Monday, November 27, 2017

A Christmas Letter

A pencil drawing of a child trudging up a hill with his flying snow carpet.
It's that time of year again ... Christmas. The season for goodwill, peace, and joy ... and for Christians, the celebration of Christ on earth.

For many, it's also a time of sadness. For some, moving forward from loss seems impossible to do. For others, it's a time to remember the Ghosts of Christmas past.

Dear Mom & Dad, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends long gone ...

An old photo from the mid 1950s of a little girl in pink snow leggings on Santa's knee.
I miss you tons; I miss our family celebrations, and Christmas visits to aunts and uncles all over the city. I miss your faces, and your hugs, your smiles, and your laughter. I miss your cooking, and the funny little gifts. Most of all, I miss what Christmas used to be. I miss your presence in my world.

Still ... though I miss all of my lost family, every single face (too many to even list) is still in my memory alive and smiling, I hear their voices echo in my mind, and many, many of the times we shared together still have a room all their own in my heart.

Christmas dinner at Nanny's, carrying the coal over the threshold on New Year's Day; midnight dinner at Aunt Camilla and Uncle John's; the smell of grandma's (Nono) petals cooking; gazing in awe at Uncle Lou's bar (with every colour of  liqueur glowing from the shelves) and the angel-hair covered tree in Auntie Ange's house; Uncle Jim and his Christmas of bologna; Aunt Loreen's basket of knitted slippers; Aunt Muriel's "ready to use" Christmas Tree behind the basement bar and the wind-up skating rink, and Uncle Joe's headed smelts (ugh) ... Aunt Marg's blue and silver tinsel tree, and old stuffed Santa, the silly paper hats from the Christmas Crackers ...

A combined series of old family Christmas photos.
Sometimes the memories are overwhelming (because there are so many), but always filled with love and laughter and warmth of family. It will always be there ... those chapters written in my memory are forever a part of my story - the book of my life.

I miss those early Christmas holidays, but (oh, there is always that but) when I look forward, I see so many other Christmas' filled with my own children, and grandchildren; my in-laws and extended families, cousins and their kids, and grandkids; and I realize that life always finds a way to offer more.

If we let it, life goes on. We make new memories that will be left behind someday, in chapters written in our descendants lives; a continuation of what our families left to us.

Life can be amazing, can't it?

To all my family and friends ... have a blessed Christmas. Be merry, be loving, be kind. Share a special memory with those you love.

Scenes from Christmas holidays - a young girl in snowy yard; a drawing of a snowman and men on a snowmobile.

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