Many grumble about the commercialization of Christmas. There is an article in the Wall Street Journal by Gwendolyn Bounds on decking the halls and walls of stores. I had no idea all that is involved and will appreciate holiday decorations in a whole new way after reading the article. For one thing have you ever wondered how many elves it takes to transfer a store from plain to holiday in a night?
At Tiffany's on Fifth Avenue, fourteen people, ten ladders and a crane worked two nights from dusk to dawn to decorate with 33,900 white lights and hundreds of blinking strobes packed in custom injection molded pine garlands. Cartier is "wrapped in 14,000 linear feet of garland and proclaims "Happy Holiday" in 30 languages across its facade. At the Time Warner Center overlooking Manhattan's Columbus Circle, 1000-pound LED-lit stars hang from the entranceway." Macy's flagship store "sports enough red ribbon to stretch the length of 70 football fields."
I read all this and feel excitement course through my veins like Rudolph and the other reindeer flying through the sky on Christmas Eve. I love the holidays, and every single day of December, and all other eleven months too.
Yesterday when Frieda asked me if I would like to have make-up and hair done for the wedding, I enthusiastically said "Yes." The old me would have thought it was a ridiculous waste of time and money, but I realize I have changed since chemotherapy and since hearing about Mitchell's life. Mitchell would be outside at 4:00 AM waiting for the stores to open the day after Thanksgiving. One can and should live consciously and there is a place to bubble in joy. Mitchell loved Costco and the displays of proffered goodies. His favorite food was "buffet." He ingested life fully, and gave back with his smiles.
I see how important it is that we each find and nourish the balance that stimulates, satisfies, and soothes us, that gives to us and, in that, to others. What is better than a smile?
Adam Louie's speech is posted on their blog, the words that he shared on Saturday night at the celebration of his twin brother Mitchell's life. It feels too personal to share, and yet, I feel a need to offer some of his words. It probably seems an odd juxtaposition, the words of Mitchell through Adam, and Holiday garlands and lights, and yet, I feel the tie that binds our hearts in the celebration of love, peace, and joy. There we rise in kindness, hold hands and hearts, and connect in seeding our dreams.
I give you the last paragraph of his speech.
The words of Adam Louie as given on December 1st, 2007 in memory and celebration of his brother Mitchell.
In the summer time every night mom, dad, Mitchell and I, would sit down after a long day and just talk about old times. One night we decided that Mitchell should all give us words to hold onto, words to relate to, and words to live by. More like lessons or advice. I’ll share the advice that Mitchell gave to me and what they mean. The first bit of advice he said was, “BE MINDFUL OF OTHERS.” To me this means to be respectful to others that are around you, to think of other before your self, and to be careful on what you wish upon others. The second piece of advice was to, “EXPAND YOUR HORIZONS.” Which mean to open up your mind and try things you wouldn’t normally do, to look beyond your imagination, to not think about what has already happened but think about what you can do differently next time it happens, and to make choices and decisions that could change your life forever. The next advice he told me was, “GIVE YOUR SELF A CHANCE.” You can’t be too hard on your self, you have to work hard for what you want and what you believe in, you have to know you can do it for it to come true, and it’s ok to get your self a rest now and then. The last piece of advice I learned from Mitchell would be to, “OPEN YOUR EYES.” You have to see what’s in front of you and become brave enough to face it, you have to overcome your fears and fight for what you believe in, and you have to open your eyes to see how many people truly love you. Mitchell’s always looking after us, so always remember he will be in your heart forever. Thank You all for coming to celebrate the life of Mitchell Louie, and I hope I’ve touch your hearts as Mitchell has touched all our hearts. THANK YOU