In 1984, my parents separated right after Christmas and I can still feel that gut wrenching feeling from that Christmas. I try not to go there. Each year mom and dad went to great lengths (not financially) to make Christmas time bright again. Mom would find the biggest and fattest Christmas tree and decorate it until nothing green showed through. Dad would get creative and add new lights each year.
One year when I came home from college, he had chopped down a sagebrush, painted it with spray snow and put umpteen lights on it, topped with an angel and chuck full of ornaments. He made an injected turkey and a feast for a king.
Each year, he would rack his brain to come up with special gifts. Most often it was gun related. I was very happy with that choice. This particular Christmas I came back for spring break and the tree was still up, all the other decorations were put away, but the tree was still up and he plugged it in every night. I thought my dad had lost it. I asked him what in the world was going on. He said it was so pretty, he couldn't take it down and enjoyed it every night as it reminded him of Alex and I that Christmas day and the happiness in the house. I talked him into taking it down and moving on with spring. He was sad that day I packed everything away and took the tree out. Maybe he knew. It was the last Christmas we had with him. Four short months later, my dad passed away in 1989.
From then on, even while married, I couldn't get into Christmas. Mom tried. My friends tried. I tried. The spirit was gone.
In 2000, I had Bug. She brought the Christmas spirit back. Each year, the spirit has grown more and more and I found I still BELIEVE. With each year passing, I felt my parents' Christmas spirit and magic that they passed down to us kids finally coming back.
She was supposed to be in Wyoming with her dad this year, but he cancelled those plans, so I knew I had to make it extra special. I got out all the decorations and had her help me with the tree and the house. She plugs the lights in at night, she lights candles, she plays Christmas music. This year was the first year she found out how Santa Claus traditions are carried out. It broke my heart. I knew it was coming, but throughout the years, I was a good story teller. She told me it was OK. She still knew the true meaning of Christmas and talked about Jesus. She said she still BELIEVES in Santa Claus, even if she knows his legend lives on through her parents. After giving me hugs and telling me how special her Christmas has been, I too, still BELIEVE.
I have had a very special Christmas time. I hope you and yours still BELIEVE in the magic of Christmas, even if it was reinvented again like mine. Be a kid again. Have fun. Show your love for others. Don't be a poopy pants sissy la la bedwetter. I was and I was miserable for many years past. I'm glad it is just that...in the past. If you love, you will get love in return.
I like to give. I like to show my love for my family, friends, and even strangers. We took toys to the fire station, gave cookies to the neighbors, dropped change in the Salvation Army buckets, put money in the firefighter boots, and spent time with friends delivering cheer. The family...well, they got what I could deliver with sparkle farkle and in a blingy Santa hat.
I was lucky to watch Martina McBride's Christmas concert with two of my most favorite people this year and she performed an amazing show! Here is my favorite one she sang, but let me tell you, in person, in Emens, it was much more amazing!
May all your Christmases be BRIGHT! Merry Christmas!