Season’s Greetings!

Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland

Season’s greetings from 2 Dope Sistahs!

We are taking a Christmas break, but we will return on January 6 with fresh posts for 2014.

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Foto Friday: Oh, Christmas Tree

Each Friday, 2 Dope Sistahs posts a picture and today, we decided to share our Christmas Tree with you. I still have much to do, but I promised my 6 year old that I would not do it without her. So, here is my half done Christmas Tree. Come back to this page this weekend, and I’ll post an update.

Christmas Tree

Foto Friday: Animal

Each “Foto Friday” 2dopesistahs pay homage to our love of Pinterest by remixing one of the posts we saw there, the “30 Day Photography Challenge,” originally posted on the Little Bennet blog. We are presenting our photographs so that we can explore the power of the camera and how we see the world.

Day 24: Animal

Polar Bear and Penguins

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in my neighborhood. We have snow on the ground and it’s wicked cold (9 degrees as I write this post). So, it’s not a surprise that the only animals I could find outside were actually lawn decorations.

Wacky Wednesday: Top 5 Christmas Songs

Da Hype 1

Jackson 5 Christmas albumIt is not Christmas until I play my favorite songs. As a kid, we would all decorate the Christmas Tree to the Jackson 5 Christmas album. We would pretend to be all of the Jacksons and even say the lines to the skits at the beginning of each song. For me Christmas has to have a soundtrack and my soundtrack is as follows:

5. Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You”

4. James Brown “Santa Claus, Go Straight to the Ghetto”

3. The Jackson 5’s “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”

2. The Temptions’ “Silent Night”

1. Donnie Hathaway’s “This Christmas”

Da Realist 1

The first part of my soundtrack sounds like church on Christmas morning. I’m sitting in whitexmasthe front row next to my great-grandmother and the choir is performing wonderful renditions of all the standards–“Silent Night,” “Joy to the World,” “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” etc. The second part of my soundtrack consists of the songs I hear on the radio during December. So, I’ve narrowed my list to five. I think readers might find it. . . eclectic.

5. “Santa Baby,” Eartha Kitt

4. “O Come All Ye Faithful,” Luther Vandross

3. “Let It Snow,” Boyz II Men

2. “Do You Hear What I Hear,” Whitney Houston

1. “White Christmas,” Bing Crosby (Also my favorite Christmas movie)

Now you know what we like. What’s your favorite Christmas song?

Having a Blue Christmas

Image courtesy of jannoon028/FreeDigitaPhotos.net

Image courtesy of jannoon028/FreeDigitaPhotos.net

As I noted in last week’s Wacky Wednesday post, I love Christmas, especially the decorations. But I understand that this time of year is not always joyful. In fact, there were times when I’ve had a “Blue Christmas” rather than “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” My Christmas wish was to be on a cruise to the Caribbean rather than sitting at home alone in my apartment, listening to sad songs and watching fictional characters make merry on television.

Feelings of loneliness are often compounded during Christmas, and it is just one of the reasons that the holidays can be difficult. On Sunday I called my mother, who I usually talk to daily, and discovered that she had been deep into her “holiday blues” for a couple of days. She hadn’t called because she didn’t want to burden me. She feared that she would make me sad as well.

For my mother, this season reminds her of the people she loves who have passed away, especially her parents. Both of her parents died in December, although it was years apart. I was only two-years-old when my grandfather died, so I can’t remember him or his death. But my grandmother’s death is etched in my memory, even though I was living hundreds of miles away when it happened. She died December 26, 1995.

On December 25, just as my grandmother, my mother, and their guests were about to sit down to Christmas dinner, my grandmother had a severe pain in her head which turned out to be a stroke. She was conscious as the paramedics were putting her into the ambulance, and that was right about the time that I called home. I was on my way to work that day, but I wanted to find out how Grandma liked my present.

She was in the emergency room for hours while doctors tried to lower her blood pressure, which was skyrocketing. According to my mother, however, they never really provided much treatment. Eventually, later that night, they released her. As my mother was driving Grandma home, she screamed and slumped over. My mother rushed her back to the hospital. Grandma had experienced a cerebral hemorrhage; she slipped into a coma and never regained consciousness. She was taken off life support the following day.

My mother feels things very deeply, so I understand how this season affects her. But I chastised her for not calling me. (Even though we live in different states, we are constantly in touch.) I am sure that not talking to anyone only deepens her feelings of aloneness and sadness.

There are so many people who are hurting during this time of year. I have opened this window into my world because I think it is an important topic. Please reach out to family and friends who may be having a hard time. And if you are sad, blue, melancholy, or depressed, you are certainly not alone. Reach out to your family and friends. Let them know how you are feeling. And if your depression is really serious, do not be too proud or afraid to see a counselor.

Wacky Wednesday: What Do You Like Most about Winter?

Da Realist 1

Christmas wreath on my front door

Christmas wreath on my front door

What do I like most about winter? Oh, that’s easy-peasy. Christmas decorations–the tree (I prefer real), lights, ornaments, wreaths, poinsettias, personalized stockings, tablecloths, napkins, salt-and-pepper shakers, kitchen towels. I have it all! (No Christmas sweaters, though. I decorate my house, not myself.)

Like so many things that I treasure, decorating for Christmas makes me think of my family. I was the official tree-trimmer for my great-grandmother. She had a small artificial tree in her living room closet, and she always let me decorate it, probably because she didn’t want to be bothered with it. But it made me feel important that she saved that job for me. At my house, my mother and I always trimmed the tree together. We had special ornaments, some of them I made at school in the 5th grade.

Many people have commented on the joy I seem to get out of decorating for Christmas. Last week my husband noticed that I was quite jolly when I got out the box with all of our Christmas goodies. “You loooove Christmas,” he observed. I had a friend in college who referred to me as “The Christmas Elf”–a not so veiled reference to my height, I’m sure–because of all the Christmas-themed paraphernalia I had in my apartment.

Da Hype 1

apple ciderWhat I like most about Winter is everything warm. It’s the contrast of coming in from the cold outside, to getting into my warm bed that I love. A hearty thanks to Da Realist 1 for the electric blanket she bought for me. Anyway, I love the idea of drinking hot caramel apple cider, Earl Grey lattes, and other hot drinks. I long for the moments in which I sneak a half hour or more and sip my favorite drink, turn on the fire place, and read my favorite book in my favorite chair. That is my Great Winter Escape!

Like Da Realist 1, I also like the Christmas season. What I really enjoy about Christmas is listening to Christmas songs.  I won’t tell you my favorite Christmas song; come back to next week’s Wacky Wednesday for that!!