I stepped out on the back deck this morning, the quiet of early morning was broken up only by hundreds of small birds heading south. Going from tree to tree and then flying on. The sky has the dark fluffy clouds that look like snow. People will tell you, if it thunders in the winter, within 10 days you will have snow. Amazingly there was a thunder storm last week. So, the prospects of a White Christmas, may well be a possibility.
One of the Blessings of growing old, are memories. So many memories that linger, and little things bring them back to the surface. I remember all of the other White Christmas’s from childhood on. There is something magical about a White Christmas, maybe it is the peace and tranquility the snow brings. An absolute silence as it falls, and the only noise you hear is the whispering of the snowflakes as they fall so gracefully to the ground.
I remember the January evening back in 2000, the day had been filled with cold rain that turned into slush, by nightfall the snow began to fall. I realized that the snow was getting deeper, so I walked outside to look around and began to hear the creaks and cracking of the snow covered tree limbs. So back in the house I went and waiting, within a few hours, the lights went out and I really wasn’t prepared for how long they would remain out. That would begin the week of the deep snow that isolated people, unable to get out of their own driveways, and needless to say, there would be no stores open anyway. By morning, I managed to force the back door open to look outside, we had close to three feet of snow, pure white, silent, no footprints just perfection only nature can give. I looked in the direction of my parents house just a long smooth surface of snow. My car, I couldn’t see, all that was visible was just a deep pile of snow parked across from my parents house. As a child my first instinct would have been to bundle up and just make that snow mine, but as an adult I had to bundle up, make my way to my parents house and spend the next week, trying to keep fire wood in the house to keep them warm, and help Mother take care of Dad. You see that would be Dad’s last snow, he had cancer that had been removed, but returned and was traveling in his body. Although the primary heat in the house was out, we did have the fireplace downstairs and the heat would travel up and help keep Dad warm. A very long week we spent, but you already understand how special that week would be.
The year before, I had taken my large tree out of storage and over to Mom and Dad’s to setup for the big family Christmas we were planning. As I began to set up the tree, Dad wandered downstairs and set on the rocker, watching me work on the tree. I had the lights up and as they twinkled, I looked over at Dad, he was watching so intently and never said a word. I could see the lights in his eyes, and they began to become very distant. I wondered what memories was Dad celebrating from his memory. Christmas Trees that he and mom had put up for us kids, our excitement on Christmas morning, and the toys. How many bikes and toys had he put together working into the wee hours of Christmas mornings. What ever memories flowing through his mind, I realize just what a blessing memories really are, and how many I shared with Dad. And those of my own that I had and have of my little children and the Christmas’s we have shared.
Christmas and how you celebrate is based on two elements the traditions you hold dear, and on the memories of Christmas of the past. Another primary point to remember if you hold Christmas in your heart, you would then for the entire year celebrate with others through kindness and soft spoken words. Thats the true gift of Christmas. The gifts given at Christmas do not replace evil and cruel behavior towards people for the year prior. Its a false sense of pride that doesn’t cleanse your heart or soul. I never wish for people to come to harm, I believe very deeply that those who do, might well suffer the same fate. I do wish upon people to obtain the help they desperately need, and for those to face the law when what they do violates the law.
My Christmas will be spent with Family, these are the most important in my life. I will celebrate and acquire new memories watching my Grandchildren on Christmas Morning, as I have now for over 20 years, and remembering their Mothers reactions on Christmas morning and the excitement. If by chance the snow has fallen and its white and peaceful outside, it will only add to the blessings. I will also celebrate with my siblings and their families. I will also shed a tear with my sister on the anniversary of her loss. Her husband’s passing on a Christmas Eve and we will also shed a tear for the absence of both Mom, Dad and our Brother.
Our meal on Christmas is a tradition, passed on for many generations only a few added tidbits. We removed the giblets from the dressing and the gravy. Added marshmallows to the fruit salad. Yet continued down by our daughters. So Christmas for our family is celebrating the past and giving to the future. Our gifts are sometimes homemade, paintings, art pieces, sweaters, poncho’s, crochet hats, scarves, blankets. Giving what you create makes it even more special.
Merry Christmas, have a grand Holiday with friends and family and stay safe and remember those who no longer share the Holiday with you.