When you’re in a situation you perceive as desperate, when you think nothing is ever going to chill you out or relax you again but being *out* of the situation, and taking just the minimum daily requirement with you…so I thought I took just a small box of Christmas things out of Colorado in a screaming hurry last March along with all the other minimalist stuff.
Turns out, it was way more minimal even than that. Lights for a tree, two strands of garland, one strand of beads, all from my non traditional year when I did blue and white. No ornaments or Christmas plush toys or santa hat or wreath survived. (or, are in the former roommate’s van in SC, still packed away.)
So, I got sad for a half hour. No decorations.
And then I said to myself. “Shut up! You’re home 🙂 You have the next three days full of family and friends.”
And, best yet, the Christmas music that evokes your entire lifespan of Christmases, from when you were a toddler on up to right now, (The Glorious Sounds of Christmas, Eugene Ormandy, Philadelphia Orchestra, Temple University Choir c 1959) is playing right now, because at least you made absolutely certain that that was one of the CD’s you brought east with you. It’s the one, that makes you smell the pine,see the snow, and the stars…remember the panicked wrapping of gifts you did as an adolescent when you insisted on wrapping your own, so imperfectly, compared to the elegant masterpieces of your mother’s giftwrapping. And the painstaking work she did on the tree. Or, she would bounce around and sing to her own favorite album (which was a different one.) And, the less than perfect times too, when your father was less than prepared, less than civil, and, less than sober.
But, you say to yourself with forgiveness on your mind, he did read the Christmas story, he did adore your chocolate chip cookies, and he always looks so relaxed and uncharacteristically comfortable in his skin in the Christmas-Morning-opening-presents pictures.
Your married years, that were always full of Difficult Stuff, but seemed to take a pause, most Christmastimes [except for that careful balance of who to spend Christmas with when you had three families, not two, to divy up the time between]
And, the last ten or so Christmases that you and the roommate managed yourselves, small tree, and baking and (often) presents, and even a lighted window or two, watching the wildly varying Colorado weather–since a Colorado music store was where you found this CD, metaphorically jumped up and down and raced home with it and stuck it in the player because the vynl was back east.
I’m feeling like the little drummer boy this Christmas, but that’s really not true. I’m able to sing tonight, and help my other choir members give my church and community some of the good stuff to listen to…that’s my gift to lay at the edge of the manger. (and I’ve got two surprise gifts ready to give to family that I made myself.)
If Christmas isn’t your thing, have good holiday times anyway, with friends, family, etc. And if it is…
Merriest of Merry Christmases. Watch and listen for the good stuff…the story, the songs, the sounds and sights and people that make it a wonderful time. And Happy New Year to everybody, with lots of good things in store.
Because…as the Grinch said:
“It came without ribbons
It came without tags
It came without packages, boxes or bags…” 🙂