As the early morning temperature dictates, it's a stay-in-your-house-kinda-wintry-day! It seems, winter has not only arrived, it is here to stay and it's beginning to feel a little like Christmas!
Each year, as our children were growing up, I purchased a theme Christmas decoration: the Ballerina for the year that Katie began dance lessons, Winnie the Pooh the year she decided Pooh was her best friend, a tennis playing penguin to commemorate her venture into tennis. Then there's the basketball playing moose for the year she made the A-team in High School Basketball, the jet-skiing teddy bear for our summers at the Lake and joy of all joys, the sparkly Red Shoes in honor of the four thousand times we watched Wizard of Oz--her all time favorite movie as a child.
Lovingly placed on the tree in places of honor are the decorations with our beloved pets names, past and present, etched on Cookie Dough decorations: Cooler, Lucky, Chewey, Tylor, Zoey, and Jersey. Katie has loved animals since before she discovered the Wizard of Oz! And, of course, there are the dozens of horse themed decorations which is simply appropriate for our equestrian!
I was transformed to a time of years gone by when I learned to love Christmas! Growing up in an impoverished alcoholic home, Christmas was less than special. As is the case with most turbulent homes, the Holidays seem to present more pressure, offering opportunity for more trauma. Yet, when I had my own children, I was compelled to move beyond the sad memories and build a lifetime of joyful Christmases. I worked hard, while ignoring the "old tapes" rolling in my mind as I found new ways to celebrate the real reason for the season.
In fact, it can be said, Christmastime was the only time of the year that my house was predictably clean (if you've read this blog for any length of time, you know how much I detest housecleaning!). The energy required to ready the house set the stage for new memories......a cleansing of sort of the old.
Decades later, in 2007, the gift continued.....and my heart was challenged to remember any thing but joy as I listened to my daughter reminisce about her childhood Christmases.