Monday, December 03, 2007

How can it be: It's minus three!

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!

We were invited to our daughter and son-in-law's place last night for dinner. They are over-the-moon excited about their festively decorated condo, and wanted to show us their first real- decorated-as-a-married-couple-Christmas tree.

My heart overflowed with joy and love as I watched Katie point to each decoration and told of cherished Christmas-past memories.

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.

We regularly entertained family and friends and always set a plate of Oreo cookies out for Santa (yes, Diane and Barb, Santa does eat packaged cookies!!!! ;) ) before we went to Christmas Eve service at Church. Santa came while we were at Church and the kids raced into the house to see what was under the tree~ In reality, I never needed a gift more than that!

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.

As I sat nearby that beautiful Christmas Tree last night, I was reminded once again of the importance, the absolute necessity of keeping Christmas and our lives. No other historical event is more worthy of tradition; for the healing power that came in the form of a baby that very first Christmas so long ago is still working today!

Take time this month to reflect on your favorite Christmas traditions; join Mom2RN at My Quiet Corner and dedicate a post or two about traditions that have blessed your Christmas Seasons. What a wonderful thing to do--let it open your heart to be filled with gratitude for God's uncomparable gift for this and every season!!!!!


Becky said...

Your winter wonderland is absolutely beautiful. I almost cried this morning as I vacuumed the floors and sweated! With my windows open. I am not a southern girl in my heart. Especially at Christmastime.

Katie's tree is lovely. The first tree of your married life is so very special. She has done a wonderful job of cozying up her home and making first year memories for her and her husband. And you too, of course.

That was fun to see.

Robin said...

Oh I know how you feel about seeing the home your daughter is making! It is so beautiful too - she has had a good teacher!
I love your snow - I wish we would get some. It is just dreary here. But I hung snowflakes in my house and with the twinkle lights one can almost dream.....

Thanks for sharing your beautiful Chrismas thoughts! I agree, keeping Christ in Christmas is the most important thing we can do.

Dawn said...

I love these pictures of my old stomping grounds. Katie's tree looks fabulous and it must have been such fun to see it all and hear her talk about her memories. Kristen and her family have a tradition that they've begun - we go over the week-end after Thanksgiving and watch Polar Express while we drink hot chocolate.

groovyoldlady said...

My daughter's apartment is SO small (How small is it?) that she and her beloved had to settle for an itty-bitty 18" tree on an end table for their first Christmas.

Nonetheless, she displayed as many of the old family ornaments as possible.

Isn't it great to know that we DON'T have to perpetuate the uglies of the past? We can move on in Christ and break those curses and patterns.

Behold He makes all things new!

Karen H. said...

Good Morning Diane,
I love the windows in your daughter's home. And seeing the snow makes me want to be there with yall. I know you enjoyed going to your daughter's house for dinner and watching them decorate their first Christmas Tree as a married couple. There is something about decorating your first Christmas Tree as a married couple. It just brings goose bumps to me. I can remember mine and hubbies first Christmas and the tree we put up. I had a small village and he put it under the tree. He did a very good job. Minus 3 degrees. Now that my friend is Frigid instead of cold. LOL. Or it would seem to me it would be Frigid. Well, take care my friend and have a great Tuesday. Stay warm and May God Bless You and Yours.

Karen H.

Heather Smith said...

Great post! Christmas has always been my favorite time of year. I got out of doing everyone's lights this year. Usually I do my mom's (who taught me to do lights, but now says she's passed it to me, except for this year!) and my sister's (last year my sister had a ten foot tree). And when I do lights, I do a TON of lights. They had pity on the pregnant girl though. But I love your idea of getting an ornament for the memorable moments each year! I may just have to do that for Alaena!

C. H. Green said...

Oh my, I had a lot of posts to catch up on...that snow is beautiful!! It's cold here, but not THAT cold in comparison. Still enough to make me hibernate! Miss you. I'm still around...just busy, busy, busy. Love Cindy

Diane J. said...

You know, we never did the cookies and milk for Santa thing. Of course my early home life was much like yours so that's understandable, I guess....

I've never did much cookie making for Christmas, so if Santa wants cookies he'll have to settle for store bought! Now fudge and candy I can supply, LOL! ;o)

Lovely tree, lovely memories, lovely family. :0)

Love and hugs,


Sharon Lynne said...

What a wonderful post. I really enjoyed it. I love your ornament idea about remembering important events.

momrn2 said...

How wonderful it must have been to see her as she began her own "tradition" of a tree with her ornaments that each held special memories of their own!

Thanks for participating and sharing this with all of us!