13 December 2010

Memories ....


My mom loved Christmas.

I wonder sometimes if maybe she loved Christmas so much, in part, because it provided such a seasonal & sentimental excuse for her visit with people.

My mom loved people.

Whether by phone, (e) mail or in person - it really didn't matter.  She simply loved to catch up, reminisce & share a slice of life with family, friends & neighbors alike.

I don't think my mother ever met a stranger in her life.

Everyone she met was just a friend lying in wait.  No formal introductions were ever necessary - just a simple smile, nod or a passing of the baby photo.

I used to tell people, 'you don't need to meet my Mom to become her friend.' ... just me sharing one of your stories with her all but cemented your friendship for life.

I loved that about my mom.

Time, I believe,  slows down at Christmas and for a few brief moments the clock stops - standing still while we go on dancing around it.

Perhaps that is one of the reasons she loved Christmas so - because for those few precious seconds she could suddenly find the time in her busy everyday life to reconnect and stay in touch with the people loved.

Her family.

Christmas cards would be sent.  And arrive.

They would be opened, read and then each would be hung in a place of  honor at the top of stairs, resting in the louvers of our closet door for everyone to enjoy.

Joyful  reminders that we are not alone in life.  
  
Each year she would lay out her finest white tablecloth and set the dining room table with her best china, bowls & candlesticks.

Her finest wedding silver & crystal would be cleaned and polished.

Everything sparkled.

Christmas was important to her, loved - it was tradition & family.

Every year bowls were filled with chips, nuts & candy canes.  Plates of pickled goodies, cheese & crackers were set out.  Pies, cookies & shortbread were baked and then enjoyed! 

Poppy seed, chocolate & turkey.  

Eventually we grew into teenagers and Christmas became a little worn & tarnished.  More work than wonder.  A lot more grumbling and than gratitude.

As teenagers we had too little interest to help with the tree and too little time to spread much Christmas cheer.

 But still she loved it.

And then the babies came.  Grandchildren - the house again became filled with Christmas carols, elves and the Grinch.  Cookies for Santa, Frosty the Snowman & gingerbread houses.

Magical ...

I often wonder what Christmas was like at her house when she was growing up?  Were Christmas stockings hung on the fireplace mantle or at the end of bed?  Was it a Scottish Christmas?  What did it look like I wonder ...

My Mom did not dwell much in the past.  She lived in the moment and had very little interest in days gone by.  She didn't share much about her childhood & growing up.

But sometimes she would open up ...

I asked her once what was the best Christmas gift she remembered getting when she was young and she told me  her favorite gift was a book.  'Gulliver's Travels'.  I believe she said that it was given to her by her Uncle Henry however I am not sure about that.

The best gift I that received for Christmas as a child was the Barbie furniture & clothes that my Mom and Dad made by hand for my sisters & I.  My Dad made us each a wooden bed & wardrobe and Mom sewed us bed covers and clothes.

I remember the clothes were hung up in the wardrobe with little hangers.  I still feel so loved when I think back on how much time, effort & love went into those gifts and it's that love that she passed down to me.


My Mom always loved Christmas and I love that she did.  
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2 comments:

  1. That was very nice...I also love Christmas it is my favourite time of year. I love everything about. My favourite gift as a child was my green machine from Santa and my sister got a pink powder puff that year. It was so exciting going outside and riding them that morning! Christmas has now taken on a new meaning for me sharing it with my own children and watching their wondrous curiosity in all that is magical!!

    Merry Christmas everyone!!!!
    SB

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  2. Oh your Mom was great. I only met her a couple of times and it was like we had known each other a long time. I can see where you big heart comes from. Hope you have a Merry Christmas with all of your family up North !

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