Sunday, December 10, 2006

Topic #31 - Sparkles

"Sparkles" is an interesting challenge at this time of year. Of course it conjours up thoughts of Christmas but for so many people it seems that Christmas is either a difficult or sad time or at least a double edged sword, filled with so many hopes and yet so much tension.
Families are the basic unit of our society and as such they seem to me to be the thing that brings us our most meaningful experiences. Families can provide so much love and joy, and they can also hurt us and disappoint so deeply.
I find it hard myself to negotiate the expectations that Christmas will be a wonderful, joyous occasion. Here in Australia it is often stinking hot and eating a lot of rich food and alcohol is really not wise, yet we all still do it if we can - often going so far as to feast on the traditional northern hemisphere fare of roast turkey, baked ham followed by plum pudd. (for those of us with a British heritage, anyway).
This Christmas I will be remembering my father of course. The grief is not quite as raw this time around as last year when he had only been dead seven weeks, but it still packs a punch.
I am hopeful that this Christmas, while small and low-key will be more relaxed and enjoyable than recent ones. My brother and sister and their families are going away, so on Christmas Day I will be having my mother and my mother-in-law for lunch. We have air-conditioning and we will be having non-traditional food: smoked salmon, and berries for dessert. It will be a quiet affair, but I do think the mother's will enjoy it - they love to see each other.
On Boxing Day we will gather at my mother-in-law's for the full Christmas celebration with my brother-in-law's family which includes our four year old nephews - there will be nothing quiet about that day!
My entry in Artwords this week really captures my mood as I contemplate Christmas and the year past. I value the time taken to reflect - it helps to focus on the sunshine and allow the less attractive aspects of life to drift away to the horizon.


  1. i love this pic & your post! i found you through my friend susan's artwords group & your entry really spoke to i have felt that way about christmas esp. lately>>> about it being a double-edge sword...i actually was ruminating about that last night & wondering if i should post my thoughts about that...but your aw entry said it all for me...thank you for's comforting to me that i am not alone in my thinking.

    i enjoyed reading your blog posts, btw, & i will be back to visit again!

    :) mary ann

  2. Hi Amanda, I found your post on Artwords and was really struck by it. I love the picture, and your words say so much that many of us carry in our subconscious, I believe. Very reassuring. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I hope you thoroughly enjoy the holiday and I look forward to reading more of your blog soon.

    Thanks again,
    Suze x

  3. im in love with this photo

  4. it seems there is a heavy sadness enveloping many this christmas - especially here in Australia

    to put words to it and look at a sparkly photo brings a sigh of relief like a cold drink on a sweltering hot summers day