Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Memories...

As we grow ever closer to that Eve of all Eve's always makes me remember and dream fondly of seasons past…Great memories always come flooding in….and thus my tears freely flow out. I always cry a lot this time of the year , never sadness tears, even of those I have loved so and lost along the way …those tears are special to me and each represents my own personal connection to those that made me who I am. The regular Holidays tears I always consider my yearly ‘soul cleansing’ …tidbits of sentimental and emotional chaff that builds and then releases upon the hearing of the first Christmas Carol of the year…and then does not stop until Auld Lang Syne is heard…. Everything is a trigger…commercial, cookies, kids, dept. store Santas, old movies, Christmas trees, pretty bright paper and bows, snow fall, tinsel, bell ringers at store entrances, holly, smelling pine…well …I could go on and on but you get the picture! Reading this is sounds as if I grew up in Connecticut …far from it…sunny Southern California …where Santa often times wore shades….but I did grow up in the ‘50’s and I do believe that 50’s were universal from coast to coast .
It is hard to pick just one fantastic memory of Christmas Time Past ..
I miss it so much ,lived as fully as I could the great times of my youth. ..and held (and still am holding) onto every tidbit I can…each a gift I give to myself over and over again year after year, I guess you can say the true Gift that Keeps on Giving!!.
I remember everyone gathering at grandpa and grandmas house Christmas Day… all the cousins playing and describing in detail the gifts Santa brought while the aunts and uncles sipped nog laughed and relaxed from a long winters night of Christmas Morn preparation.

I remember well the ‘sneaking’ around with gifts, hiding things hear and there…it was always my quest each year to ‘find’ those hiding spots…but…NEVER EVER look inside the bag, instead I loved the guessing of what could it be by the size and dimensions of the sack… that was a fun game.
I remember the cookies…soooo many cookies, every kids dream and delight, my eyes hurt from being ‘so wide’ for so long!!
I remember the singing…always the singing…and EVERYONE Sang…regardless of age …I can still hear my grandpa’s very deep baritone voice singing ‘Oh Christmas Tree’ in german…the only time he brought out his last remaining dialog of his youth…it was a treat I looked forward to each year.
Of course I remember the bikes (Goldie…she had a plastic saddle!!) , Barbies, Poor Pitiful Pearl, Micky Mouse Watch, Tiny Tears, Baseball Cards, Lincoln Log, coloring books with a brand new box of unbroken crayons just waiting to brighten my world…, and of course the homemade dresses, jammies, hats, socks new shoes….ugh!
I loved the Christmas Sock best… though we didn’t have a fireplace (which freaked me out a little each year due to the stories of Santas entrance into the home) Mom always explained it away with a “by the time he gets out west, he has eaten so many cookies his belly is to fat to squeeze down a fireplace anyway ,so at this point he prefers to use the front door anyway”…OK, I could live with that!! Our stockings were always placed near the front door or front window to make it easier on Santa… Stockings were the coolest cause I always imagined Santa ‘touching’ these the last thing after dropping off the gifts …I would imagine his big hands lifting up the stocking and carefully placing the LifeSaver Box, BIG Fat Candy Cane, Juicy Fruit Gum, Jacks, puzzles ,comic book and the typical assortment of nuts and a nice big orange…to me this was stuff that ‘he knew’ I liked and wanted.. Which meant Santa knew my style and tastes …he paid attention to me, these were the personal things that meant so much, gifts were cool but you made a list for all that stuff…Stocking Stuff’ were the things that you secretly liked and used…personal treats from the Big Guy! I liked Stockings best…

But in thinking back to all the fun memories of this Holiday Season …I always come back to when I was very young and we would decorate the tree…I loved the lights and the ‘light wheel’ that Dad would use…I was totally mesmerized by the twinkling and shadows cast…One year when was about 4 …the tree was decorate, light wheel placed. we all sat and gazed with joy at the pretty tree…and then my Mom said…”Oh look, there is an Angel in our tree” …WHAT WHAT…AN ANGEL???!!! WHERE??? Mom pointed out the shadowed profile of a beautiful angel on the wall behind the tree, when the wheel moved a certain rotation there she was big as ya please….it was truly magical that year. Next year not really thinking about the angel…we set up the tree and light wheel as usual …and there behind the tree was our Christmas Angel just waiting for us….WOW!! That was pretty cool…another beautiful Angel to share Christmas with us… following year..there she was again…even after dad moved the wheel to another position, I am sure Mom and Dad by this time are thinking that this was pretty weird…but they never let on to my sister and I. This became a yearly family Holiday tradition…Find the Angel in the tree…until one Christmas we spent on the road in Las Vegas when my Dad was with a band…we stayed in a quaint little motel for a few months…Mom always brought little items from home to make us all feel comfortable and more normal…including Christmas Ornaments … I was in a panic at this point…wondering if our Angel who had been with us for several years now would find us in the desert…. We decorated the tree ..and waited, no angel! Ate dinner and played a board game…still no angel..very bummed by this time… off to bed *sigh* … A short while later and fast asleep by folks came in and excitedly woke my sister and I up with “The Angel is back” . decked out in my Doctor Dention’s .and blurry eyed..I ran to the tree and there before me was our Angel…right behind the tree as she always was but lovelier than ever… now I will never know how or why she appeared later rather than earlier (I choose not to believe that Mom and Dad fiddled with the light until she popped out) but rather I tend to believe, even to this day… that I wished for her so strongly when I drifted off to sleep that she came through my dreams as my Christmas Wish….my best gift of all that year.

We saw her for many more years after that…changing shapes and sizes with the passing years..sometimes becoming so small that she seemed barely there…but we knew she was…
Eventually I grew up and started putting up my own tree.. and on certain nights if I squint ever so slightly and turn my head just so…I still can see her …

Merry Christmas to One and All
May Your New Year be filled with all the brightness that Happiness brings

Jodi and Richard