“Christmas, in its final essence, is for grown people who have forgotten what children know. Christmas is for whoever is old enough to have denied the unquenchable spirit of man.” — Margaret Cousins
Christmas Traditions. I look at those two words and then I stop. It causes a great moment of reflection for me.
My parents divorced when I was 4. I never saw my mom again. I was raised by my father with a lot of help from family, my grandmother especially. We moved around quite a bit when I was younger. From the time I was 4 until I was 10 we lived in: Houston, TX, Muncie, ID, and Newport News, VA, just to name 3 that I remember. I don’t remember much of my time in TX or ID. I remember bits and pieces. VA was the most memorable for me. I guess because I was older.
My Christmases in Virginia…They were special. I remember getting the bike I wanted, the Dukes of Hazzard plate set I wanted, dresses that I helped pick out at were frilly, girlie and special. I remember the trees, the decorations, and the family. Those important, special times. Having all of us gathered in one tiny house. The love was evident and I still remember it.
After daddy had his first heart attack, we moved back to Alabama. I can’t say I remember much about my first couple of Christmases. After we settled down and set up permanent roots in this really small town, things changed. Daddy “got religion”. It’s hard to explain but he went through this time where he swore it was in the Bible that putting up a tree was Pagan and against God. Never again was another tree put up. Christmas was not celebrated beyond a dinner on Christmas Day. And that was down to the two of us. My grandmother had passed on and Daddy was never really that close to the family he did have.
Flashing forward, past the death of my father and my brave new start in Louisiana, I only had my own tree a couple of times. The first time I decorated, I was so proud. Of course, not much was under it. Just a few gifts that I were giving. Traditions beyond spending the night with Mom and Pappy on Christmas Eve and opening gifts Christmas morning and then having a huge meal were small.
Christmas in California was pretty much the same, except the get-togethers were much larger. We had a gift exchange, fun was always had and I have some priceless memories and lovely gifts that I still hold dear to my heart: My first scarf from Kathleen, my pjs from Judy and Greg and my Bama houseshoes from Jeremy just to name a few. But you would be surprised at how much you miss getting those socks from mom and that new toothbrush.
Now, for the second Christmas, I am back home. I didn’t put up a tree last year. I honestly wasn’t in the mood. It was hard for me. It wasn’t as hard as the previous Christmas had been. This year, I’m looking for alternative trees. I’ve gone so far as to look at a Charlie Brown Tree. Did you know those exist? Yep, check them out at your local Hobby Lobby.
As I sit back and reflect, at all the Christmases past, they have been about family, food and presents. Sure, it feels good to give and even better to receive. But there is a reason we have this time of year. I won’t delve too far into it. I will say this: I believe in the reason for the season. And sometimes I feel it’s overshadowed by the wants. You’ve heard them haven’t you? I want those Steve Madden shoes, that Coach bag, that necklace from Tiffany’s, a new iPod, the new iPhone. The list can go on forever. And I’m just as guilty for saying them.
And yet as I write this, the word tradition keeps circling and sitting heavily on my mind. It is something that is very much lacking these days. And I want to change that. So I’m going to ask for your help. What traditions do you have? What’s one that you would like to have? If you could create one, what would it be? Share with me if you don’t mind. I’m just asking for one. If you are feeling it enough, share one of all three with me.
My goal is to start 3 new traditions this year. Maybe I can even come back after Christmas and let you know how they worked. So what do you say?
Donna’s Twitter bio describes her as: “Southern and loud! She loves her Crimson Tide, Marvel Comics, Thai food, Martinis, old movies and books, LOTS of books”. Her journey towards empowerment & wellness began a couple of years ago when she stepped off a curb and broke her left ankle, both bones. She became aware, then and there: her body was telling her something had to change!
Since then, Donna has listened to her true spirit. When she’s not fabricating gorgeous quilts, spending time with good friends, or writing on her blog, Donna takes the time to make herself a hot cuppa tea and truly listen to her body and its needs.
You can follow Donna’s journey on her blog: Lipstick, Keats, and Tea ~ Because sometimes that’s all a girl needs and on Twitter.