Skip to main content

I was reading The Grieving Room when I realized Christmas is so different for me than many people.   It is my Joy of Existence of Christmas Past and present.

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.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (12+ / 0-)

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 02:24:09 PM PST

  •  Though I've a different view of the whole thing, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife, Randomfactor, FloridaSNMOM

    I'm glad the season brings so much good feeling to people.

    Heck, I'd take it if only for the fact that, for a couple of weeks a year, people seem more willing to be polite and courteous to one another. I don't care if they even feel it; that they act it makes things better.

    I live under the bridge to the 21st Century.

    by Crashing Vor on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 02:33:40 PM PST

  •  Well written. It's clear the hurt the White Witch (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife, FloridaSNMOM, worldlotus

    put on Narnia (always winter and never Christmas) has never taken hold with you. :)

    •  My 3 year is more believable (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FloridaSNMOM

      than the white witch ..hmmph !!!! she is si ridiculous..
      She must not get out much to see all of America lit up with Christmas lights.   She must not respect Hanukkah at all.. Festival of Lighst... Well I DO !!!!

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 03:42:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for posting TofG (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FloridaSNMOM

    Ya'll are welcome to put your fave holiday music on !

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 03:44:21 PM PST

  •  I managed to get a bit more decorated this year! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife, worldlotus

    The past few years I was so sick through November and December we barely got the tree up. This year we put lights outside as well and I got two solar lights for in the yard too. I also have jingle bells on the door. Those are Christmasy, but they're really for the pups to let us know they have to pee LOL. I should pick up a second string though while Christmas decorations are still out.

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 04:00:10 PM PST

    •  Wow..You did better than we did !! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FloridaSNMOM

      Hope you are feeling better dear !

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 04:24:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  At the moment I'm doing ok. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Vetwife

        A little short of breath and having to take breaks, but better than last month so far (knocks on wood). Temps are about to change though, so ask me again in a couple of days LOL. But I have my meds for now, so that's in my favor. Now once these scripts run out, if I haven't been able to get into the clinic, then we'll see. I'm hoping to get up to the clinic tomorrow or Thursday while a friend can drive me, to find out their hours, what paperwork I need and hopefully set up an appointment, since I can't get ahold of them by phone.. ever.

        "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

        by FloridaSNMOM on Tue Dec 10, 2013 at 04:26:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Sweet (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    worldlotus, Vetwife

    Happy Holidays dearest Vetwife.

    Love & Peace

    thomas

  •  When I first moved to Florida (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    worldlotus, Vetwife

    I had little money and I love Christmas.  I lived next to University Square Mall (Tampa/USF area).  I went into an area with small lakes or ponds just north of the mall and next to  my apartment complex.  I found a dead tree branch that was the perfect size for my apartment Living Room. I stood the branch in one corner and it looked smart and beautiful.  I had red ornaments and wrapped gifts around the branch for my son who was coming from Belgium (unaccompanied minor).  He loved the unusual Christmas tree and felt the decor was chique and modern and cool.

    One of my happiest Christmases ever.

    Now my son is living nearby, married with two children of his own.  He is a great father and husband.

    Peace & Love

    Merry Christmas

  •  I came back to this Diary ... as I couldn't (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife

    sleep.  Vetwife is such an excellent writer - her story drew me back here.  The words are so genuine and true - with deep authenticity.  The warmth of this account is hypnotique.  I too like that there is melancholy and  there is tempered joy put out on the table, next to the warmth and sweetness.  Life is not all bad nor is it all ever only good.  We face complexity - we humans.  

    I have a warm graciousness in my battered heart today.  It holds so much history.  From my littlle country school in Kentucky to Vietnam, then to Belgium and France where life was sweet.   From the loss of my parents just seven days apart, to the arrival of a most beautiful infant boy after a Fairytale wedding in a Belgian Basilica - with the villagers throwing flower petals in the Grand Place where the village church still stands - centuries old.

    God, life can be beautiful.  And it can be difficult and deeply sad.  Oh yes.  

    Thank you, Amanda.

    Peace - from this quiet Florida Preserve on the Alafia River.

    •  That is such a beautiful sentiment (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tommyfocus2003

      Life is not what we make it unfortunately but how we handle some of what is made for us.   I heard Jack use the blender emotion description many many times before I realized that was exactly the feeling of people with many ups and downs.  We get used to life constantly changing and some to the moutaintops and some to the valleys.
      All of the people and places in our lives played a part for good or bad.   Here is a song for you tommy.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Wed Dec 11, 2013 at 10:07:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site