Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Christmas Memories, part 1

 Do you remember Shiny Brite?  These were popular when I was growing up in the 70s.  You can still get them online.  I have some myself on my tree.  How about the white flocked Christmas tree?  These are a bit more difficult to find. My grandparents had one so I decided years ago to get one myself.  The picture on my blog of me and my cat includes this tree.  But my grandparents' tree looked so much better, like the one in this picture.  My tree was a mess.  Every time I touched it a flake would fall off.  Then Chocolate my cat would eat it, then throw it up later.  So much fun.  Then I got a white tree from Kmart.  Bad idea.  The tree lived up to the store's nickname I give it (Came Apart), and the lights went out.  Now I have a green tree with lights that are guaranteed to last!  At first I was a little disappointed as it wasn't white like my grandparents, but after putting my too many ornaments on it, it reminds me of my parents' tree, which also brings back memories.

I have a confession to make.  I  never took down my tree from last year.  I just couldn't bear it as the winter was too long (snowstorm in April?  please!).  So I left it up sans ornaments.  I find the lights comforting.  I just like to sit there and look at them.  I love to nap on my couch with the lights softly glowing, as they did as a child at my grandparents. 

My grandparents made the Christmases bright for us kids.  I still smell the krumkake and rosettes my Norwegian grandma made every year.  I laugh at the cheap tape and tags they used on the gifts.  The tags fell off, but my grandma always knew who had what.  Maybe the cheap tape was intentional so they could save the paper! 

When my grandparents moved from their little yellow rambler into a nursing home, I grieved the loss of no more Christmases at my grandparents.  Every Christmas I would grieve, wishing they were still here and still in their home.

But now it seems that slowly but surely, I am appreciating more the Christmases at my parents, as they are now the grandparents to my niece.  No more are the traditional Christmas cookies, but a new tradition resurrected with my niece getting older: making ornaments.

That's what Christmas is about I guess.  Creating new memories to help you move on from the pain of loss.  And being thankful for the memories in the first place.  

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