It has been about seven years since I stepping into the family history adventure. In this time I have met new family and said good-by to several senior members of these wonderful tribes. My life has been so enriched by the stories and I have grown interested in memoir. How I wish to come upon some long ago writings!
This year I found Spiritual Memoirs 101 and sometimes I even do the exercises!
This is a quiet time and so I’ve mused on the “Where Are You From?” Christmas exercise, one which you might find fun as we continue on through these twelve days of Christmas. So many are ready to put out the tree but for my family, we would still be in Christmas mode, and would stay so past Twelfth Night giving Dad a chance to celebrate his birthday in a festive house before boxes had to be fetched from the attic, packed and then hoisted up again.
I’m from twelve days of Christmas
I’m from sugar cookies rolled thin, Quality Street candy and candy canes too
I’m from homemade fruitcake, family dinners and packages sent ’round the world
I’m from Advent wreaths and singing O Come, O Come, Emmanuel on dark December mornings
I’m from candle lighted windows, frosty cold bedroom and a warm, cozy kitchen
I’m from prickly holly and an angel topped tree
I’m from red felt stockings hung down the stairs and secrets and laughter and Christmas tears
I’m from row house grandparents and Manger gardens with trains
I’m from Christmas movies and carols sung off-key
I’m from department store Christmas windows and market stalls of treats
What Christmas treasures have been mine! Like an amazing box of ornaments from a storehouse, each one unwrapped, the beautiful, the not so, some broken and ugly and all come alive again in memory. I sit here long years later, listening to wind howl, gazing into candlelight and feel the smile play on my face. For just a moment it can all real again, the crisp snap of a cookie, the pungent smell of sherry soaked fruitcake, the couch where I sat in tree and candlelight and longed for snow. I can feel the cold and crowds pressed in to see the wondrous animated scenes in the store windows and smell the roasting peanuts near the market bus stop and even warm my hands once again on the large bag of them I hold for the long ride home.
There were tears that stained Christmases too. Time and understanding have faded them gently to the background like the soft crumpled tissue that will cradle it all until another Christmas comes.