I relate to “We Need A Little Christmas” from the musical Mame, believing the spirit of the song offers some life lessons:
- Giving when the gift is needed is more important than giving when a gift is expected.
- Despite the calendar, in spite of the circumstances, seize the holiday.
- Clear-eyed, a regular diet of delayed gratification and immediate attention to problems is good for you. Tear-eyed, the occasional treat of right-now gratification and delayed attention problems is good for you.
- If you think you’re alone, you’re wrong.
- Even (especially?) when it doesn’t make sense, it can help to be cheerful.
This mid-February day, I am cheered that my Christmas cactus is offering an off-season present: a large, red bloom. As it you might guess from its name, a Christmas cactus is expected to bloom sometime in December. On December 14, I commiserated with Facebook friends: Come on, Christmas cactus, bloom! Pretty please?
Katie: Mine is done already. It was a Veteran’s Day cactus this year.
Kathy: Ours is done, too, after a spectacular showing at Thanksgiving!
Me: I was tempted to walk over to my plants and point out their comparable under-performance. Instead, I just moved them to the afternoon sun spot.
Ann: I see the problem. You are too nice to them. Mine bloomed prolifically for years after spending the summer neglected outside every year. Until I finally killed them.
I’m a good student of life lessons. So, despite the calendar and despite the circumstances, I’m going to seize the holiday. Mid-February, I’m ready for anticipatory Easter (April 24, 2011). Here’s a cheerful thought: I’m taking the rest of the day off. Think I’ll hard boil some eggs.
For I need a little Easter
Right this very minute
Dyed eggs in a basket
Azalea on the Spinet
—Sue Edison-Swift (2/17/2011)