November 25, 2017

Christmas Memories

I hate to break the news to all of you, but Christmas is fast approaching and will hit us quicker than we can recite the names of Santa’s reindeer.  I love Christmas, but it always seems to sneak up on me.  Day-to-day life and stuff keep getting in the way of my plans, never leaving me enough time to accomplish my Christmas vision (whatever that is).  I’m constantly disappointed by my efforts.  

That said, I was talking about this impending holiday with a good friend who nails Christmas like no one else I know.   I have watched her over the years in awe and envy. I have admired her determination to launch the perfect Christmas season. Most of us would consider this to be a hair-pulling experience; she appears to do it effortlessly. How does she do it?

Christmas has always been magical for me, but it’s the magic part that I can’t seem to perfect.  As a child growing up, decorating the  Christmas tree was by far the most exciting. Lovingly unwrapping each of the stored glass baubles were a ceremony in itself.  Yes, the tree was a big part, but the smaller collective things became the highlights.

I couldn’t resist eating my mom’s shortbread, listening to Gene Autry’s “Rudolf the red nose reindeer,” or helping my dad hang the Christmas lights outside.  But the most anticipated were the Christmas cards arriving through the mail slot.  It was the highlight of every day, “who sent us this beautiful card with a Santa,”  and look… a photo of some relative from a distant past,  some were cringe-worthy but always fun to receive.  Back then, yes….dating myself again, things were simpler. Christmas decor wasn’t a thing.  

We received so many Christmas cards that my mom would literally string them from the ceiling in a garland effect.  This garland would begin in the living room and morph its way into the kitchen and on the tops of side tables, bookcases, and anywhere else we could display them.   I’m pretty sure this was the inception of Christmas decor in my home.  To this day, Christmas cards conjure up memories from my childhood and Christmas pasts.  

So with that it saddens me that this tradition is slowly fading; with busy schedules,  handwritten cards are now replaced with group emails, texts and Instagram posts.  It’s always that “one” card from my friend that makes me rethink, “UGH,” I should have sent some cards out myself…guilty as charged, but it’s the thought that counts, right?

Back to my conversation with my friend…she continues with many thoughtful and inspiring traditions; her home is just a piece of it.  Giving comes to mind…and at this time of year, it means so much.  We laughed about the silly things we did as kids at Christmas, crazy family stories and the new traditions we’ve started with our own families. We both agreed it is important to carry on…perhaps this is the magic?   Christmas is and should be full of memories, and we should strive harder to be more giving, kinder and loving, for only then will we feel the magic.

And to my “friend,” I promise you a Christmas card.


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