Merry Happy ChrismaHanuKwanzakIce
I think that covers all the bases : Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice. Even though I’ve been strictly saying Merry Christmas to everyone, even the diplomatic “Holiday” wishers and the X-mas-ers. I know what I’m celebrating. Even thought it’s only symbolic cause He really wasn’t born this time of year by any stretch — the welcoming of Jesus into our lives and most of his teachings (lets be honest — half of those teachings didn’t make it into the final print, but … that’s another story). But I like tapping into the small child in my mind who remembers winters and christmas trees and not being able to WAIT for the church at school to put up the Nativity and then “miraculously” on Christmas Day the baby Jesus’ statue was placed in the manger; the long trek to Midnight mass where I’d have to go early because I was in the choir / bell chorus / young christan minister groupings; the wonder at the candle lighting ceremony and the amazing bells ringing at midnight with all the lights turned on simultaneously signifying the entry of Jesus in to our lives and our minds; the not being able to wait till it was even a HINT of morning to unwrap gifts in the midsts of my family and spend the whole day with them and have fun and not be bothered by it; the cremas that mom and dad would let us have just a taste of; the awesome cooking by mom and grandma and the pastries by Tante Sisi; the spending all day breaking in new toys (and for me… explaining to my old dollies and trinkets that they were JUST as special)… and the finally passing out in bed exhausted and happy and feeling wealthy with love. I hold on to those memories tight; trying hard to remember every little piece so that somehow, I can give half of that to my kids one day.
This year makes the 3rd year that we’ve not hung anything up (not even lights in the window) — but only the first of me not making a big deal about the gifts. Usually, I go out on Christmas Eve and soak up all the hustle and bustle of Christmas that I can. Frantic people mulling about and long lines at the stores and gift wrap and mini christmas trees and just EXCITEMENT. I pick up a few little necessities for the ones I love and I come home and spend the Eve gift wrapping everything. When there was a tree, I’d sneak to put my stuff under the tree during midnight and try not to wake Grandma (who would spend the night with us) and in later years, Domi, who would stay over. And in the morning I was the one waking everyone up… basically – WAKE UP AND SEE WHAT I GOT YOU!!! Cause I couldn’t WAIT to see the looks on their faces when they saw that I got them EXACTLY what they wanted. But after a year or two went by… and the looks on the faces were really the same — indifference… it started not to matter. And maybe it made no sense for me to be all Tiny Tim when everyone around me was Scrooge.
This year was about the same. Maybe the lowest I’ve been. I’ve hung on the word of every family member and loved one, waiting to decipher in their conversation what their desires were. What they want what they need… and I went out and got it for them. But none were recieved with any fanfare… no lighting up of eyes… no uncontrollable smile. Just a “aww… thanks Vic…” and keeping it moving. It’s really hard to be a cheerleader when everyone else seems to have given up on the team. I don’t even really need to get gifts myself… I got a couple of brand name trinkets from folks that don’t really know me — which is kind of a double edged sword… they don’t know me, but they spent what I’m told is massive amounts of money on me for stuff that I would probably never use. I got myself one thing I really wanted a few months ago (my treo) and I have my very own TechnoFairy with the Nano and the new ‘puter *winks* . Couple of impromptu jobs covered the payment on the hall for next month. I really had nothing more to ask for. Except for the folks around me to be in the spirit.
Now more than ever I hold on to what excitement I can bring my kids one day. And promise to myself that no matter how frail or tired I may be, to ALWAYS celebrate it with them, if that’s what they want. I can’t wait to watch The Sound of Music with them… and to play our really antiquated Readers Digest “A Christmas Celebration” compilation RECORDS (right… not even tapes) and lift the smallest one so he/ she can put the star on top of the tree. Then clean the house on christmas eve and tuck them in tight and tell them Santa is coming (HE DOES EXIST, MAX *lol*) . Then as soon as they’re sleeping, me and the Mr. get to making like Santa and putting the gifts out under the tree. Finally, laying down with Santa to getting some sleep and waiting for the first of the kids to come bouncing into the room and squealing and carrying on. I believe and hope that I can provide all of that to them. Even if I’m not rich. Christmas doesn’t only have to be feted when there are kids around. We all have kids in us that NEED to feel that excitement every now and again. Even at 31. 😀 Next year… it’s all out.