Hi, there. Thanks for visiting. I'm starting this blog as an advocate for mental and physical health. I'm a freelance writer and also own a home based medical transcription business. I was diagnosed in 1978 with paranoid schizophrenia and started to become acutely ill three years prior to that, unmedicated, frightened, confused, and in trouble with the law. I graduated from university with distinction the year I became ill. I've never regretted learning how to think at university. I struggled with my illness for 35 years and have reached the top of the mountain now, I think, or the other side, where the grass is greener and the path easier. There's hope for all of us, the whole human race, and never think there isn't hope or joy no matter your circumstances. I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences with mental illness in all its forms: depression, brain injury, autism, schizophrenia, bipolar, anxiety disorders, etc. and your positive experiences as well as those lies and half truths society and even therapists would have us believe about ourselves.

We are different folks, and we are beautiful. The whole human race is beautiful. Let's celebrate life.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Celebrating Christmas Low Key

The blessed Advent season is here and we light the second candle for the second week this Sunday in church. My gifts have been bought, wrapped and some of them mailed. I saw this on-line, about homemade gifts. I made homemade gifts one year and it was so much work I vowed never again. But it's a good idea not to support foreign countries and cheap bought gifts. My gifts aren't cheap but some of them come from countries whose human rights history is poor and I think I'd like to support Canadian made gifts next year. I'll certainly try to come up with something more creative next year, starting in the Advent season and paying attention to what's important this time of year, which certainly isn't material goods. I think homemade cookies in a tin or box decorated nicely would be a good idea. I'm thinking of a dear male friend (not romantic) who would enjoy homemade cookies although he's watching his weight. Perhaps something homemade but more diet friendly? These kinds of gifts come from the heart.

I myself got an gift card from my son for my birthday and enjoyed that very much. I think Amazon is an American company but is the Canadian branch so that's the best we can do. A lovely idea. My daughter sent me flowers and fruit from a Canadian florist for my birthday, and they shopped here in Edmonton for the fruit. That's what I mean.

Any ideas like the attached link are gratefully received. They require more thought than standing in line at a large American chain store. But more meaningful and this Christmas my decorations are minimal. I'm not playing Christmas music yet. My nativity scene is up and I put up a crucifix on my blog upper right.

Do any of you have traditions you want to start this year? Or meaningful traditions from other years? Christmas Morning Wifesaver is one of those traditions for Christmas morning breakfasts we have here in our house. Used to be an orange in the toe of the stocking until one year I put the oranges in a month before Christmas, when I stuffed the stockings early, thinking I was so efficient, and when the children took their oranges out of the toe they were little shriveled hard things that couldn't be eaten. Ever since then I've bought a box of oranges and put them in a bowl.

Another tradition is Turtles and Toffeefay but this Christmas might be different because my middle son, who lives in Edmonton, has to work on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, and my daughter in Vancouver can't make it for Christmas this year. My elder son is 500 miles away and will be spending Christmas in southern Alberta with family there, I expect. My middle son will come over Christmas morning for a couple of hours and that will be very special. I don't mind spending most of the day alone. We'll celebrate on Tuesday the 27th of December, and for all we know, Christ was born on that day and not the 25th. In fact, I'm almost certain He wasn't born on December 25th.

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