I asked my husband if he had ever heard of hard candy or had eaten it for Christmas. He wasn’t certain but thought maybe he had. Given his age and being raised in Dublin, I had a feeling that, maybe, he would miss the meaning of Dolly Parton’s Christmas song: “Hard Candy Christmas.”
I remember when hard candy was almost jewel-like, looking as if someone had painted each individual piece. Yet, hard candy is simply painted sugar one puts in a candy bowl around Christmas time, like decoration. It’s cheap and pretty. If you eat too much of it, you’ll get a hair-raisin’ sugar rush, harsh enough to send a diabetic into shock.
Hard times, hard candy. Here are some of the lyrics:
“Maybe I’ll lose some weight
Maybe I’ll clear my junk
Maybe I’ll just get drunk on apple wine
Me, I’ll be just
Fine and dandy
Lord it’s like a hard candy Christmas
I’m barely getting through tomorrow
But still I won’t let
Sorrow bring me way down.”
The holiday are not just reserved for people who join together with family and friends and celebrate. They are also firmly reserved for those who have no family, few friends to break bread with, no gifts to get, or even one good memories of a holy day.
I remember when I worked at a psychiatric clinic, our busiest season was Christmas; after that, Valentine’s day. I can’t think of celebrating without remembering all of those sad people who had no one to celebrate with.
My hubby and I don’t even exchange gifts. My family is down to exchanging just one gift among all of us in a Secret Santa exchange. So, the investment in Christmas is not a financial one for us, simply one to give thanks, mostly.
I had a great group of friends who were all orphans in Nashville. We didn’t have family there, so we spent all of our holidays together. We would make a point of going to the shelter to serve food before we would have our own celebration.
Interestingly enough, it was hard to find a shelter that actually needed help, every year. People were on waiting lists to help the poor. Then, when you got to the place where you would serve them, none seemed to be very thankful. Even when we would sing Christmas carols, very few, if any participated. I believed they were looking at us thinking: Ah, look at the rich folk trying to pretend like they are making a difference in our lives.
Perhaps, they were right. Maybe we were appeasing our own souls. Looking back, I believe I was. How could any of us really make effective change in someone’s life who didn’t have a home, was living in a car with their kids, or fell on hard enough times that they had to go to the Salvation Army for dinner?
There was nothing happy about it. Trying to force the poor to sing pleasant songs wasn’t the right thing to do, though I wish I had tried harder to put a smile on one person’s face.
My point is this: if we are not careful, we will attempt to crowd ourselves with all of the things that are pleasant in life and forget about those who are in need. Or just the opposite, not celebrate life because of the feeling of not being able to help others. There must be a happy balance somewhere in all of it.
As a life coach and hypnotherapist, my primary goal is always to help people find balance in everything, even holidays: eating, pleasantries, self-indulgence, exercise, quiet time, habits, and avoiding habits. Everyone has something to balance in their lives—even writing blogs.
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Call me at 954-253-6493 to book an appointment.