Archive for December, 2017

How This Single Senior Beat the Holiday Blues

December 28, 2017

I’m a Jew who married a Christian. When we divorced, I also divorced Christmas trees and decorations. I do put up Hannukah decorations, but I missed all the Christmas merriment. Last year I had a few events to attend but this year I decided to be proactive and plan some.

Scottsdazzle is a light installation on the Scottsdale waterfront. I went with my youngest son and his family. The prisms were amazing and the giant ornament enchanting.

I took five friends to the Desert Botanical Garden’s Luminarias. It was a fun-filled evening with five bands, Native American dancers, music and stories, and the traditional candlelit walkways. I was delighted to listen to my favorite Flagstaff band, The Mother Road Trio. There was an installation of ceramic figures by Jun Kaneko. It was a terrific way to get into the season and give my friends experiences instead of material gifts.

I also attended a Christmas Concert given by The Valley Women’s Ensemble. A friend of mine sings with the group. I love Christmas music.

For many years, the women of the family went to the Teddy Bear Tea at the Ritz-Carlton. The hotel was sold to another company, so we couldn’t do it last year. I took the initiative and investigated holiday teas. We went to the Gingerbread Tea at the Arizona Biltmore. It was an occasion to dress up and eat lots of tiny tea sandwiches, scones and pastries.

I’m also told Hannukah and Christmas stories to one of my granddaughter’s classes. I did the puppet show of “Claude the Dog,” with the students manipulating the puppets.

I always helped my granddaughters make holiday gifts. The candy cane wreaths were not great, but the gingerbread man pillows and the gingerbread man refrigerator magnets were easy enough but challenging and fun.

I made Oreo truffles with Donna and packaged them for gifts.

Donna, Joan, Myrna and I went on Ollie the Trolley with the Who’s Who in Arizona Singles to see the residential light displays. It was such a pleasure to lean back and not worry about where to go or traffic.

Sharon invited me to see “A Bloody Mary Christmas” at Space 55 Theater. It was a play about three old women who are lushes and curse like sailors. The women playing the roles did an excellent job even though they were decades too young. That’s the opposite problem we have in casting Munds Park plays. I played a 22-year-old woman in one play because I was the youngest woman to audition.

I went to two holiday concerts. My granddaughter Charlotte is in kindergarten and her school had their program at the Mesa Arts Center. It’s a Montessori school and all the students, grades K-12 performed. Abby, my granddaughter in fifth grade, did a terrific job on the trombone for her first band concert. I put on the family Hannukah dinner. Two of my granddaughters came over the Friday night before the dinner and helped me make applesauce from scratch. We also made chocolate pretzels and lemonade.

I felt duty-bound to do so since I bought the latkes from The Original Pancake House. I finally got a family photo I can hang on my wall. I loved seeing the grandchildren appreciate their gifts. I went a bit overboard, as usual.



I went to McCormick Railroad Park with my children and grandchildren. I held a place on the line for the train while they saw Santa. We went on the carousel and had hot chocolate. We were bundled up. It was 55 degrees out, cold for us.

I enjoyed Susan Garvin’s Holiday Party. There were fewer people this year due to illnesses, but we had just as good a time. I ended up with a gift certificate to Changing Hands Bookstore in the lively gift exchange. Of course, Susan gave us a bag of goodies including a stationery box, holiday card, calendar for the new year and a certificate to redeem for card-making gifts or photo albums


On Christmas Eve I went to Lisa’s house and she cooked up a storm. Sharon’s niece had sent onesie pj’s for Chelsea. Sharon just had to model the cow one.

Christmas Day, I cooked shepherd’s pie for friends and then we went to the movies to see “The Darkest Hour,” about Winston Churchill. I recommend it.

What I learned is that to chase away the blues at Christmas time, I need to get out there and plan some of the activities, not just rely on others to invite me.