Yes, it is getting close. The hardest time of year, yet, also the very best. For the very first time in the history of "me", I am ready! Maybe there are a million things I have not gotten, or done, but, in my mind, I feel I can pretty much just sit back, and let it happen. O.K. truthfully, that is all anyone can ever do...but, most often things niggle in the back of my mind right up to the very last minute..I know so many who are totally stressed, as I type...but...either I have gotten to the point of life, that I have suddenly become super organized, or...perhaps the fact that I had to get everything done last month when my honey was out, has a lot to do with things. I have tried not to brag, and I totally understand what most of the rest of those I know are going through.
What does happen to me at this time of year, is, I pull up the memories of Christmas past. Almost every one of those are like warm blankets. I admit, I have been told my memory is pretty decent, and for that I am grateful. I need to be able to find my way back to the Christmas's of the 1960's, because, they remain the true Spirit of Christmas in my heart.
Those were amazing times. Times that a whole community came together. Folks who we never saw 364 days of the year, would suddenly appear at our doorstep. Another chair would be pulled into the livingroom, another drink would be handed out (often my brother or myself would be sent to mix one). The house was filled with laughter, and food. The fuzzy part of these memories, not quite sure where the heck Billy and I sat, because we certainly were not taking up room in the center of things. I do faintly remember these times as being open season on all the goodies in the fridge and cupboard for us. We could finish off cans of pop, used in the mixing of drinks..geez, what treasure to kids who seldom had luxuries like pop. Opened boxes of chocolates were free range, but we knew better than to take those my Dad preferred.
We always had "old John Angus" for Christmas dinner, he would try very hard to stay sober, but, of course the Scotch flowed freely in the house Christmas day and night. My job was to call Granny and Granda in Scotland, both my parents would have a chat, and, as a child, I didn't think too much of what these calls meant. My mom would call her siblings, and there was some speaking of french that went on, so I expect she spoke to her mom. To me, as a child, I just thought the ability to speak to people so far away was amazing, but...I never truly understood the importance of the calls, because I was surrounded by my family, and that is all that mattered.
Now I understand. My parents were no different than myself. Like my own parents, somehow, along the way, my Honey and I are the ones that ended up distanced from everyone else. Granted, neither of us have our parents alive today This will be the first year my honey does not get to give his Dad a call, and I know how very difficult that will be for him, as I still feel the urge to pick up the phone and call my Mom. Christmas is the most difficult time to be far from those other nuts on your tree. Hey, maybe it is because trees are a big part of the holidays?
I have had to get accustomed to not having all my kids home for Christmas. My oldest is close by, but with 3 kids, and a busy Hockey schedule that this year, begins again the day after Christmas, we will have to do the phone business. A couple of years back, my son worked Christmas in camp, so we had our celebration early with him, and then again on the 25th (far too much turkey that year). This year, the youngest will not be home, for the first time in 22 years. Yep, that is going to seem strange, and again, another phone call.
So, now I have finally understood the importance of so much I saw as a child. I understand why my parents adopted John Angus, he was an old Scottish fellow, who sometimes drank a great deal, but he was all alone, and far from his roots. Of course he acted like that didn't matter, but...I suspect deep down inside with all the talk I would hear about his homeland, he derived some benefit from being a part of our family celebrations. My Mom was a generous woman, she always stressed we think of others less fortunate, and she told of Christmas during the depression, when a single orange was a treat. I expect my Mother had many memories of this season that were not as warm and fuzzy as the ones she allowed me to collect.
But all along, like myself, this was a day they more than likely missed their "other" families. Somehow, this single day, all of those connected to the tree, come to mind, and are dearly missed. Not just those who have passed away, but those who are not coming to the doorstep. Those from Christmas past.
So, I will make my list, and try and check it twice..I really don't care if you have been naughty or nice, you are all the nuts on my Christmas Past tree, and each of you ALL, are oh so very special to me!
Billy..you are #1 on the list, a memory of Bootsy, and hotwheels, in every memory of the Silver tree...Jody, you were a part of those times we sat down to celebrate around Mom's table, and along with Kristopher , Terri-Anne and myself, we are the only ones left from those Christmas's past, and the very last with Mom, the one we put off till she came home.
Cindy and Archie, a memory of a Christmas of anticipation, and fear that poor Chuck would have to take you out to Terrace, and along the way, help deliver Willy,LOL..I think he will be forever grateful things worked out the way they did.
William,(oh so many memories,lol) Willy, Dilly and Karly, Dan, Loretta, Christie and Cori, Bob (not Rob)Terri-Anne still remembers that amazing talking Teddy Bear you gave her,Larry, Lisa, Tony Figaroni and Renee. Dear Aunty Rosie, who I have long forgiven for the slipper beatings, and who still brings a tear to my eye because she is the warm fuzzy blanket I have had the longest in my life.
I suppose like my parents, I could pick up the phone to call all those who I miss at this time of year, but, that would probably take me into Boxing Day, and I am still pretty cheap, so I can't imagine the bill. You are the nuts on my tree, I may not always agree with you, you may not always like me, but, somehow, you all share the same Ghosts of my Christmas's past, and because of that, each and everyone one of you have become one of my warm fuzzy blankets.
To those of my Christmas Present, don't get all hot and bothered...you are also nuts on my tree, but you are the ones close by..perhaps I could call you the "top nuts"? There are a huge amount of others who come to mind during this time, my dear friends (you know who you are, and I am not going to list you) David G, Caroline J, Walter S, Charlotte S, my children from other Mother's. Thank you all for adding your blankets. I should be the warmest person in the world with so many wonderful memories. I will think of all of you, during this season (and other times as well) and be so very grateful I have been truly blessed. I will make my own phonecalls, and remember, family may not be close, but they are always in one's heart.