Well, I’m not too sure. As I get older I find it harder and harder to see. I keep getting told that when I have grandchildren I will find it again, however I find that hard to believe.
I can imagine that seeing small children enjoying opening their gifts are probably a nice thing, seeing a Christmas tree for the first time, but I mean the real spirit of Christmas.
My earliest Christmases were all about baking and cooking. My paternal grandmother in St-Adele would be cooking pies and meatballs and such. So I guess smells would be the first thing I remember about Christmas. The warmth of the inside of the apartment she lived in. It was always warm there on Morin Street.
There are some not so great Christmases that I can only describe of the absence of everything. Waking up to an empty tree early in the morning would qualify as the saddest quietest morning of my life. A Christmas that also punctuated the end of my innocence along with a lot of things in those years.
After my biological mother died and I went to live with my now mother and father, we had some good Christmases, unfortunately, the magic was mostly gone, my best memories where of making cookies with my mom and iron-on cloth Christmas decorations taking from the Woman’s Day magazine. I remember coloring them in with markers…our quiet moments fabricating together were some of the best moments that helped heal me from some pretty awful shit in the beginning when I went to live with them.
My married years also brought forth Christmas for the little ones, my sons. I like to think I gave them some pretty nice Christmases, but my favorite was that at one point we got the entire families together on the holidays for dinner, my parents and my husbands family and had some fabulous big family dinners. My family was always small so I greatly enjoyed it.
That kind of changed over time when people passed away or moved away and the holidays just became more of our little family for a lot of different reasons.
So every year as I see the sales come and go, I realize how little my best memories come from the stuff we unwrap.
I always seem to try to get the Christmas spirit, but at some point it seems to escape and disappoint me. There are some things that give me hope because I realized it is because when I decorate, I am creating my Christmas surroundings just like I did with my Mom. When I baked some cookies and made my own eggnog, I felt so wonderful, because I was making something homemade like my grandmother used to make in the warmth of my home. When I sit eating my Christmas turkey, I realize that we are all sitting together and we are so lucky to have each other.
So this year, I will try to concentrate on what truly brings me joy, and see if I can whip up some Christmas treats, fabricate a few Christmas decorations, and spend some quality time with the people I love when I finally get some much needed time off. I think that maybe this year if I concentrate on all these wonderful things from Christmas past it is where my spirit comes from; I just somehow forgot it as I went along.
What are some of your very best memories at Christmas! Leave your comments below and let me know. I’d love to hear about them.