Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Holidays are here!

My eyes are heavy this morning, and the coffee is warm in my hands and soothing as I sip it down.
  There is no snowfall today, but the wind is whipping outside and there's a bite to its bitter gusts.
 I feel cozy, wrapped in my blanket with a quiet home and my Christmas tree next to me, all lit up.

 Tis the season, for sure. Thanksgiving is my most favorite holiday. I love the food. I love the family. I love the football. I enjoy that it's a day where people truly take time to pause and be grateful. It is, quite often, the holiday in retail that gets skipped. People like to jump from Halloween to Christmas, and the beautiful meaning behind one day tucked away in November often times becomes lost.  For me, Thanksgiving remains my favorite holiday.
 this year is the first year we have ever decorated for Christmas prior to Thanksgiving (mostly because I am so adamant that we do not trump my favorite fall holiday with the next one.) However, due to a few reasons, we had to put up the tree a bit early this year. And while, for me, I am still in Thanksgiving mode, I admit, I am enjoying the beauty of my lit up tree and the fresh smell of pine that greets me as I walk into the room.
 Holidays are full of a plethora of emotions.  Memories surround from years past, as much as memories being made for future days of remembering. Tears are sometimes shed over the ache of missing a loved one. Laughter can be found in the squeals of children's joy or perhaps around the game table after the big meal.
 This is my 4th holiday season without my mom. The ache of missing her is still strong in a way difficult to describe in words. And yet, this year is the first year I feel fully immersed in the holidays. I have been like a kid again this year with the decorating. I have told stories of what Christmas was like for me growing up. I have done a lot of remembering and smiling. I made stockings for the office. The joy of the season has found new corners in my heart.
 As we decorated our tree this past weekend, and pulled the ornaments out of the box, I smiled. This year, decorating was not a time of sadness, but a time of joy. Some of the ornaments are hand made by the kids, and some of those ornaments were made by the crafty hands of my mom. I giggled a bit as I pulled all of my Snoopy ornaments out to hang up. Few people know that Snoopy is my favorite cartoon character, much due my childhood years. Mom was really the only one who gave me Snoopy items, but Snoopy still brings me a smile, and likely always will. I still love to "collect" a Snoopy ornament every year. As the kids and I hung those on the tree, they listened to me tell childhood stories of where the ornaments came from and why I had so many of them.
 It feels really good to enjoy the holiday season to its fullest again. In light of the holiday season, I'll do a post once a week sharing a holiday memory/tradition. I'd love to hear about yours as well.
 Seeing as how this week is Thanksgiving, I share a Thanksgiving memory.
 My mom was often found every morning with her Bible open, her Bible's pages worn and underlined from years of her studying. One year, mom took time to every day write out a verse of Thanksgiving and share with us over the breakfast table. I love that she did that. Those memories are her voice still speaking to me, reminding me i can still do that today.
 In our home now, one of our Thanksgiving traditions is watching the Macy Day parade. The stereo gets turned on, coffee is made, and all the cooking (that I have to do) is done the night before. Sitting and watching the parade (uninterrupted in my pajamas with my coffee) is one of our favorite Thanksgiving day activities.
  Stay tuned for more fun traditions and recipes and memories. And please share yours with me! I want to hear.
 Now it's time to leave the coziness of my blanket, couch, coffee and tree and don the winter running clothes and brave the wind for a quick run.....

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