Well Darklings the Christmas Season is upon us.
Here is where I as an Elder/Elderly Goth must stand her ground.
I do recognize this time of year as a Holiday Season where several ceremonies of light occur, if one is Pagan then it is Yule, the time of the year when darkness is at its greatest, where all things dark and despairing fly and reek havoc upon body and soul, and then bonfires must be lit to dispel the darkness and bring back the light.
If one is Jewish then this is the season of lights when the great temple was defiled but regained by the Hebrew people who cleansed the temple but found that they only had enough holy oil for the lamp for one night, but used it anyway and much to their surprised the lamp burned for 8 nights instead of one, a sign of a Great and Holy presence.
If one is Christian then this is the time of year when all is dark and a displaced family must try and find shelter for the woman is about to give birth and all they could find was a stable because there was no room in the inn (there’s a certain amount of symbolism here my Darklings), but in that lowly stable a great light came into the world to give hope. That old Christmas Carol “Silent Night” in the last verse says it very purely “…Love’s Pure Light…”
There are other religious beliefs that also either around this time of year or near to it, celebrate a season of lights for the same reason.
But Doyle takes it one step further and I won’t argue with him on this because in many ways I felt the same----Doyle says “for all you atheists—you can stay in the dark”.
For as an Elder/Elderly Goth that is part of the beauty of Darkness, the light that shines within, as the old saying goes “it is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness”, as an Elder/Elderly Goth we look into the darkness with eyes to see in the dark, blazing to find the beauty and the truth, and yes, even if we cloak it with fantasy, we never leave the reality of life.
We know that Santa Claus is a legend, but we will not dispel a small child’s belief in that ‘spirit’ of unselfish giving, we are not sure about when Jesus was born but we will not dispel the simplicity and sense of hope in the Christmas Story.
Just recently a New York City police officer saw a homeless man who had no shoes, the homeless man may be mentally incapacitated but the police officer saw he had blisters on his feet, in stead of rousting him to move on, he went and with his own money bought all weather boots, and thermal socks, when he went into the store to buy the boots and told the sales staff what he was going to do, they gave him the employees discount, and he went back to the man put the socks and boots on the man’s feet, did he expect anything?
No, he did what he felt was right, he could not pass this man by, and like the good Samaritan, did it because it was right, he saw the darkness and put beauty into it.
His simple act of kindness was captured by a tourist and it went viral, this officer is an example of what anyone working and living in a dark Gothic environment can do. This is the true spirit of the Christmas Season and for all year round. The officer says he keeps that receipt for those boots with him as a reminder, “what good you can do, do it now, for you may not have that same chance again”.
And that is also what being an Elder/Elderly Goth is all about during this time of year, seeing into the darkness a shining a light.
When I and my sister were little there was an elderly lady by the name of Renee, Mrs. Renee, and she told marvelous stories, legends, folk tales, fairy tales and ghost stories of all kinds and she’d give various characters voices, and acted it out.
When Mother and Dad wanted a little alone time or had to go somewhere Mrs. Renee would baby sit us girls, while Grandma would take care of our brother because he was just a baby. Especially at Christmas time it would be wonderful to be at Mrs. Renee’s home, which we called the Mansion, her house seems to be always filled with a warm gold color at winter time I really don’t know how she did it, and it always smelled of spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, and other wonderful exotic scents.
She would baby sit for various families and we loved going to her house, but the stories, oh the stories. She would have a fire going in the fire place, and light candles in glass containers, some in gold and some in ruby, the electric light would be turned off and she’d tell us these wonderful stories.
But wintertime she’d tell us of Hern the Hunter and the wild hunt and how the unjust would be punished if found at midnight on Christmas Eve if they were found by Hern, although later I’ve found other variations of the legend.
But she’d also would tell us the Christmas Story starting with the words “Once upon a time in David’s Royal City….”
I’ve found that if the rains come with wild winds during the Christmas season I’d be reminded of Hern and on Christmas Eve I’d hear Mrs. Renee’s voice saying softly “Once upon a time in David’s Royal City…”
And once again I am a child of 8 or 9 enjoying the fantasy and magic of Christmas with it’s legends and ghosts, and being Catholic doing the ritual of the Advent wreath, I have for Coralline an Advent Calendar, her parents are Catholic (sort of) they do go to church unless there is a game their boys have to be at, but my Sister and I want Coralline to experience the fun, joy and mystical ritual wonder of the season. From “Stir Up Sunday” which is the Sunday of the Advent season to Epiphany or Three Kings Day.
I and my sister always remember how Mother would have Dad bring down the Christmas decorations and go through everything to plan on the Christmas dinner.
Among the Christmas decorations my sister found the frame for the Advent wreath, and managed to buy the candles to go with it, so with some decorations from a Hobby shop she re-decorated it and we will light it saying “Stir Up, oh Lord, Thy Might, we beg thee and come, that by Thy protection we be rescued from the threatening dangers and saved by Thy deliverance.”
There is something about the ritual of the Advent wreath that stirs within an Elder/Elderly Goth’s soul, to give strength for the year of the trials to come and to continue to live the life we want to live.
Now back to current reality~~~~
Doyle surprised Coralline and I Friday afternoon by calling to say he would pick us up at my work, no taking public transportation in this rain he says. And where does he take us?
To a Christmas Tree Lot---and not just any Christmas Tree Lot----one that is run by one of the nearby churches as a fund raiser for their child care programs for single mother’s who have to work. And it was a good thing it was still day light in spite of the rain, Doyle insisted we buy two real trees, one for the Family Parlor and one for the Formal Parlor, I wasn’t going to argue.
But there was something, the smell of the trees, the careful assessment of which one’s would fit the spots in the home, determining the size of their trunk ends to fit into the water holders, then the purchase and bundling and tying down on the top of the van (Doyle came prepared).
But we could not leave just yet.
Coralline spotted a small, tiny Christmas tree, a very small, tiny Christmas tree.
She asked me what happens to cut trees after Christmas, I told her that we plan on having the Boy Scout’s do a pick up and then the trees are made into mulch to help other plants grow. That way the trees are never wasted, but are re-cycled.
She wanted the tiny Christmas Tree. She thought it would look nice in the entrance hall when people came into the house. I thought about how it would be mounted and where it would be placed and remembered an old small battered table in the basement which could be covered with a nice cloth and also remembered these things called “frogs” to hold woody type flowers and plants in an arrangement so it could be kept watered.
We bought the tiny tree.
So Friday evening was spent setting up the trees, with Doyle outside cutting the bottoms so the trees could get fresh water, and us vacuuming and sweeping the needles and moving things around.
Saturday we went to buy new lights for the trees and strung them up, later we went to the Tree Lighting ceremony at a local community, enjoying the entertainment and listening to the words officials had to say, watching the skaters on the portable ice rink, and getting a bit to eat at one of the local eateries, and just enjoying ourselves in general.
Today is being spent putting up the decorations, and staying warm, Belladonna has decided to camp on one of the overstuffed chairs and stay out of the way.
It’s already wonderful seeing all the old-fashioned decorations going up, I was glad that I managed to get more decorations, Coralline and my sister and I are having fun and I’m glad I managed to get the bulk of this typed the night before and save to a flash drive to post this morning.
Seeing the red, greens and gold’s shimmering in the lights brings a smile to my face and tons of memories of Family Christmases gone by, Coralline is building up her own special memories. She hugged my sister, Doyle and I last night for making this so special.