santa clause on the couch

A Very Merry Christmas in the Slow Lane: Part I

It's the most wonderful time of the year/With the kids jingle belling/And everyone telling you "be of good cheer/It's the most wonderful time of the year...There'll be parties for hosting/Marshmallows for toasting/And caroling out in the snow/There'll be scary ghost stories/And tales of the glories/Of Christmases long, long ago... “The Most Wonderful Time of Year” Edward Pola and George Wyle

I do love the holiday season, from Thanksgiving to New Year's. The fun decorating, baking, and other things reins in my sadness. The bright lights banish the winter darkness. Decorations are colorful over the drab browns and white of nature at its winter rest.

Since I've gotten sick Christmases are different than they were years ago.

This article explains what we no longer do during the season and why. In Part II I'll talk about what we do instead – how it's still wonderful – and how the slow lane actually makes Christmas more meaningful. For those readers who celebrate a different holiday, I hope these two articles will still help you.

The fireplace is burning bright, shining all on me... “That's Christmas to Me,” Pentatonix

I used to love a good fire in the fireplace.

We could make s'mores in the winter with it. Unfortunately, our house is an old one and the chimney lets a tiny bit of smoke escape. That little bit of smoke is too much for my lungs now and I cough and get shortness of breath around it. Maybe we should get one of those videos of a fireplace and use it on our TV instead. That could work.

Dashing through the snow/In a one horse open sleigh/O'er the fields we go/Laughing all the way/Bells on bob tail ring/Making spirits bright/What fun it is to ride and sing/A sleighing song tonight... “Jingle Bells,” James Lord Pierpont

Now, I've never gone dashing through the snow in any kind of sleigh, and these first lyrics do sound really fun. But I wouldn't do it, especially if Fanny Bright asked me, because she and the narrator ended up crashing into a snow bank and got upsot. And then in the next lyrics, the narrator got into another sleigh accident and his neighbor just laughed as the narrator lay hurting in the snow. Geeze.

If that's part of the dashing in snow winter tourist package, forget it. Who with COPD has the energy for all that? I mean, I am just not up for getting upsot and being mocked as I lay hurt and damaged in freezing snow. Upsotting is the worst.

Snow. It won't be long before/we'll all be there with snow./Snow./I want to wash my hands,/my face, and hair with snow. – “Snow,” Irving Berlin

Stop right there. Are you serious? Cold weather and cold air can put us in an exacerbation!1

It can feel terrible in our sinuses and can harm our lungs. Sticking our heads into a bunch of snow, no matter how much we might like snow, is a really bad idea. That sounds like torture. I will kindly decline and use my breath warmers while I keep my upper body off the freezing white ground. You might think that's lame but it'll keep me healthy.

Santa baby, I wanna yacht/And really that's not a lot...Santa cutie, and fill my stocking with a duplex/And checks/Sign your 'X' on the line/Santa cutie, and hurry down the chimney tonight. – “Santa Baby,” Joan Javits and Phillip Springer

If only. You know, I have sung this song a hundred times and so far I got nothing. But this song is a great example of how commercial Christmas has become and how much people expect as gifts. Electronics, the newest video games, cars, jewelry, all of it, can be very expensive. Too expensive for me. I don't know about you, but I live on disability income and that's not made me a millionaire. It will never make me a millionaire, much to my chagrin. So think about simple gifts, homemade gifts, something I could do instead of buy.

He puzzled and puzzed till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. Maybe Christmas, he thought... doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps... means a little bit more!

Welcome, Christmas, bring your cheer. Cheer to all Whos far and near. Christmas Day is in our grasp, so long as we have hands to clasp. Christmas Day will always be just as long as we have we. Welcome Christmas while we stand, heart to heart, and hand in hand.” – “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas,” Dr. Seuss

My favorite part of the book.

There is more to this season than gifts and fun.

As the Grinch learned and the Whos displayed, we can welcome it full of happiness anyway.

Check out part 2.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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