Wonder Boi Writes

Christmas Song Blog Day 10 – O Tannebaum

I am just heartsick about the new reports of Russia’s subversion of the American election process.  I have been obsessed with the news reports and almost frantic with the desire to DO SOMETHING.  Why does it feel like no one is taking action? Talking is not enough. I want to act. I feel strong enough to act again. My anger is once again outmatching my grief.

And yet, even in this fiery moment, I know that anger can spark, but it cannot sustain. If I am really to fight the good fight for the long haul, I must brace myself, I must care for myself, I must center myself. This isn’t easy to do, and there are surely many lifelong activists who are much better suited to speak on the topic than I.  I will say that one thing I have learned in my very limited activist experiences is that when I’m in the fight, I need to be in the fight, and when there are lulls in the fight, I need to focus on healing.

Today I chewed out my senator on Facebook, and  I signed several petitions, but there is no one to call tonight, no offices to visit, and the mail is not running for me to send letters or post cards.  The only thing I can DO is stew, and that’s not only not productive, it’s harmful.  It drains energy and undercuts the soul.  This is one of those revolutionary acts that is truly counter-intuitive, but the best thing I can do for the revolution tonight is to lay it down. We always tell new parents to sleep when the baby sleeps. We need to tell young revolutionaries to do the same.

Tonight I am going to decorate my Christmas tree with my family.  I am going to listen to Christmas carols, I am going to drink hot chocolate and take a bubble bath and go to bed early.  Tomorrow I am going to go to church, I am going to help some great kid rehearse the Christmas play, and then I’m going to go to a birthday party.  I am going to laugh and sing and soak up every ounce of peace and joy and love I can, because those are the things that restore my strength.  And I am going to need all that strength when I jump back into the fight Monday morning.

So in that vein of the things that help me rejuvenate, I am sharing the song that I share pretty much every year when we decorate our tree.  This is a song my grandmother would sing to me in German, because her grandmother used to sing it to her in German. That grandmother had left Germany as a young bride.  She and her husband raised a son who went back to Germany as an American solider during World War Two. He was shot down behind enemy lines and taken prisoner by German troops before other Americans rescued him, and he went home to raise children of his own.  His daughter, my grandmother, went back to Germany a generation later with her own granddaughter in tow.  I was a teenager when we stood in the doorway of the church where my grandmother’s grandmother was married.  Families are complicated, but they hand down so much more than Christmas carols. They hand down the stories of how we became who we are.

I come from a line of dreamers and adventurers, warriors and survivors. This song reminds me of that.


December 10, 2016 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Thank you again for continuing to do you music blog even when you are feeling down. There are really no words any of us can say that are adequate enough to assuage your anger or grief. Your feelings are totally valid. My words are only an expression of my confidence in you, and in the firm belief that with God, we will be made strong enough as individuals, as families, and as a community to get through these times. We all need a great deal of self-care, as you are doing, before we can help others, and we are all stronger than we realize. The daily sharing of your feelings through your blog is a mirror whereby we all recognize our own frustrations and strengths, and realize we are not alone. So continued loving appreciation for who you are and all you do.

    Comment by Diane Nixon | December 10, 2016 | Reply

  2. I’m a couple of days late to this blog, but what you wrote here is beautiful and soothing to my soul. The words that ‘anger is the spark’ but it can not be sustained is so, so true. And the excellent advice to ‘sleep when the baby is sleeping’ makes me take a deep, relaxing breath and know that it is OK to stop stressing even if it is just for a little while.
    Thank you for writing this and for the music. You have made a positive difference in my life today. Bless you.

    Comment by solargrrl | December 13, 2016 | Reply

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