To Tradition on Christmas

Recently I found a picture of my three-year old self, which looked surprisingly like my 30-year old self. It is Christmas morning, I am surrounded by 'My Little Ponies' and my face is one of geeky, three-year old glee.  I've been anxious this year about doing things right for Christmas. All through December,  I wanted a scene of an afternoon house: Remy pouring ingredients into a bowl for sugar cookies while Thea bounced merrily in her little seat.  I pictured calm and quiet.  I pictured taking Remy to hand deliver gifts to kids in need and I pictured I was teaching him invaluable lessons. I pictured homemade gifts wrapped well in advance, I pictured advent calendars and flawless Christmas traditions. Turns out, little
of that actually happened.  Instead, much of December, our little student house was filled to the brim with books, my books. and packing supplies.  We never got around to making cookies, though a neighbor invited us over to frost some in their tidy home.  Our house was messy like it has never been messy.  I more than once felt sure that I had ruined Christmas for my family because all 'my' projects had become 'our' projects.  But the closer Christmas came, the more clear a few things became.  One, I had not ruined Christmas. Two, we had made meaning as a family because we had worked together, even if it was packing up books.

Growing up I was always terribly worried that my family didn't have enough traditions.  I was that annoying kid trying to make everyone go overboard and do things like tie an annual quilt, sing way more christmas songs that anyone wanted, put on a nativity even when we were all way to old to want to act it out.  I wanted meaning infused into every moment and felt there must be something awry if it wasn't that way.  But last night as I set up a humble little Christmas for Remy and Thea in front of our Christmas tree, I realized that my growing up was rich with meaning because my parents were simply there.  There was never a Christmas that I doubted my parents loved us.  Not because they gave us things, but because it was so apparent that they delighted in it.  The year my mom ran out into the living room and hopped on the pogo stick in her robe and slippers, I knew she was just as eager for us to be a part of the happiness of Christmas morning.  Looking back, I now see that our little tradition of Christmas pajamas is just as meaningful as a Christmas vacation because it was ours.  I look back and only see thirty years of my parents faces shining from their place on the couch as they watched us open gifts.  I look back and see thirty years of my own face, beaming because I knew somebody loved me.  

1 comment:

قمم تميز said...

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