I've spent the last month or more capturing Christmas--to try to feel once more what I felt as a child, and to help my kids, now almost all grown, capture it as well. But this Christmas morning, I find I have a new perspective. Despite what I've just been doing, I now realize that it's not about trying to relive Christmas past, as if those few fleeting years of my childhood or my kids' childhoods were the epitome of what Christmas should be.
This is the last year I'll do that. From this morning on, what I want to do is let each Christmas season unfold its own unique treasures. We can't always have everyone here. We can't always do exactly what we did that one year when it was perfect for me or some other person. But we can live in the now and treasure what's happening this day.
Of course we'll probably still have our traditional foods: grasshopper pie on Christmas Eve. Cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning. (Why we use this occasion to slam ourselves with sugar, I have yet to define, and truthfully don't want to, because we literally only make these things once a year. Some things you just have to hold on to)!
But with the possible exception of food, I don't want to be looking backwards at Christmas except to reminisce. I want each December 25th from here on out--and I figure I've got at least 35 more to go--to be uncharted territory, as in reality, each new day is never and can never be a repeat of the one before it.
I want to add to my memory bank a newly-minted, one-off Christmas, vintage 2015, instead of trying to relive but never quite recapturing the magic of some other time time. Next year, besides God, who really knows how it will be? Who knows who will be here. Who knows what the weather will be, the dynamics, the tree.
We'll have to discover what unfolds. That's what we're doing today, and rather than feeling like it is less than other years because not everyone is here or no small child is present to add wonder, this Christmas is perfect because it is fresh and new and unexplored.
Let the celebration begin!
Once everyone else gets up, of course. Me? I'm on my second cup of coffee :-)
Friday, December 25, 2015
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Christmas is almost upon us, but I feel as if I'm running after it, trying to capture its essence as if it were an elusive snowflake caught on a current of wind. So I play carols on spotify. I stare at the lights on our Christmas tree, and I ponder how to "feel" Christmas-y
Where has Christmas magic gone?
Did I leave it in the land of childhood where
We breathed the rare air
Of bigger-than-life hopes and dreams
All hanging on the happenings
Of one December night
When sleigh bells
And angel songs
Shimmered the air
Like silvering of the veil between seen and not seen?
When did sleepless eves of Christmas past
Bright lights and starry eyes
Give way to growing up?
And when did suspension of belief
Meld slowly into a surer and less sweet knowledge that magic,
But I do know this:
Christmas magic may be fragile
And yet it endures
Preserved by the strong belief of children
And the strong love of adults who hold the stage curtains as backdrop
For a generation who in their turn will grow up and light the lights,
Play the music,
Tell the Birthday story,
And keep Christmas magic shimmering
And alive for one more year.