Can I just lay down the beauty/hair/lifestyle blogger mantle for a minute and speak what’s on my mind?
Quite frankly, I’m struggling to do what I’m “supposed” to do right now. I’m struggling to find the right words, and as someone whose livelihood is in words, it doesn’t feel good. It’s Christmas and there’s this conflict between what we’re quote-unquote supposed to feel, juxtaposed with what’s happening in our world. Right now there are die-ins happening at the malls and protesters stopping traffic in the streets to send the message home that black lives matter. That Mike Brown and Eric Garner and Tamir Rice’s deaths were unjust and the system is broken and it needs to be fixed. So even though it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, it certainly doesn’t feel holly jolly or very merry or like the most wonderful time of the year.
Around this time of year I usually write a bunch of lighthearted posts – recipes and gift guides and little lists of items to make your season bright. Then it moves into New Year’s resolutions and vision boards and fitness goals for the new year. It’s been the routine for the 8 years I’ve been writing this here blog. This is the first time that routine has felt wrong. This is the first year I’ve had to struggle within myself to find a semblance of holiday spirit.
I’ve started writing so many blog posts, recently. Haven’t finished any of them. I’ll start writing about a favorite product or book you need to give for Christmas or winter hair care tip…and then midway through, my own ability to write and interest in what I’m saying will just float away into the wind. I’ll be listening to Christmas music with the TV on mute, and then I’ll look up just in time to see Eric Garner’s tragic, awful death play out once again on television news. Again and again and again. Have you noticed that in news clips, they usually don’t show a still photo of Mr. Garner? Instead we get to see that tragic, awful moment play out in an nightmarish cycle. My heart goes out to his family, I can’t imagine how difficult it’s been.
This year, there are a few Christmas songs that have felt more resonant than others. Stevie Wonder’s Someday at Christmas is one of them. John Lennon’s Happy Xmas is another. “So this is Christmas. And what have you done? Another year over. A new one just begun.”
This is supposed to be a time of celebration, love, family and friends. We’re ending one year, about to move into another. Despite everything that’s happening, it is still Christmas. So how do you find the spirit, when it’s so very elusive? I’m trying to find it. The main thing that’s been calling to me and showing me a glimmer of hope, is charity. Giving to charitable organizations around the holidays is always a beautiful and important thing. There are some charitable organizations at the top of my mind, considering everything that’s happening in America right now.
First of all, I want to call attention to the Indiegogo fundraiser for Eric Garner’s children – they have met their goal but still need and deserve support.
I am thankful for those organizations who are on the ground and in the streets standing up for our rights, so shout out to BYP 100, the Dream Defenders, Millenial Activists United and Hands Up United.
In our own communities there are organizations that need uplifting. Here in Chicago, I do my best to support Mercy Home, the Greater Chicago Food Depository, and women’s organizations like Sarah’s Circle and Chicago Dream Center. I know there are SO many more that need our support. If you know of some particularly reputable and needy charities that support the community, please let me know.
It’s hard to find Christmas cheer when so much is going on, so it’s important to cherish the moments whenever you can. If you’ve found ways to spread Christmas cheer, please share with me! Maybe your idea will spark someone else into action.
How are you doing? How are you feeling? Are you having the same kind of Christmas conflict?