There's the one that comes from your third cousin twice removed that tells everything that happened from New Year's Day 12:01 AM to December 31st the stroke of midnight! She documents hair appointments, when the dog ate the contents of the bathroom garbage (don't even ask) and tells about every illness they had the entire year.
Then there's the braggy one...I really hate that one. They tell you where they went, and it's always fabulous vacations to far away islands or magical destinations. Never to like Branson and you got to see the Andy Williams Show. All of their kids are overachievers and made the honor roll the whole year. They are all involved in awareness programs and give up meat during the whole month of November so that a turkey can be saved.
Lastly is my category. I write a feel good letter. No bad news allowed, almost fantasy except it really happened. I try to write down a childhood memory every year. The ones on my list know by now that I'm not going to tell them where we've been, or what we bought or how smart my GRANDsons are. Well....I may mention once or twice how good lookin' they are but no big bragging allowed. I don't talk about politics or the economy or anything that's depressing. If you know me then you already know what's been going on in my life so I don't re-hash that. I limit it to one page so it doesn't take longer than 3 minutes to read, 2 if you are fast reader! So here's this year's letter.
I was almost 11 when I found out about Santa Claus~ I remember Mom’s expression as she told me it was she and Daddy who put all the presents under the tree. She hated to tell me as much as I hated to hear it, but I was too OLD to still believe in Santa and his elves. It’s not like I hadn’t heard rumors that the Jolly Old Elf wasn’t real, my older brother would tease me when I’d fill Santa’s plate with cookies on Christmas Eve. “He’s not real, Mom and Dad eat the cookies.” I would get furious with him and tell him, “Santa can hear and you won’t get anything from him!” I already suspected he was on the Naughty List because all his presents were wrapped under the tree, key for NO SANTA PRESENTS!
That night as I stared out my bedroom window, looking up and past the Moon where I used to search for Santa’s sleigh, I felt a twinge of sadness. All gone, swept away was that wonder that all children feel on Christmas Eve. The magical world that was made of gingerbread houses with gumdrop trim was just a fairytale.
Time has passed and I am a grownup now. But the magic that is Christmas is still within my heart. It starts to swell at Thanksgiving when we set around the table, laughing and talking about holidays long ago when we were kids. Our Grandkids now listen and find it hard to imagine we were ever their age. But we were, and deep inside I still feel the magic of Christmas when the snowflakes fall, soft and light. The smell of smoke from a chimney takes me back to Christmas gatherings at Aunts, Uncles and Grandparents houses. A bite of sugar cookie or a sip of eggnog is all it takes to make me 10 years old again!
So this Christmas, let’s pretend we are kids again. If we are lucky enough to get some of the white stuff, be sure and plop down in the snow and make a SNOW ANGEL. Don’t forget to scoop up a bowl full to make some SNOW ICE CREAM! It’s not Christmas unless you make some cookies or candies. If you aren’t into cooking, Wal-Mart does it for us. I sampled some divinity yesterday that was every bit as good as Mom’s! Use those dishes that have been passed down to you. Sit in the dark with just the Christmas tree and a fire in the fireplace. Bring the outdoors in with pine or cedar boughs. Add mistletoe, holly, whole nuts in the shell, poinsettias, and bowls of apples and oranges. Tape your Christmas cards around a doorway like Mom used to do!
It’s the season of family and home, coming back home in your heart. Every year is another chance to make memories for your children and your Grandchildren and your Great Grandchildren. Our greatest blessings are our good health, the closeness of family and the wealth of good friends. Sending warm wishes for a Happy Christmas!