Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tis the Season!

It is that time of year when mankind looks inward to examine his/her life, ponder the mysteries of our very being and reflect on their past.  I am not exempt from this reflection and welcome this time of year as one that brings great happiness in the form of memories  and thankfulness for my life and where I am heading. 

I was raised as a Lutheran and even though my parents did not attend church regularly or display any form of religious ritual in my life other than the celebrations at Easter and Christmas, I was pointed in the direction of learning about my God, my values and the teachings of the Church.  I was baptized, confirmed and married within the structure of my Lutheran teachings and, even though now in my adult life when I question some of the teachings and have doubts about them (I may be considered an agnostic now), I still do not deny the presence of a Supreme Being, even though that presence is only strengthened by faith and difficult to substantiate with facts. 

Be that as it may, I love the celebration of Christmas.  The mere fact that it is a time when families traditionally come together or, if that is not possible, communication with friends and loved ones is made and wishes for good health, goodness, love and happiness brings a sense of “oneness” with those we love. 

I decorate our home with items that I have had with me for years, each one reminding me of the individual that gave it to me or made it in love for me.  Things I have purchased over the years remind me of special times in my life and those I was spending my time with.  I have gifts from my children, sister-in-law, friends and, even business acquaintances, all of which, when I see them, remind me that at that moment in time I was being thought of and remembered.  

I have an ornament, a wooden soldier, painted by my son when he was a young boy which for anyone else would not be special but to me I wouldn't trade it for anything.  I have a crocheted Angel made for me by a wonderful friend I met on the island.  There is a stained-glass hibiscus set on a mahony stand whose purpose is to accept a lit candel behind it to make it glow from another dear friend of mine.  My sister-in-law crocheted me an afghan, made me an angel out of clothesline and sewed/quilted a Christmas tree skirt, all of which is a constant reminder of the hours she spent toiling over these items just to make my Christmas a little brighter.  I have a music box and a Christmas blanket which was given to me by a friend and fellow employee with whom I worked for many years which, when I look at them I am reminded of the deep friendship we have.  My oldest friend sent me an Angel which she purchased out of love to celebrate our 47+ years of friendship.  I had an USF ornament given to me by my daughter when she attended the University and can recall it every year in my mind as, unfortunately, it broke a few years ago.  Another good friend painted me a ribbon with cherubs on it which when I unwrap it every year, I remember her artistic talents and unfailing friendship.  No, I don't need "gifts" to remind me of my friends and family but they do serve to stir fond memories. 

I have a collection of dated tree ornaments which, when I take them out of their wrapping to decorate our tree, I am reminded of specific times in my life and what was occurring when I bought them.  I crocheted snowflakes one year for our tree and the tree is not complete without them.  I have a Nativity Scene by Precious Moments which took me several years to obtain and always has a special place in my home during Christmas. 

Yes, these are all “things”, but they bring a peace to me by reminding me of good times in the past and of the love of friends and family and they are also a reflection of my past.  They tie me to my family and friends even more so during this time of year when good will towards men is on the mind.  Could I celebrate Christmas without these items?  To be honest, no, I could not.  For they unlock memories which are in the back of my mind all year and only come forth when I bring them out and then they bring a smile to my face and flood my being with the feeling of happiness and goodness. 

So, while Christmas is the celebration of a Savior born, to me it is a special time to reflect on my life, my family and friends and extend to them my love and wishes for all that is good in life.  A time to hope for good will among men, peace for all and a hope that we can all respect each others beliefs, strengths and weaknesses. 

To my friends and family I say “Thank You” for the part you have played in my life, for the love you have shared with me and for the continuing support you continue to give me.  So, with humbleness and gratitude, I send wishes for a Very Merry Christmas and a Wonderful, Happy New Year.  May you be blessed with good health, the love of friends and family and a deep appreciation for what you have in your life.  There is nothing original in these thoughts, but they come from my heart and are the best way of letting you know that I love you all.

1 comment:

  1. Mom: I, too, still have the bell that I used to wake you & Dad up extra early on Christmas morning! Good times... aaahhh...

    Oh, the ornament I gave you that broke wasn't from USF (silly). I went to UF!