Don't get me wrong..I have had some really hard Christmas seasons. I also realized Christmas is a time that completely comforts me in a time machine of sorts. I do not view my own little world of Christmas as consumer frenzy. I do not care if one present is given to me. I don't care about all the food. It is something different for me and I really do not know when it happened but sure it happened as a child.
My Mother always but always had a Charlie Brown Christmas tree. She sprayed it in canned snow or it was as uneven as could be and had holes or bushy on one side and flat on the other. There were never enough lights and Angel Hair took care of that problem. It did not matter that much though because the magic was there,
There were smells that linger in my head to this day. There was the smell of cedar, pine, cinnamon, chalk, blackboards, elmers glue, (school smells included) marshmallows, cider, apples, oranges, tangerines, and the list goes on. There are some unpleasant smells as well like nursing homes, hospital rooms, and again the list goes on
I once told my husband that the day I did not put up a Christmas tree, to have me committed. I would not be me anymore. I even met Jack during the 12 days of Christmas. The 12th Day of December and No one can convince me there is not magic in the air.
I relish the memories of Christmas past..even the bad memories.. They taught me something. I can relate to hurt or disappointment with some of the past Christmas celebrations but far more good than bad. I do almost a memorial at Christmas but in a cheerful, joyous way. I also do it in a somber way with Thanksgiving and rememering the less fortunate, the hurting, the incarcerated and those alone and sick. I buy new ornaments almost every year.. Not get rid of the old satin ball that hung by the red homemade ribbon but a new ornament just for someone I lost that was so imporatant to me. No name, no idenitfying oranment but hung on the biggest candle I can find called a Christmas tree. I watch the twinkling lights and the ornaments and they hold some memories near and dear to me and it comforts me.
For this one time..
This one holiday, those who have walked on are with me in memory and celebration. I know their spirit is close to me at this time of year because I have not forgotten the train set my Daddy bought me at 6 ( From Santa) and played with me for hours. I do not forget the young woman twirling to Jingle Bell Rock as she sprayed the windows with fake snow and I called Mother. I do not forget the wise old man who read The Little Engine that could while smoking his pipe and holding me on his knee. That old fellow looked like Santa Claus and was my grandfather. I can see my grandmother..both of them,.. One is baking cakes and the other cooking biscuits. I can see even in the horrific times, my late former x husband holding our son to the Christmas tree. I can see cousins, and people like my x who has walked on still right there at the tree.
I see all the past and present with my family now. I stare at the tree and fall asleep sometimes watching the lights sparkle and remember every Christmas. I can't be very sad when I can actually take my mind to some of those times with people I loved and helped mold me. I can see Christmas parties at work, bonuses at work, school day coloring, children expressions, affection for my pets, the help I have tried to render to Veterans doing without and their appreciation. I see it all and I see it vividly at Christmas.
Some of those Christmases are not pleasant but they happened. The disappointmets in love, or worry or sickness, but they are part of my makeup. I can see snow falling, winds blowling, hot sticky Christmas weather, rain and it is all part of who I am. It could not possibly be romaniticizing the holiday because as I said, not all of them were pleasant but all were magic.
The tree lights go on and do not come off until after Christmas. The lights stay on. It does not matter or did it matter if few presents or any presents were under the tree. Wrapped boxes work. Aluminum foil with string on a box works. I do not do much holiday decorating on the outside...Normally a wreath and electric candles in the window. The drive around town to point out festive lights is part of the magic for me. The skill and imagination of people who string lights or just put candles in the window or a simple tree captivates me. I do not go in much for tree lighting in public places but more personal sightings of people in neigborhoods with their joy display. I don't go in for much of the Christmas parties unless required in the past for work. It has to be personal. I have diared and shared some of the magic I felt with you guys. The Christmas we gave out lifetime subscriptions is a good example and there is an ornament for that one along with the homeless girl and me with oranges.
I have had some hard hard holidays with death, divorce, financial ruin and yet that huge candle even if chopped down gives me comfort. It is about my life and the people in it and those no longer here but shared joy in my life at some time. It gives me hope for this side of the stars and the stars I will go beyond one day . . It is a time I feel they are all with me. Grandparents, parents, loved ones past and present. I am right now looking at a little oranment made years ago when our then 6 year old made a shell out of plastic.. She will soon be 19. She ran in from school all excited. I get all kinds of new ornaments from our 8 year old now and I hang each one with delight. Our 3 year old miracle grandbaby moved in last week with us along with our other grown daughter and her straight red and green lines on paper are hung on the tree.
There are memories and new memorial ornaments on the tree and there is magic in the air as it is Christmas. I light candles on Christmas Eve for our men and women in uniform as they stand on foreign lands sacraficing their magic. I listen to the music, past and present.
I pray for my friends here and think of you EVERYDAY but especially at Christmas.
Sarah Palin said some are killing Christmas... No, Sarah, no one can kill Christmas. It is embedded in some people's soul and it possesses a certain magic. It is my Time machine and it is not about getting older because I have reflected like this as long as I can remember. It is my faith to believe and celebrate Christmas but it does not matter what faith or any faith you have because the magic is still there.