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Partners in Living Well: Enjoying the season

Arna Rennan

So many people say: “Well you know, Christmas is really all about the children.” It must be either my immaturity or inner child that protests that thought. I simply want to celebrate the very fact that we are here in the midst of growing darkness, hostile, howling winds and layers of snow. That is when the simplest of pleasures become so much more necessary and appreciated.

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All of us on the board at SAS truly missed having Christmas tea with you the week of the blizzard and cold. I sincerely hope that you were warm and safe and not in need of essentials. The positive spin on living so far north is that we have to become very clever at planning ahead for all kinds of contingencies. No one was surprised when we had to cancel the tea - not once but twice. Many of you had imagined icy, treacherous hills, which would have made driving and walking difficult. You are very smart people. I was more optimistic than smart.

Are you enjoying the shadows cast by the brightness of the full moon? Have you seen the swirls of steam rising from the lake? Is your friend wearing a festive, holiday sweater? Are there more greetings than bills in your mailbox? Do you have a fire-proof fiber optic angel glowing in your living room?

I learned how to make it through the winter months when I lived in the deeper darkness of Norway. Here are some ideas that may help you enjoy the season, too. Whenever sitting at the table, at breakfast or in the evening, lights a candle. Also, to remind yourself that spring does indeed come, have at least one real flower in a bud vase. As it turns out, Norway buys more fresh flowers than any other country. They also have more house fires than any other country, so that’s why I so strongly suggest the fiber optic angel.

I’m sure that each one of you has rich memories of previous years’ holidays. And perhaps some of you have an acute sense of loss for those who are no longer with us. Whether your heart is swelling with warmth or feeling a tug, all those emotions are the measure of richness in our lives. Here we are alive and experiencing all of it. That is a wonderful thing.

Please look for our newsletter, which will be sent shortly. Don’t let it get lost amongst your Christmas cards. We have a Valentine’s luncheon, Irish stew for St. Patrick’s Day and much more in store for the New Year.

A very Merry Christmas, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice and any variety of holidays you may celebrate!

On behalf of the board of Socially Active Seniors, Warmest greetings from Arna.

Arna Rennan is the activity director for Socially Active Seniors in Two Harbors. She writes the Partners in Living Well column with Kirsten Cruikshank of Community Partners.