Tuesday, December 17, 2013
I could try and deny it, but it wouldn't change a thing...
the holidays are upon us.
Christmas is just one short week away.
Exactly one week from today, I will be gathering together with extended family to share good food, sing songs, drink Grandma's homemade eggnog, and create new memories.
It truly is a time when we reflect and think about what really matters.
I love to spend time remembering Chrismas' past.
I use those memories to fuel my rendition of "what is important".
I remember a few key gifts that I received as a child - but very few.
And usually the reason I remember certain gifts had more to do with their association with other memories.
the year "A Family Affair" was on television.
Our gifts were small that year - things that would fit easily in a pocket or a small bag.
I received a flexible doll of Buffy and Mrs. Beasley from the television show to help pass the time as we drove from Portland to Disneyland the day after Christmas.
But that year was unique - large trips did not happen often.
Our memories were generally created closer to home.
I remember gathering with extended family -
the chaos of our family of four active children piling into the old station wagon to drive over to my aunt and uncle's house.
Inevitably, my father forgot something in the house...every year.
As a child I didn't notice.
All I knew was that we opened our gifts on Christmas Eve after we returned from my Aunt's house.
This always concerned me - Santa usually delivers on Christmas Eve.
How was I going to get my gifts from santa?
"he knows", my father always assured me."If you've been good, he will deliver your presents before we get home".
So we would load into the car, dad would hit the steering wheel and announce that he forgot (fill in the blank), go back in the house and return ten minutes later.
Mom would remain in the car and attempt to keep us looking "Christmas appropriate".
When we returned home a few hours later,
the tree was magically full of gifts,
the cookies I had left out were now only a few crumbs,
the glass of milk drained.
And then there is the eggnog.
It tastes like nothing I have ever tasted anywhere else.
It's rich,creamy, nutmeggy, with ice cream floating in the cup.
Other than the year when I lived out of state and could not make it home for Christmas, I cannot remember a year without the eggnog.
The recipe locked in my mother's brain.
A few years back, my older brother grabbed me and pulled me aside at our traditional Christmas Eve get together...
"do you have the eggnog recipe???"
There was a sudden realization as to the importance of this recipe.
I made it a point that year to secure a written copy of the recipe and to put a copy in several different places. .. just in case.
To lose the eggnog recipe would be to lose Christmas...
well, maybe not - but almost.
Christmas, this year, is somewhat different.
My children are grown.
They are joining their lives with others.
They have new families to incorporate into their holidays.
They are having children of their own.
They are having to divide their time among parents who live in different places.
They are beginning to create their own traditions with their own small families.
We are in the process of creating new schedules and new traditions.
Some things are changing - when we gather to open gifts, how we exchange gifts...
Other things remain the same - gathering with the extended family on Christmas Eve and eggnog.
But the most important thing is the memories that we continue to create.
The love that is shared.
The sharing of our lives.
Merry Christmas to you and your family.
May your holiday be filled with joy and love.
May we all take the time to recognize that which we have and take the time to suspend worry and anxiety and anger...
May we all be blessed with the MAGIC of the season.