I just signed up for a giveaway over at http://theinspiredroom.net/. I don't normally enter giveaways because I have trouble figuring out the comment section. Really. It is very difficult. I don't know what a my google address is, and then you have to come back and read letters. Time. Don't have it. Anyway, the giveaway said to tell your favorite CHRISTmas memory. And I started thinking about that. Here is what I wrote.
I grew up in a military home. Because of this our address, weather, and conditions changed all the time. But my favorite memories are of CHRISTmas in the Middle East. My mother is the queen of tradition, and no matter where we were, whether in FL with sunshine, Va with snow, or the desert, we had our tree, our favorite foods, our stockings hung somewhere, and our favorite songs playing. We always celebrated CHRIST and He led us from place to place. What a wonderful trip down memory lane. Thanks!!
I really do have a mom who is the queen of tradition. I tried to follow her traditions for a few years and felt like an utter failure. I just KNEW my kids were going to run away because we didn't put up the tree on just the right day, have an advent calendar we followed daily with little candy canes for every child, exactly 7 meaningful stocking stuffers that were opened each night the week before CHRSTmas, music, food, etc. You get my drift. Smell my cooking. You get me. I have struggled for years with minor depression beginning with Dec and travelling through Jan. AND JUST THIS YEAR I have learned why. I can't be my mom. She is amazing, and wonderful, and I have Hallmark card memories of not just CHRISTmas, but many holidays, some I am sure were made up just so she could have fun.
This is getting long, AGAIN, but I will just say this year is wonderful. We did do some things like the tree, and some decorating, we have had wassail and sugar cookies, and we are going to a concert this morning of CHRISTmas music. But I am not going by some wonderful "moms" play book on how to have a meaningful CHRISTmas. I am going by my play book. Which is more low key, a little more spontaneous. The memories, I FINALLY realized were not in the tradition, but in the joy my mom had. And without joy, the traditions are meaningless. So my NEW tradition is to find JOY and PEACE in the holidays. What a concept, considering the the celebrations of CHRIST'S birth (and eventually death and resurrection) is about the one who brings JOY (no happiness, another post I am sure) and PEACE (not an end to war but peace about our role in this life and where I am going next, another post I am sure) to this world.
Merry CHRISTmas, thanks for reading,