Our Christmas tree this year.
Christmas – what exactly does that word mean to you? It isn’t about manic shopping or tons of “GREAT” bargains, it isn’t about getting the best gift for your kids or from your kids. It is about tradition, it is about family, it is about love, it is about laughing and memories.
A friend recently posted on Facebook that she couldn’t take 19 more days of Christmas music, she was not raised as a Christian so she does not have the memories or traditions that I do, so I suppose I understand how annoying “Christmas” can be to her. My first thought of course was – Change the station, but then I started to really think about Christmas meant to me.
As a child we decorated our tree on Christmas Eve, the rest of the house would be decorated through out the month of December but the tree was always decorated on Christmas Eve. We would start it and our parents would finish it. As we got older we would finish it with them. I do remember very specific directions about how to properly place the tinsel – I also recall some good natured arguments about the placement of the tinsel. Side note – I do not use tinsel on my Christmas tree! I also remember waking my parents up at about 4:00 in the morning (I of course did not realize that my father had only gone to bed about an hour earlier) – to open presents – “GO BACK TO BED FAITH” was what I heard from their bedroom.
I have wonderful memories of Christmas and none of them have to do with the gifts that I received. I remember my mother accidently doubling a recipe for cookies and consequently having a ton of cookies to bake. I also remember the time my mother was putting candied cherries on cookies only to have my younger sister eat all of the cherries off of the cookies. I remember my grandmother ringing bells under the table and telling me that there was a present upstairs that Santa’s helpers had left me. I remember Christmas Crackers on Christmas Eve and wearing funny crowns all through dinner.
Christmas for me is about remembering precious moments and creating new ones. It is about the love that I always felt growing up, it is about the cookies that my mother made and my grandmother made that I now make. It is about talking about the memories with your children, and parents, and cousins and dear family friends. It is about going out with your dearest friends to cut your Christmas tree, drinking hot chocolate and eating candy canes and then going back to the house for a wonderful meal.
Christmas is about the season – it is about family, friends and memories. It is about being thankful for the blessings that we have and about sharing them with each other.
But most important it is about LOVE – I love the season, I love the reason for the season, I love the time spent with family and friends. I love the rush and the crush, I love the trees and the lights and the cookies. I love the Christmas carols! I love the walk on the beach on Christmas morning, when there are a few snowflakes falling and the air is cold and brisk. I love the anticipation of seeing someone that I love opening a one of a kind gift that I have made especially for them. I love the warm, comfy feelings that I have when I remember tucking my children into bed in their red sleepers on Christmas Eve. I love the total exhaustion that I feel when I have done all of the things that I feel need to be done to make it a “perfect” Christmas. What makes it perfect is the family!
I hope that you can feel some of the spirit that makes Christmas special and wonderful for me. I hope that you can make memories with people you love