Christmas Memories - Thoughts from Christmas Past
Once again, I am taking today's post from my journal. I wrote this on December 27, 2014.
"I love Christmas! I love the words from the Scriptures that describes the events of the greatest Gift ever given. I love the pictures of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus. I love the pictures of Joseph holding the Christ child. As a stepparent, I can relate to the awesome responsibility that he took on and I applaud him for his ability to step up to the plate- for this was no ordinary situation. I love my stepchildren so much- and I doubt that they will ever know or understand. Their mother, Shelley (a very special lady) introduced me once as Dell and Chera's other mother - she said we are family- and there are no steps in family. I have carried that with me all this time.
I have several Nativity scenes that I keep up all year round to help remind me to keep those "Christmassy feelings" all year long. You would think that because they are there and seen everyday that they would fade into the background and become like other items on display in our home - and for the most part they do - but they need to be dusted once in a while- and they inspire each and every time I do so. As I handle each piece, my thoughts turn once more to the long ago event and in turn, to Christmases we have celebrated. The gifts may have been forgotten, but the memories of family and love are ever present. Each Nativity scene brings back memories of how and when they were acquired. I love them all, but my favorite is the letters B E L I E V E with the tiny figures associated with the story on each letter. The letter I, being in the middle, of course, has the Holy Family attatched to it.
It is my favorite because it reminds me of our visit to our daughter, AJ and her family in Utah. It was the first time we met her three children and we just loved the time there.
It reminds me of the "girl's day out" I spent with AJ, her daughter, Lizzie, and a very dear friend, Janice, as we visited Gardner Village. It brings back the many, many wonderful times spent with Janice and her husband Gerald, as this Nativity was a gift bought at Gardner Village, a gift from Janice to me. So, not only do I see the Christmas Story as I look at this piece, I see AJ and Lizzie and Janice and Gardner Village and the story behind the village. I see times spent with Janice and Gerald and memories flow forth and bring warm, fuzzy feelings of great comfort and joy.
I love the Christmas music of the season - but I find myself nostalgic for the old favorites from my own past - the country singers I was was raised listening to; the oldies like Gene Autry, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, and the contempories of the day like Dean Martin, Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Doris Day, Ella Fitzgerald, etc.
Listening to Alabama's Christmas tape in the car, Damian pronounced it boring, but I found security and calmness and all the warm, fuzzy feelings of the season.
The Christmas movies of this day and age are not ones I want to watch. I find them brash and hard and noisey- I prefer the oldies like A Christmas Carol with Alistar Sims, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Home Alone 1, 2 and 3.
I find that I have lost my delight in decorating our home. No one comes to visit, the boys don't really care, Devon and Jessica don't think to bring the kids over. Snide remarks about how much Christmas stuff I have because someone has to help me dig it out of storage and put it all away. I pack it all up, they just have to help put the bins in storage. It wearies me and makes me not want to do it anymore.
This Christmas season, I invested $44 in a four foot Christmas tree to put up on top of the TV entertainment stand. I decorated it with blue, silver, and white balls, white and silver birds. I put a portion of my village around it - the village didn't even get plugged in, there was no help offered. My Man is too ill to help and Damian is toomwrapped up in his own worries and depression to think of anyone else.
There was no room to put up my garlands, my Santa collection or my snowman collection and I didn't even bother to put out my other Nativity scenes , either.
But, oh well, I survived - after all, that isn't what Christmas is about is it?
I enjoyed my Christmas just the same - I had fun watching Damian and My Man open their stockings and I felt sadness at Damian's broken heart as Noah cried through opening his gifts because he was so over tired and over whelmed from his morning at his mom's. Noah rallied around and he loves the gifts his daddy had put so much love and thought into.
I wondered what My Man's true thoughts and feelings were as he opened the one gift I had made for him. Was he let down because it was such a simple drawing done in pencil crayon? Did he understand the thoughts and feelings it inspired in me to put this together? Does he think it looks like a childish attempt? Did he see how many different shades of blue are in there? I made it to hang above our bed, but he has chosen to hang it in the living room.
I have always wanted to have a perfectly set Christmas dinner tablescape. Christmas dishes, matching cutlery, glasses, a beautifully put together centerpiece, immaculate handmade table linens - it never happens. This year was no different, as a matter of fact, it was more chaotic than usual - someone had to eat off a metal pie plate, knives had to be shared, there wasn't as much gravy as there could have been. Tablecloths on the three tables didn't match - but we were all together - a family - noisey, yes, super disorganized - what else is new- but we were together and there was laughter and teasing and once again it was born out to me that what I WANTED could never compare to what I have.