Monday, December 16, 2013

We Love Christmas

We've been married over four decades now, and our Chistmas traditions have changed over the years.  When we were both working, all decorating was completed in a single weekend.  The real tree and all the trimmings.  Our children loved deciding which ornaments were "front" worthy and which ones went to the back of the tree.

Now we have an artificial tree and put it up and decorate at our leisure with no timelines.  While I did enjoy the hustle and bustle of doing everything at once, I also like the slower onset of bringing out our Christmas treasures.

One thing the slower pace allows, is more memories of Christmas past.  One dreadful one we will never forget.  On Sunday, after we brought the tree inside and put on the lights, my husband began running a high fever with chills and aching.  Despite having received a flu shot, he had a bad case of flu.  Two days later I also got sick.  We took turns languishing on the sofa and during brief periods hung a few ornaments on the tree.  Then we got a call from the nursing home where his mother was residing.  She was sick.  Pneumonia.  So with a temperature of 102 I went over to the emergency department to admit her to the hospital.  I wore a mask of course and you cannot imagine how miserable it is to have a fever and wear a mask.  When I got home, we both cursed ourselves for not calling our doctors and getting an anti-viral.  Nope.  Neither nurse nor doctor thought of it.  We learned later that our batch of flu vaccine had been recalled as ineffective.

But even that Christmas was still a good Christmas.  We have abandoned a lot of the traditions but we still retain the memories of all those years.  The gifts we gave and received.  The excited faces of our children.  Having coffee cake while emptying our stockings.  Then opening the gifts and trying to guess what gift one aunt had sent.  She always sent the most tacky gifts.  One year it was three small coffee samples that clearly had come from a cheese package she had received.

One of my favorite gifts is a Santa my husband gave me many years ago.  He has a lovely face and is cradling a number of dolls in his arms.  Each year I love bringing him out of his box and putting him out once more.

Santa with dolls.

If you celebrate Christmas I hope you have as much fun surrounded by your favorite decorations as we do.  The house seems so cheerful when Christmastime is near.  And the wonderful memories come flooding back.


Carolina Linthead said...

Yes, indeed. We love Christmas! Here is a poem I wrote many years ago:

The tree is not so big this year,
A compromise, nothing near the size
Of the behemoth it succeeds.
Hard choices must be made,
Not all our old familiar friends
Can nestle in its finite boughs.

Remember Wake Forest, 1991,
A tree much smaller even than this,
Yet big enough for gifts we shared.
Sitting on the bed, one year wed,
Writing notes in some, not all, the cards,
Who knows what we said? Please tell us!

House, tree, bed, old friends, now gone,
We hold on to memories, mellowing
As they age in the cellars of our hearts.
“Our First Christmas” couple, as then,
Will swing in their heart from a limb,
Midst penguins aplenty, rest assured.

Foghorn Leghorn and Snoopy
And Hallmark keepsakes, by the score,
And souvenirs from far and near
And balls and beads and bells
And bows, red, gold, and purple,
Will trim the tree once more.

Other treasures we’ll set aside,
The joy they bring deferred,
Boxed up but not discarded.
How could they ever be?
Look at them, they are forever
Part of you and me.

Arkansas Patti said...

How awful to have been both sick on Christmas with a mother in law with pneumonia. Who took care of whom?
Love that Santa and hope this Christmas will be stress and illness free.

Vicki Lane said...

I love the memories that get refreshed as the various decorations emerge from the boxes.

KB said...

I love your Santa. What a wonderful treasure to bring out each year.

It seems that some of our biggest memories are of getting the flu at Christmas. One year, we had 10 people staying in our small condo, and almost everyone got the flu. We can all laugh about it now... but it was no fun then.

Merry Christmas, and I'm so happy to hear that you are enjoying your traditions.

Anonymous said...

102 and you weren't down for the count? What misery!

We don't bring everything out every year, but I have a couple of boxes that are chock full of memories of Christmas Past. Those come out every year. It's amazing how even the ones that I always thought tacky are special now.

Your Santa does have a sweet face!

Ginnie said...

That's a great Santa. I've never seen one like it.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I love your cute santa!! Opening the Christmas decoration boxes each year is always the best feeling.
I always say: It's not Christmas until someone gets sick....oye, that has been the case most years for us. *crossing my fingers that both our households stay healthy this year.

Tara said...

Here's a cheery thought: after two marriages and two divorces, I have lost many of my ornaments. Luckily, my folks are alive and have all the old goodies from my childhood. I bought them an artificial tree last year and this year I set it up once again for them, and starting decorating. I let them finish. At my apt. I have a small artificial one and I have an aluminum one in my kitchen. Gawdy as all hell, and I love it!

My favorite thing, however, is when my daughter was born my grandmother gave her a set of 12 porcelain fairies, to be given to her one new one each year. So, even after she passed, my daughter was receiving these fairies from her great grandmother.

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks for your comments everyone.

Linthead - Love the poem. Thanks

Patti - Who took care of whom? Why the nurse, of course.

Tara - I love the fairy gifts. And I'm glad the family keepsakes are still around.

Anonymous said...

We never really celebrated Christmas or Hanukkah when I was growing up. But I have come to love the traditions and the utter joy of the season. There is something about the holiday that is reminiscent of times past, in a way that most other holidays are not. I love your stories and your Santa!