Hard Candy Christmas

© Photographer: Andrea Skjold | Agency: Dreamstime.com

When the song Hard Candy Christmas first hit the charts, I didn’t understand the lyrics. I grew up having hard candy for Christmas and the ribbon candy in particular always brought good memories of Christmases past. And initially I thought the song was calling hard candy at Christmas cheap and a sign of hard times. In a way it is, but over the years, I’ve learned it says so much more than that. Originally written by Carol Hall for The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, the song is meant to show spirit and grit-your-teeth determination. When life throws you that curve ball that flattens you, this song tells you to pick yourself up, dust off, do something different, and keep on going. You might be barely getting through, but you still are moving forward. And while not technically a Christmas song, it does get more air play during the holidays.

I celebrate holidays. Those who work with me will tell you that is a gross understatement. I decorate my area starting in October and switch out for the holidays as they come, starting with fall leaves, scarecrows, pumpkins, followed by adding turkeys and pilgrims. Then once Thanksgiving passes, I break out in a Christmas rash. I paper the entire cubicle area, run lights and garlands along the tops of the cubicle walls, put up trees, wreaths, nativity scenes, nutcrackers, you name it. This year (shhh—don’t tell anyone) I’m going to stave off the post-Christmas blah when all the decorations are put away, but lining the cubicles with silver and white snowflake garlands. Why do I decorate so much? To remind myself to focus on the positives in life. There are so many things, outside of our control, that happen in this life—bad things, dark things, things that take our breath away and not in a good way, that we can be dragged down into the muck and mire. I choose not to stay there. I choose to remind myself of the good things in life. Things like the magic that happens at Christmas time… or during Hanukkah, or any other cause for celebration.

© Photographer Maria Dryfhout | Agency: Dreamstime.com

© Photographer Maria Dryfhout | Agency: Dreamstime.com

Hard Candy Christmas for most people is probably associated with the musical, but for me when I hear it I think of Dolly Parton and a Christmas special she did with Kenny Rogers back in 1984, Once Upon a Christmas—the song was added to the album, but wasn’t part of the special. I have the album and it is one of my pleasures during the holiday season to listen to it (multiple times). Another song from the special, one of my favorites, pretty much sums up the way I feel about celebrating and the holiday season, I Believe In Santa Claus. And it’s true. I believe in Santa Claus, I believe in the spirit of Christmas, so when Dolly penned this one, I felt like she had opened up my head, took a peek, and dashed off the song. If you don’t know the song, here is a flavor of the lyrics:

I believe in Santa Claus
I believe in Santa Claus
I believe there’s always hope when all seems lost
And I believe in Santa Claus
I believe in Santa Claus, I’ll tell you why I do
‘Cause I believe that dreams and plans and wishes can come true
I believe in miracles, I believe in magic too
Oh I believe in Santa Claus and I believe in you.

And if you haven’t heard the song, click here –> I Believe In Santa Claus

As a nation, we in the United States are struggling of late. Tragedies like the one in Newton, CT are becoming far too frequent. We have children who take pride in hate, bullies are rampant, not only in our schools, but in the work place, and every walk of life. Somewhere along the line, denigrating our country and those who are leading it became a sport. And destruction not only of property, but people’s self-esteem—the rush to hurt others before they hurt us has become a way of life. I believe there are many who would like to turn this around, but we don’t seem to know where to start.

Start with believing in Santa Claus. Believe in miracles, magic, and in your fellow human beings. Believe we can make things better. Dream of what we can become, plan for it, and make it happen. We are in the midst of a hard candy Christmas… but it’s not the end of the world. The Mayans were wrong, or they simply concluded they had extended the calendar far enough, and someone else would extend it in future generations. It’s time to do something different. It’s time to dust ourselves off, go a different way, make new plans, and focus on the celebrations in life.

Originally posted at Indie Chicks Cafe

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