Thursday, December 31, 2015

Christmas - the Guiding Light(s)

No, I am not referring to a Christmas carol or song. And no, not a Christmas movie either. 

Christmas is a time for family, love, forgiveness, and most importantly, to celebrate the birth of Jesus.  

It is also a time for dozens of Christmas movies that all have the same plot, just different locations and names. However, that is for another post.

This post is about the joy of family, fun and beauty in creating, and most importantly, the guiding light or in this case lights. Fun as in playing games.  Creating as in, ummm, unique Christmas cookies. More on this later. 

In most of the families you have the one person who is the guiding light on Christmas. This person takes charge, organizes tree and other decorating, cooking, shopping, gift ideas, fun, and most importantly, maintains traditions.  I am fortunate (or not) to have two in my life. One is my wife, the other one is my sister.  

Both have Christmas in their hearts year round and are seldom afraid to show it (or impose it).  As my sister informed me, we would be cooking Christmas eve dinner. She really does not like people in her kitchen, but as she told my mom years ago, I was okay because I took instruction well.  Hey, sometimes you have to play the supporting role. Honestly, those of you who know me, wouldn't you hesitate with your fork if I told you I prepared dinner?

I digress.  

Tradition as in the family Christmas trees. Pictures follow. These are unique to our family. Why, because of the special ornaments.  In our family, my parents gave my sister and me a new special ornament to hang on the tree every Christmas.  In fact, in my parents's home, we needed two trees after a couple of decades of this tradition.  Some of the ornaments were home made. Others reflect the personality of the individual to whom the ornament is given.  After we decorate our tree, I know it is ours and could not go into anyone else's home. My sister and wife continue this fun tradition. 

Creating as in these bags my niece made for my kids.  These bags held the ornaments she made for them in class.  Her ornaments were certainly beautiful, but I really like the bags. 

Fun as in playing a game, like Monopoly.  The kids are playing as we prepare the Christmas Eve dinner. My sister and I played a round with them. My advice, show no mercy to anyone, especially family. 

After years of Christmas celebrations, I came to this conclusion. The celebration of Christmas is about combining old and cherished traditions while creating new ones.  We do this with new people, like a spouse or child.  What is an example of a new one?  Ask my son about the stuffing we eat on Christmas and he can likely recite the recipe. 

The guiding lights (my sister and wife) are the keepers and they build on traditions handed down from current and past family members.  My wife and sister are the ones who remember, remind, reinforce, revise, and rework these traditions. It is likely a strong and vibrant passion they both have.  My family is fortunate.  I am very grateful that I have not one, but two bright and shining lights. 

As for my comments about the cookies, you decide. If they do not scare you, then you too have the spirit of Christmas. 

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