On December 6, 2023

Senior Scene: Reflecting on the holiday season





Christmas and Hanukkah are special to all of us in many ways. Even if we complain about the hustle and bustle we all love the children, the toys, tinsel, parties and  chaos. Charles Dickens said “Oh, would that Christmas lasted the whole year through, as it ought. Would that the spirit of Christmas could live in our hearts every day of the year.” Well, that certainly sounds like a challenge! What is this “Spirit of Christmas”? Perhaps we can celebrate our faith and take the time to reflect, restore and renew ourselves. Then we can hang on to that Christmas spirit all year long.

Denmark often wins the prize for the world’s happiest nation. Some say it’s because they practice “hyggee.” It is pronounced somewhere between “hoo-ga” and “hue-guh.” Take your pick. In this season where every day seems to be frantic we can enjoy hygge by introducing a few concepts into our lives:

 SAVOR THE MOMENT The essence of hygge is to live deliberately and get the most out of pleasurable activities. 

BUILD A NEST Spend time making your home as comfortable and cheerful as you can. 

SET THE MOOD Arrange candles and ambient lighting. 

EMBRACE NATURE Bring the outdoors in and enjoy everything natural. 

FEED YOUR SENSES Warm your hands around a hot cup of tea and listen to soothing music. There is a handy, dandy little book to help with this. It’s called “The Little Book of Hygge” by Meik Wiking. 

The Dutch have also contributed to this general feeling of wellbeing that we all need during the holidays. They call it niksen and it’s the art of doing nothing. The Dutch have perfected the art of purposefully, mindfully doing nothing to the point that it might contribute to their overall high ranking when we consider wellbeing. The Dutch are some of the happiest people on earth. I would encourage you to loosen your concept of time and practice doing nothing. Just sit sometimes, sipping your coffee and looking out the window. It’s called downshifting and we need this to prepare ourselves for the chaotic times in our life.

I often quote the Blue Zones, areas in the world where people live the longest. In Ikaria they take daily naps. In Okinawa they find time to remember and contemplate their ancestors. In Sardinia they meet with friends and neighbors for daily “happy hours.” Don’t make this more difficult than it is or overthink the concept. Just set aside time to do nothing and allow your mind to wander. Let yourself simply “be.” Fight the urge that doing nothing is bad and simply lazy. It will not only get you through the holidays but might also make you healthier and happier.

Perhaps as we celebrate our faith and take the time to reflect, restore and renew ourselves, we will find that Christmas Spirit really does stay with us all year long.

The library will not be scheduling any adult activities this month. Monday movies will start again in January. The Book Club will also not meet during December. The next meeting will be Wednesday, Jan. 31.  The book that will be discussed is “Empire Falls” by Richard Russo. The book won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2002. It follows the story of Miles Roby in a fictional, small blue collar town in Maine and the people, places and the past surrounding him as manager of the Empire Grill diner. Copies are available at the library.

The library will host a Holiday Market on Sunday, Dec. 3. There will be vendors, lunch and a concert by Celtic Musician and storyteller Jeff Snow. This starts at noon and ends at 5 p.m. The lunch is homemade Louisiana Gumbo with garlic bread and dessert for $5. Lots of unusual things for sale and a nice place to spend the afternoon with friends. By the way, please note the library will be closed from Dec. 23-26. They will also be closed on New Year’s Day.

The Little White Church will host a community sing-along on Sunday, Dec.10, everyone is welcome to sing along starting at 4 p.m.and then we will gather downstairs for hot chocolate and cookies. There will be a great selection of of secular music and traditional hymns. Come and sing along with family and friends.

The Little White Church is very grateful to all the seniors who donated to the project of providing turkeys, food and gift cards to several families connected with our local elementary school.

They were able to do this before the Thanksgiving holiday and will do the same for the Christmas holiday coming up. Your generosity was extraordinary and allowed families to experience a little joy during these holidays. A simple thank you hardly expresses the gratitude or the impact your donations made. Please know you are appreciated.

We have been promising a telephone/address directory for the seniors for a long time and I admit I sort of dropped the ball. I promise that I am committed and will start on this project in January.

What really inspired me was a casual conversation one day centered around what we eat. It seems cooking is not what motivates us all the time but we still have to eat. So the idea of a “simple” go-to  meal that’s easy to prepare and is affordable is something we all want. Please share if you have a favorite. You can even remain anonymous if you would like. So now I not only want your address and phone number but also a favorite recipe.

Vera’s photo for December really illustrates just how beautiful it is here in Killington. We are so lucky to be able to enjoy the great outdoors just by looking out the window. Thank you for sharing your wonderful talent each month.

Finally, a personal thank you from me to you. It is such a pleasure to serve as the chairman of The Killington Active Seniors. I thank all of you for your support and the help that you offer throughout the year. Your emails lift me up and make me smile. I am truly grateful for this opportunity. My wish for you all throughout the year is “enough”….. enough peace, contentment and good health.

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