Sunday, January 3, 2010

miracles do happen!

it's january 3rd and i'm feeling kinda twitchy....i'm ready to take down our christmas tree...we usually wait until little christmas....january 6th...only three days.  i don't know why i'm like this. we've enjoyed the christmas season this's been very nice and kinda quiet.  we've had lots of fun and fires by the fireplace and cold winter walks at the beach and christmas music and family and just feels over.  over, except for the decorations.  i have lightened up on the decorations in the last couple of years.  it was time to simplify.

  last year was my first christmas without my mom.  she died the spring before.  my mom loved christmas and all of the trimmings.  she loved decorating the house and the apartment, in later years. she loved taking out all of the ornaments and decorations each year.  with each ornament and bright bauble,, she treasured sweet memories.  she loved the christmas music. she loved shopping, in any season.  she loved buying christmas cards and writing them....she used christmas as a time to catch up with old friends.  old friends, as in friends for sixty years or so.  she loved christmas with children.  she loved to give and give and give.  she loved to wrap her presents...little works of art, coordinated colors and ribbons and ornaments attached.

she loved to give ornaments, treasured by the new bride, the new couple, for a new baby or new home.  she always gave me an ice skate, suzy a music note, t.j. got firetrucks or a race car or an airplane, tom got baseballs, grace got angels and one year, madeline from her favorite book, marybeth got new york, biff got santas, claire got angels, ellen got the twelve days of christmas.........

she treasured her memories of family times, when my dad was still alive.  she lived in the present and enjoyed the sweet memories.  a lifetime of memories provided much pleasure yet, she did not dwell in the past.  she helped to make the memories and build the traditions for our family....that we enjoy today.

as the years rolled by and her arthritis slowed her down, she was determined to get her tattered, torn boxes stored high up on shelves, in her pre-war apartment.  her attempts to reach them with a broom handle or umbrella, created panic for us, her children.  she would dismiss our trepidation, with a smile and twinkle in her eyes. her stubborn independence was a marvel and frustration to us all!  

tradionally, we are a family of great sentiment.  growing up, our family enjoyed "miracle on 34th street" again and again.  we shared our love of it with our own families, when their was an occasional santa doubt. christmas was about family memories and love for each other and traditions we all shared.  one of my greatest christmas memories was a miracle on 34th street moment. my mom, my two brothers and i were exchanging gifts by the tree.  i was so excited to give my gifts to all three at one was a gift they would surely enjoy.  i had found them while walking to work, in the city, one day.  in the window at a favorite bookstore, stood the books on anniversay edition, miracle on thirty fourth street.....i ran in and bought three.  as they ripped open the  paper, they became hysterical laughing ....i thought it was the greatest gift!  my brother tim, said ,"wait, i have something for you!"........i opened it and laughed out loud!  it was the book, miracle on 34th

street, the latest edition.  my oldest brother tom, quietly motioned to the gift in his was for was the same shape and size as all of the others....i ripped it slowly and we all doubled over in laughter!  my mother had one more gift and it was just for was small and wrapped thoughtfully.  we all talked and told stories of our purchases, while i opened the last was an antique.....the first edition of miracle on 34th steet.  again, hysterically laughing,with tears in our of my favorite christmas memories.

i feel blessed to continue the christmas traditons with our own family, combined with those of my husband's family, growing up.  we have our own traditions and our own quirky stories.  our kids have already begun reminiscing of  christmas, when they believed, without question.  and they laughed this year, while they waited at the top of the stairs christmas morning, in pajamas, our 14 and 13 year old.
we still make them wait.  the energy is almost the same...just of the teenage variety. and each christmas is special with babies or teens, it's all tradition and memories and fun in the day!

so, as i hold off, another couple of days, i realize i'm thinking of my mom.....and i'm just a bit like her.....i'm ready but not quite.  in a few days, i'll really be ready.....and my favorite part of the tree moving out.......there will be more sunshine in our family room and more space and moving on.....

i promised myself one way that i won't be like my mother.....saying year after year, as she swept up the christmas tree needles, "oh, for God's sake, i'll be picking up these needles til the fourth of july!  next year, i'll have to get a fake tree!"

she never did!  miracles do happen!

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