Treena Mielke

Mielke: Family brings the Christmas spirit

Christmas has come early to our house this year.

It seems elves have been hovering about, cooking meals, doing laundry, putting up Christmas decorations, and just taking the spirit of Christmas and giving it a really good snow globe shake over my house.

Unfortunately, I have been sick, the kind of sick that renders you immobile as you helplessly watch other people scurry about doing your jobs.

Oh, my goodness, I‘m so grateful and I love them for it.

And even though being ill is as bad as getting a lump of coal in your stocking courtesy of the little man dressed in red and black, it does generate an opportunity to turn the words ‘Christmas spirit’ into an action verb.

It’s weird how life hands your packages, quicker than Amazon, filled with unforeseen lessons or gifts that have to be dealt with, whether you are ready or not.

Sometimes you hope the life lesson has been delivered to the wrong address and you can send it back.

Sadly, you cannot.

But, as with any life lesson, there is always a gift attached, even if you have to look really hard to find it.

That’s what happened to me.

Whatever I was able to accomplish, the number of things I could tick off my to-do list, the happier I came to be because I had read, How to Be Happier Now, or some such book, simply didn’t happen for one reason and one reason, only.

I felt like crap.

And so here I am, a miserable human being curled up on the couch, feeling sorry for myself.

And, low and behold, the Christmas spirit stepped in.

And at that moment, I realized, “hey, this spirit is contagious.

And, I had caught it.”

The other day the kids, or at least some of them, were here and they decided it was time to decorate the tree. Of course, grandchildren aged 14, 11 and 8 usually have one priority when they are not being the next Wayne Gretzky on the rink or at the basketball court or swimming pool. And that priority is screen time on the iPad.

But not today. No siree. Today they actually wanted to decorate the Christmas tree. And they took great delight in discovering the special Christmas ball their mom had painstakingly created when she was but a child herself.

And so, their mom, the creator of that special decoration, put on some Christmas music, and, without further adieu, it began.

The decorating process.

My son and a dear friend donned their elf suits and put up the outside lights.

As for me, I sat in the big chair in the living room and soaked in all the love and laughter that was going on around me and felt most humbled, indeed. And, really, not even that sick.

Being sick is a life lesson for sure, but I’m here to tell you that attached to the lesson is a gift, and a reminder that behind all the cheesy Christmas movies and tinsel and glitter and cash registers ringing up sales, the Christmas story is there, etched in the pages of life, itself.

And it is true, absolutely true!

Treena Mielke is a Central Alberta writer. She lives in Sylvan Lake with her family.

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