to come.


Anonymous said...

Love this! We do have different emotions and feelings
and are not always straight line in our feelings. Part of
our humanity. But our faith in our God can keep us steady.

Deanna Rabe said...

I have felt the heavy weight of the world needing Jesus so much the last two Christmases. We NEED him! The world in Jesus' day was bad, too. Dark. Then the Light of the World came, Immanuel - God with us!

If you haven't watched Christmas with the Chosen it's on YouTube. So powerful. If you don't want to watch the singing or narratives just skip through to the story.

Keep your eyes on Jesus, friend. That's where our safety, our hope lies.

I'm praying for you as you adjust to new insulin. Rest.

Much love to you.

Ann said...

I very much relate. The world is crazy and I need to stay off the news which is... everywhere. Maybe it's better just to disconnect - like the old days where we weren't all so much connected. But I often am Puddleglum at Christmas because I just see so much $$$. Christmas is indeed lost and it's up to ourselves to keep Him at forefront. No tree can do that, no amount of money. Oh to spend a day or a week way back then.... LOL.

Vee said...

This post is hitting me where I live. So grateful that you seem to understand a Puddleglum's heart. I don't wish to be miserable or make anyone else feel less merry, but life is hard just now. Very. And that it is being purposely manipulated to be this way... Oh well, we do know the end of the story. I only pray it doesn't take long to get there or that we get an extra measure of grace for the journey.

Anonymous said...

I began reading your blog years ago, when my family moved to Michigan from Ohio and my sons were still young and lived at home. I have missed many posts but whenever I "find you" again...I am reminded of how much I enjoy reading them. I feel as though you are a kindred spirit and yet of course we have not met.
I just wanted to let you know that your words touch me and encourage me. Your words help me to know I am not alone. I believe there are more people of faith in this world, this country than we know, quietly living their lives. Thank you for being a light in the dark.
May the new year bring you and your family closer to God and peace and joy.