Silver and Gold

I may be sixty-years old, but I love Christmas just as much as I did when I was a child.  Even though it’s a such a busy time of the year and I sometimes feel tired and stressed,  I still enjoy the shopping, the wrapping, the baking and the decorating.  I look forward to singing “Silent Night” by candlelight at the Christmas Eve service and to opening gifts with my family on Christmas morning.  Despite all the extra demands it brings on my time and energy, Christmas has always been my favorite holiday, and I think it always will be.

IMG_4289Part of the attraction is probably nostalgia.  I am fortunate to have many happy memories of Christmas celebrations when I was a child, which probably explains why I decorate my house and my tree with the glass ornaments, ceramic Santas and other knick-knacks that were so popular when I was growing up.  I think on some level, I’m actually trying to recreate the best of Christmas past.

But life is about nothing if not change, and even at Christmastime, change can be a good thing.  This will be the first year we get to celebrate Christmas with our grandson, and I’m looking forward to it very much.  He’s not quite a year old yet, so he’ll probably be more interested in the empty boxes than in the actual presents he receives, but there’s still something so special about having a little one in the house at Christmas time.

It reminds me of how much my husband and I looked forward to our first Christmas with our first child, and how that year marked the time when our focus shifted from what we wanted for Christmas to how we could provide meaningful celebrations for our own children.  It was so fun to buy gifts for them, and to let them help with the cookies and the decorating.  They even participated in our Christmas giving by choosing some of their own toys to donate to children who weren’t as fortunate.

fullsizeoutput_4d70Later, when they grew up, married and moved into their own houses, we found new traditions to enjoy with our family.  We toured Christmas light displays together and even quaffed a few drinks at a “pop-up Christmas bar.” Now that our family includes a baby,  we skipped the Christmas bar but did take him to a light display at the local zoo and he did just fine.  My son-in-law said that was because the little guy was so bundled up that he couldn’t move and was probably blinking an SOS with his eyelids.   But for whatever reason, he behaved beautifully.

This year, just like every other year, Christmas will be a blend of old and new.  We’ll honor the most treasured of our old traditions, and remember the loved ones who are no longer with us.  And we will also find new ways to celebrate the season, hoping that we’re starting new traditions that will be meaningful for many more years to come.  This Christmas, like every Christmas, will be unique.  And that’s as it should be.

85 thoughts on “Silver and Gold

  1. It seems that we are constantly moving around Christmas as if in an axis, seeing it from different sides as we grow older, losing loved ones and welcoming new. It’s almost as if we measure time with this holiday, more than most. Wonderful post, Ann. Merry Christmas.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I absolutely agree, George! We do measure time, as well as our personal losses and gains, through Christmas. That’s why there is always a little bit of sadness in our celebrations, because we feel the pain of those we have lost even in the midst of our celebrations. (And why Christmas can be so hard on those whose grief is fresh.) But it also emphasizes what we have gained, and makes us grateful for the new members of our family and for new and valued friends. Merry Christmas, George!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, I agree that every Christmas is unique. We lose some and gain some but the memories and love go on. As you wrote, it will be a blend of old and new. Grandbaby’s first Christmas will be special. For me I am downsizing the holidays more and more but that too is as it should be. All the best to you for Christmas!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Dear Ann, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post of your childhood Christmas memories and your present feelings surrounding this very special day of the year. Here also, we enjoy having three of our sons with their wives home for Christmas. And like you we have a little granddaughter with her big smile with us barely 9 months old. Have a very Merry Christmas! Peter

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ohhh, yes. My guy and I loved loved our Christmases when our children were young and at home, because we could celebrate the day the way we liked – just the four of us with the blinds drawn, fireplace crackling, Christmas music playing, dinner cooking slowly in the oven, and a slow slow day of opening gifts and just being together. Now, each of our children have three children, and the pace is faster, louder, different…! But we love our new traditions with them with just as much love and happiness. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Ann.

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  5. How blessed that little one is to be cocooned in love and joy! I am so happy for you, Ann, that you have this blessing of kids and a grandson.
    Four years ago we started the tradition of having our extended family stay over at our place over Christmas. I love having them come. It is very exhausting, we seem to be cooking and cleaning right up to the last minute, but I wouldn’t trade it for a more sedate Christmas just yet because after every get-together, our kids reminisce happily over the tons of memories collected and they have enough stuffed into their jolly hearts for the whole year of laughter and do-you-remembers. I love that they have this sort of glowing Christmases. Makes everything so worth the effort and struggles.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours, Ann. And to everyone else here too!

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  6. Have a wonderful time with your grandson!!! As wonderful and memorable as our holidays with our children were, there is something extra special about those grandchildren. Change is inevitable, and I admire your ability to embrace it.

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    • It took me a while to learn to embrace that change, believe me. But you are so right, there’s something extra special about a holiday with grandchildren. I know you are enjoying your two precious grandkids and hope you all have a Merry Christmas!

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  7. Wonderful sentiment, Ann. My home too is decorated in a miss-mash of the clutter Christmases of my childhood! My mom loves excess where decorating was concerned! Wishing you and your family a very happy Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You describe some meaningful and nostalgic Christmas memories over the years, Ann. Cute picture of your grandson, too, with all the blankets and binky! I hope you and your whole family have a wonderful Christmas! Des

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Merry Christmas again, dear Ann! I knew this was going to a very special one with your grandson around, and I love the idea of him being probably more interested in the empty boxes than the real presents – was it like that, I wonder?
    I love Christmas too, though the time before that is a real horror to me and seems to get worse every year… all that shopping and stressed out people, not really what Christmas is all about, is it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Merry Christmas to you too, Sarah! And yes, he did like his presents but he LOVED the tissue paper and ribbons. He’s still young enough that the commercialism of Christmas hasn’t reached him yet…how I wish that were the case for the rest of us! You’re right, shopping and rushing around isn’t at all what Christmas really is about. I wish more people would realize that. Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

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