Monday, December 29, 2008

happy 5th day!

Since we are still in the season of Christmas I hope you'll indulge some continued postings on the subject! There are a couple of posts yet to come that are awaiting pictures from the camera and some thoughtful composition. In the meantime, just a wee reflection today.

For whatever reason Christmas memories from childhood have been in abundance this year, and they are beginning to inspire thoughts about Christmases of the future. For instance, Christmas decorating had a theme each year, inspired by holiday traditions of all kinds. One year it would be the magi, with the three wise men adorning the top of the piano, decorating the mantel, and showing themselves in displays of cards collected from previous years and mounted on backings of ribbon or fabric tacked to the hallway closet door. Another year it would be the "12 days," and a partridge in a pear tree would find its way into the decor. There was also a banner hung above the fireplace, a felt backing with lines of thin, gold ribbon forming a musical staff, and small tree ornament balls in gold placed to form the notes of the repeating line, (sing with me now) "and a partridge in a pear tree." Other years it would be music, and the decorations would again reflect the theme, and cards would be displayed...

It is really genius, I think, to do this. For one thing it keeps Christmas decorations from suffering the fate of familiarity, and it allows the creative spirit to be engaged each year with fresh vitality. The themed decorations didn't banish the items that came out every year by any means, they simply added a focus. There was comfort with the old and inspiration with the new--the best of both worlds. So Mom, thanks for all the hours and love you put into making Christmas last through a lifetime!

There are a host of other memories too: making and decorating cookies that were individually wrapped and taped to a conically shaped tree made of green foil wrapping paper. Each of us kids had our own tree that we then took to school to share with our class; making toffee and spiced tea mix to take as gifts to neighbors and friends; the family Advent calendar that hung on the back of the front door...

I also remember finding time to myself to plug a set of headphones into the stereo, put on the music from "The Nutcracker," turn on the Christmas tree lights and sit tucked into a space beside the end table near the Christmas tree to be warmed by the lights and music. Snug, cozy spaces were favorite places for me to relish solitude.

There are more memories, but this is a blog, not a book. And you get the idea.

Seven days left!

1 comment:

Jayne said...

I would have loved to have those sort of traditions, but I grew up in a home that celebrated a secular Christmas. Though the tree decorating was a big deal, nothing else played much of a part. Rather sad really.


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