Thursday, December 19, 2013

Thank You Christmas

 I love Christmas – the decorations, the tree, the gifts, the baking, the special meals, the surprises for people, the Carole's – I love it all. It’s truly my favorite time of the year. I even love the cold weather. Besides the trails I would say my kitchen is my second home. I love to cook and bake, and make things from scratch. It warms my heart, is a huge passion of mine, and one of the ways I show my love to those around me. 
I have friends that don’t really like Christmas all that much. I mean, sure they like it because we are celebrating Christ’s birth, but they don’t like all the other things that I so love. It got me thinking about why I love everything about the Christmas season, and really think its important to point this stuff out. I am incredibly spiritual. I don't wear it on my sleeve, but God has a huge place in our home. Putting that aside though Christmas to me is allot more than just that. After all everyday is a gift to be celebrated, and I wanted to share these thoughts with all of you during this blessed season. 
I know it has its roots in my growing up years. Every year as a family we would go shopping together for the Christmas tree. We always wanted to find the perfect one, and we came close! We had a beautiful tree every year. We’d come home and and decorate it for hours. Of course my mom always had special baked/cooked treats to eat while we did that. Then on another day, my mom, sister, and I would put up outside lights or decorations. We had a two story house, and we got ladders out so we could decorate both levels. It wasn’t anything fancy, but those bright, colored lights were so beautiful to me because I had helped put them up. I treasure the memories of us doing these things together every Christmas. Any other time of the year we just didn't really spend anytime together. There was so much turmoil and toxic icky stuff going on in the house because of my step dad that Christmas was really the only time of year things were peaceful. Thank you Christmas :)
Every year my Mom said he couldn’t afford any gifts, and every year she would take my sister and I Christmas shopping. She had been tucking money away,  and we always got lots of great new clothes.  The three of us would always go out to lunch after, and it truly was a very special day for us. My mom was not the best mom to say the least so this day always stays in my mind as really special. Due to the holiday we were able to spend this day together, and create memories that will last forever. My mom has since passed(2009) from multiple causes all related to years of abuse with alcohol and prescription pills. I am so happy I have these good memories of her. Thank you Christmas. :)
My Step dad was a product of his generation – one that had a hard time showing emotion and expressing feelings, and was incredibly mean.  I think Christmas is when I really saw my Stepdad’s heart and came to know who he was inside. I treasured that! It literally was the only time of year he was nice to me. I am not sure why, but Christmas Eve and Christmas Day I never remember him even raising his voice. Strange, but true. If it wasn't for the holiday season I would have never been given that gift. Thank you Christmas. :)
Close to Christmas we usually had a family dinner where we would go to my Grandma's. ……and sometimes others who lived further away would come in. I often joke and say my family talked a lot but didn’t say much. We talked about everything, but rarely was it “heart” stuff. Except at Christmas……and then it seemed that people opened up more and shared their hearts. This was another treasure for me. I have so many fond memories of hanging out with my Uncle David and his kids (we never saw them otherwise). After Christmas dinner he would tell us really cool ghost stories, and we would all hang around the fire and eat my Grandma;s homemade chocolate raspberry bunt cake. God that woman could make a bunt cake. Thank you Christmas :)
My mom never had a lot, but she shared everything she had – all the time, but especially at Christmas. She cooked and baked up a storm! She was such a great cook(thank you Mom).  My friends loved to come to my house and sample it all!  My family wasn’t poor, but we didn’t have a lot of extra either. My mother gave out of her gifts and talents because she had such a generous spirit. She was an incredibly giving woman, and would make these amazing over the top Christmas Eve dinners. We would all sit down together as a family, and no one would yell or fight. It was great, and I treasure that memory so much. She would go all out and decorate our entire house for the holiday. It was always so beautiful, and has inspired me every year to do the same. I love to decorate my house for the Holiday. Its important as it continues on the values and traditions I learned as a child. Thank you Christmas. :)
As parents, we want to establish family traditions and make memories that our children can take with them all their lives. I have those special memories tucked away in my heart……..and they help make Christmas so very special to me. I love it! I have made a hard effort to do that with my son, and in our house Christmas is extremely special and important. Why? Because everyday is a gift, and the days we make memories are the best gifts. The holiday season is about making memories. It forces you to meet up with friends at parties you wouldn't normally attend, see relatives you never talk to at all, and connect with people that otherwise are absent in our lives. This is key. If it wasn't for the holidays when would we ever make an effort to see Aunt Julie or actually sit down at a dinner table with our parents. One day each one of us will be gone. That is just the facts. Stop for a minute and think about that. As time passes and passes what we have that no one can ever take away are memories. How lucky we are that we have a holiday that forces us to create those memories. As silly as it sounds its wonderful. Its a time of year to meet with a friend for coffee that maybe you have not seen in a while, send a box of great gifts to your nieces and nephews (so fun to give!) and overall its just a wonderful time of year to celebrate life....because in the end everyday is a gift, and Christmas is a wonderful way to celebrate life and make memories that will last a lifetime. So eat that extra cookie, go out for a fun run these next few days with friends, and maybe show up with a little gift. Rejoice in the holiday, and say thank you Christmas!! Of course I will leave this post from one of the best scenes in my favorite movies of all time...and YES we will watch this on Christmas Eve in our house. Its a tradition along with homemade pecan pie and truffles..... Thank you to the movie Elf! You always make me laugh so hard and fill life with joy!

Santa: I've been to New York thousands of times.
Buddy: Really?
Santa: Mm-hmm.
Buddy: What's it like?
Santa: Well, there are some things you should know. First off, you see gum on the street, leave it there. It isn't free candy.
Buddy: Oh.
Santa: Second, there are, like, thirty Ray's Pizzas. They all claim to be the original. But the real one's on 11th. And if you see a sign that says "Peep Show", that doesn't mean that they're letting you look at the new toys before Christmas. 

O come, O come Emmanuel….”God with us.” Matt. 1:23

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful Keira. I think we need to take the hussle and bussle out of Christmas and enjoy more of an organic Christmas. Which is our relationships with family and friends through cooking, hanging and viewing Christmas lights and story telling. Really a nice read. Merry Christmas!