First Christmas tree of the season went up Thanksgiving weekend. Not mine, but my daughter-in-law’s. It was wonderful to be around her enthusiasm. We had to savor every ornament. Each one means something to her, as once mine did to me. We had to fret over Christmas lights….the ones she has always bought are no longer available. Oh, no, what will we do? The tree smelled so evergreen and slightly minty. There was a new person in the family–their baby–to keep away from the tree. We attempted to teach him to touch “with one finger” rather than grab with a fist. It makes me feel so happy to see her vigor and unstained happiness around Christmas. I hope she never feels as tired and sad as I once did. Christmas can be a terrible season––divorce, death, loneliness, family drama all undoing the shine of its promise. I had to let go of my grand Christmases, had to remake the season to sustain my hurting heart. My heart is well now. Part of my season is to watch the younger women in my life create their Christmas worlds and to revel in their joy. I have my own joys, but they are mostly smaller ones.
What does Christmas mean to you? Do your traditions sustain or hurt you? Have you had to remake the season? How did you do it?
The first Merry Christmas of the season to you………
Yes, I had to remake Passover. Call it my new new normal now. We have it at my daughter’s house each year–gladly. It’s a long story as to when and how I turned it over to the next generation. Suffice to say, painful events provoked a turnover many years ago. Then several “new ways” of observing ensued. Now we’ve normalized to a happy time again, but like you I watch her happiness and excitement over each dish, all the smells, the rituals. For me, my holiday is helping her achieve the beauty she sees in this holiday.