Here we are on the eve of another Christmas. Those of us with children in our lives have the opportunity to relive our own childhood through them. We hear their giggles and see the glimmer in their eyes. It is our chance to carry family traditions into the next generation but it is also a time of some sadness. Last year, our “baby” was 10 and still wrote a letter to Santa to leave by his tray of cookies and milk which the adults dutifully ate leaving crumbs scattered about as proof of his sweet repast. We left her a thank you note from Santa that also told her how proud the old gentleman was that she valued family and kindness over gifts. Her older brother and sister helped keep her belief alive but I fear it was the last letter to Santa as they have all grown beyond that joyful illusion and are, therefore, more aware of the realities of life with the sorrows that accompany the joy.
My memories are of Christmases spend around the world with the small family who left not doubt in anyone’s thoughts that the love that was shared between the parents and for their children would be neverending. Santa found us, no matter where we were, There was one in Germany, another in Japan, one in Panama, two in Virginia and then one in California. There were also some here in Connecticut, home with all that word encompasses.
My mother loved Christmas and spent months preparing. The first Christmas after my marriage, she surprised me with a beautiful wool braided rug she had lovingly made for the dining room in my small apartment. It traveled with me to every home I had after that and it is with me still as a constant reminder of a mother’s love. My mom died on Christmas eve which seemed so unfair for someone who so loved that holiday but maybe it spared her the thought that she could no longer do the things she had so enjoyed doing in earlier years. That was the year without Christmas for me.
But I also hold the most wonderful memories of other years and those are what I choose to allow into the Christmases I celebrate today. I still have a poem my Dad sent me when I was 4 as his gift to his much loved daughter from the war that kept him so far away in Korea . I wonder if my grandchildren will carry such a treasured gift into their elder years. I hope their memories are as bright and shining as mine.
To all of my friends in our little digital village, I hope you will take this time to celebrate your memories and to build lasting ones for those you love.