Articles > Meditations and Musings > My Best Christmas...

My Best Christmas...

Published by 4Hope on 2006/12/23 (3898 reads)
Several months ago, my daughter, Jeni, and I were reminiscing about Christmases past. In my "drive down memory lane," childhood visions of our decorated live Christmas trees, streaming with silver tinsel, glowing with large old-fashioned lights, and adorned with fragile glass ornaments and plastic ones (with which my brother and I traditionally pelted each other), all raced through my mind.

Hours passed as I sat watching Lionel trains loop around the dining room table, entranced by the train's passage through tunnels and past station stops. Body memories of wreath-shaped butter cookies, home made crullers dusted with powdered sugar, potato and plum pierogi (a Polish dish) and the perfectly baked ham (my father's specialty), enveloped me with all of the tastes and smells of Christmases long ago.

Returning to the present, I asked Jeni what her best Christmas was from her childhood days. As she considered this for a moment, I tried to guess her answer.

"Her best Christmas was probably the year she found the much-sought-after-toy-of-the-season, a Cabbage Patch doll, under the tree," I mused, remembering how I literally shopped 'till I dropped that year. "Or maybe it was on her 16th Christmas when she opened the small black velvet box holding a luminescent opal ring," I reconsidered. Jeni had been asking for years for an opal ring, so I was sure her best Christmas was that year. Mothers just know these things!

"Without a doubt," Jeni responded, "my best Christmas memory was when we drove to Mineola to cut down a Christmas tree. I dozed in the back of the van for the drive home, crunched up close to the tree, totally engulfed with the heady scent of pine. Then we went to McDonald's drive through and ordered Big Macs and fries-always a comfort food! At that moment, surrounded by family and listening to the Boston Pop's rendition of Sleigh Ride on the radio, I felt the absolute ultimate in contentment! Almost nothing could match that moment of connection with family, comfort, contentment and joy."

I sat in humbled shock upon hearing the soulful simplicity of her reminiscence. Inspired by this discovery, I soon thereafter asked my son, Joel, the same question about his best Christmas memory. ( I now knew better than to second-guess his response)! He smiled as he recounted the Christmas Eve when he and Jeni stood in awed silence at the top of the stairway and peeking down to the family room, actually SAW Santa-the REAL Santa- placing gift after gift by the fireplace. He couldn't remember a single present he got that year but he would always remember the joy and wonder of seeing Santa on the job!

Three thoughts I would like to share with you and yours this holiday season. First, mothers or fathers don't just know about what is truly significant with those they love. We need to ask. Not only may you be surprised by what you learn but you can also become closer to others as they open their world a little more to you.

Secondly, it's the moments we share with each other that bring true meaning to the holidays-and life!<

Cesare Pavese stated, We do not remember days, we remember moments. Moments blessed with the sounds, sights, and scents of the holidays, moments enlivened with the childlike wonder and joy of experiences shared with family and friends.

Through the soul-filled sharing of Jeni and Joel I learned that memories live in the joy of the moment-not necessarily the gifts. So this holiday season, maybe ask yourself and those you love what holds true meaning for your holidays. In our Coping with the Holidays seminar, we suggest listing those activities that you used to do, need to do, want to do, and will do for this holiday season. Again, ask your family what is truly meaningful for them about the season and share what's important for you. If you change some activity this year and it works out well, then you have just created a new way to celebrate the season. If it didn't work out, change it again next year! What's really important is considering what is truly significant about the holidays for you and for those who share moments with you.

The third thought I would like to share with you comes straight from my heart. My children, Jeni and Joel, have taught me everything I could ever hope to learn about childlike simplicity and genuine, soul-filled living. My moments with them are more precious and treasured than any wrapped present and far more meaningful than simple words could ever express.

So, my wish for you this holiday season, in addition to those you've already put on your list, is that every moment will be blessed with true meaning and wonder in the joys of shared experiences with those you love.

By Barbara Davis
Co-Founder,
ElderHope

Tags: meaning   Holidays   meditation  

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