I remember certain things about the holidays from growing up. Sure there were toys that were memorable… though more often than not there were particular circumstances around the presents that left more of a mark (and not in a good way).
Truly the things I remember were the little things. When we were younger, we lived out of the country, but my parents still tried to keep family traditions the centerpiece of our holidays. Christmas Eve we were allowed one gift to open and it was always a pair of Christmas pajamas. Baking and home made chocolate covered cherries…well need I say more? Family and friends were also another major cornerstone in our holidays.
Later, when we came back to the states, we carried on a tradition that was something from my father’s side of the family. Christmas Eve was the night where the family did an open house. Friends, neighbors, and family stop by at the leisure and enjoy some time visiting. That has always been the one constant. Family and friends. Now I look at my kids. Granted they are only six, and to a child Christmas is about the gifts. I am sure it was for myself and my sister as well at that age. That being said, it is a bit disheartening, especially at a time when the economy is in the toilet, to see parents running around frantically trying to figure out how to buy their kids the hottest new toy, video game, etc.
I walked through the store and thought my kids don’t need any of this. They won’t appreciate it and its hard earned money that is getting dumped into things that will be broken in two weeks. Yes, I can hear people muttering under their breath about how it is about the children. Buy the damn toys and quit my whining. I get it and will be getting off the soap box shortly.
First though, I just have to say my peace. I think that this year has made me realize how over done things are and how far from the important things we’ve managed to stray. Traditions, family, and friends old and new are what make the holidays memorable. Twenty years from now the kids may remember the My Little Pony that was in their stocking or (dating myself here) the excitement of finding their first Cabbage Patch doll under the tree before Christmas morning and the hurt and disappointment that little re-wrapping fiasco brought on their parents, but more often than not the toys aren’t memorable. They aren’t what matters. We need to get back to what matters.
Okay I am done… my bah humbug moment has passed and I am off to re-discover the meaning of Christmas, because for my grandmother who’s absence is felt more and more every year, this was her time of year. She lived for this. She was good at it. She glowed, sparkled,and lit up a room simply by being in it. One very important lady who helped teach us that laughter is an antidote to almost all of life’s ills. That as long as you had family and friends around you, well you were richer than Trump. I want to capture that. To be that woman. So grandma… I will try to make you proud.