Despite the fact that I cannot stand Cliff Richard’s Christmas song (the one that goes Christmas time; Mistletoe and Wine, Children sing in Christian rhyme…I don’t know what comes after that as I always change the channel after the rhyme part) it made a great title pop into my head for this “seasonal post.”
When Christmas time rolls around each year I feel a myriad of emotions. *you would not believe how hard that previous sentence was to write, either because of the subject or the fact that it is O-dark thirty in the morning*
The child part of my mind remembers excited mornings of rushing to see what Santa had left under the tree and getting dressed up in our best Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes and gathering up more presents for cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents and heading to the first of two “family” Christmas meals.
Time marches on and new memories grew and died. My first family, wife and son, spent only one Christmas together and as life progressed my feelings at Christmas were always wistful and sad.
My second family, wife and daughter, made up for the missed years in my previous family. Christmas consisted of spending time with my extended family (the in-laws) and doing Christmas tapes for the grandparents who could not spend time with their granddaughter on the big day.
As time continued to move ever forward, these Christmas “traditions” also changed, but, deep at the heart of each year’s celebration was the feeling of loss and sadness. I could never quite put my finger on why I felt either of these emotions on a day that celebrations are due.
My third family, me and my daughter, spent our first Christmas together in a shell shocked frenzy of putting up a tree and decorating my new flat; our second Christmas together, we did a video for our channels on YouTube (and got a better tree and more decorations). This year time has stepped in, again, and we’re only now putting up the tree and decorations.
I think that due to everything that has happened this year that we are in the “shell shocked” stage again. Not necessarily because of the events themselves, but, because of the amount of events and their “life changing” qualities.
In addition to my untimely “Get-out-of-life-free” card that I drew from the community chest of life (that luckily I did not have to use), I finally figured out why I’d felt so sad and lost at Christmas. My inner child was crying out for times and memories past to re-play each year. He wasn’t satisfied with how each “new” Christmas was going. He wanted the old days, the youth, excitement, family and love that filled whichever house he was living in at the time.
These memories were replaced, for a while, when he got to film his daughter’s excitement of Christmas and the opening of Santa’s presents that was always over too soon.
As the inner child in me has gotten smaller with time, the innocent joy of Christmas has been replaced with a longing for “how it used to be.” Somewhere along the way, I’ve forgotten the joy that comes about from just thinking of Christmas and all it means. Not the commercial aspects, although I’ve not been able to afford to buy anyone presents for the last two years, nor the religious meanings; but, just the general “feel good” factor of the holiday.
That “peace on earth, goodwill to men” thing that makes everything seem a little bit better and brighter, had taken a hike. It was on holiday (aka vacation) and wasn’t coming back anytime soon.
Last night, Meg and I went out to purchase our Christmas meal makings. As we left our little metro, the huge security chap wished us both a happy Christmas, and something in me shifted. I’m not talking about a “Grinch-like” heart operation here, but it does have to do with the heart I suppose.
I realised, finally, that I was damned lucky to be here for Christmas. That despite the overall “bad” news about work and money and health, I was still here and that (God willing) I would be here on Christmas morning. In that split second of sending the security man’s Christmas wishes back to him, I changed how I saw the holiday.
Now the memories of all my childhood Santa celebrations with my huge family have a nostalgic sweetness that has been missing. I cannot change the other memories of Christmas past but, like Scrooge, I have my Christmas present and future to look forward to. I guess you could say that my memories have taken a turn for the better and just in time.
To all my friends and neighbours, from a “by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin survivor,” I wish you a Happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year.
- Traditions (janetshouse.typepad.com)
- Celebrating a Moment of Quiet (johnscottstories.com)
- Christmas Traditions…… (camsgranny.wordpress.com)
- Santa Claus Is Coming To Town~~My Wonderful Memories of Jacinto City, Texas (texastudors.wordpress.com)
- The Gift of Giving. (areyouwithcaz.wordpress.com)
- Readers share special holiday moments (victoriaadvocate.com)
- Christmas Memories (rmiles74.wordpress.com)
- I WILL TELL YOU #66: Thank God It’s Christmas (backtothepast.tv)