What do you like about Christmas? brandon, fami;y, 2008, 2009 076

What does the season mean to you?

What memories does it bring to the surface?

What feelings open up?

Are there moments that you love?

Or moments that you hate?

As I think about Christmas of today and of Christmas past, the answers I would have to these questions would be many. Here are a few.

I love Christmas time because it is a time of magic in the eyes of a child. A time when innocence is preciously apparent and dreams of things we can not touch come to the forefront.

I love how friendly most people seem. Smiling more, even though they are wrapped up in the materialistic part of the season that seems to drown out the real special times of Christmas. I love the lights, and I love getting the tree out of the shed and trying to figure out the faded color codes on the branches. I love Christmas Carols playing as the decorations are getting brought back to life from their hibernation in tight sealed bins, locked in a dark shed for the past year.

I love opening each bin from the shed- it is like a new beginning as I pull out each item and remember a time long ago when we obtained it.

I love looking at every ornament- there are quite a few photo ornaments of Jeff as he grew up, one for each year, and as I unwrap each one from tissue they have been wrapped in for years, I almost go into the photo and remember the time it was taken. It can be a melancholy moment , because it represents years of life changes. Not that life is bad, but it changes with each year that passes. 100_6752_edited

I recall the woman who has since died, who made this strand of lights that are complemented by various calico strips of material neatly tied between each bulb. She was a woman who had had much heart ache in her life, but she always had a smile that would melt away cold feelings and bring sunshine everywhere she went. At her calling hours, she was dressed in a sweatshirt that had hand prints from all her grandchildren. And as she lay in the casket, so still and at peace, she still had that grin of hers. These lights bring back this woman to me, I feel the warmth of her presence for another year.

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As I look at Santa, he was bought way back probably 18years ago, for 9.97 at K mart… I remember how it felt kinda bad to buy him, because money was so tight, but than it felt good to have him at the foot of the stairs, welcoming anyone who came.

It made Jeff smile with pride when he saw we had a Santa outside that lit up.

I remember how much that meant to me to see his smile. He loved to help decorate, heck one year he had every strand of lights we had strung around the ceiling , in his room, down the hallway…but it was his way of feeling the magic, of living the special wonders of the season.

I loved the look on Adrianne’s face that first weekend after we had decorated, when she came I remember Jeff and Adrianne’s anticipation on those Christmas Days when my shift at the Hospital was 7-3 and we did not start the gift opening until 4:30 in the afternoon.

And I remember feeling the satisfaction at the same time when I was with the patients , they did not want to be in the hospital, so we tried to make it a special day for them .

As I hear the carols and put things here and there, I go back in time to many years ago, being a little girl, and the wonder of the season at that time for me. The sitting on Santa’s lap, the trying to fall asleep when my heart was too excited to stop pounding hard, the being sure I heard Santa on the roof, the waking up at 6AM and wanting the whole house to wake up too, the orange in my stocking each year…the turkey dinner, the laughter, the joy of giving, the popcorn strung on the tree, the smell of a fresh apple pie, a frosted sugar cookie, candy canes, ribbon candy, ginger bread men, the manger, the magic…………………

Yes there are so many memories, brought to life each year. I focus on the good things, seems like life is much nicer when I do that.

So what does Christmas mean to you?  Do not stress out these next couple of days, try to find time to just STOP and feel the wonder. Merry Almost Christmas to all, Love Mrs Justa..alias Cindy

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