I realize it’s January now, and you’ve probably taken down your holiday lights. You’ve stowed the stockings, eaten all of the cookies, and put away the gifts. But in my house, the Christmas spirit is still alive and well. Christmas has not left the building. Our tree is still whiling away the hours in our living room, and it isn’t because I’m lazy or haven’t found time to return everything to the attic. I just wanted to wake up to it for one more week, to enjoy the season a bit longer, to absorb the hope and happiness it brings. Christmastime has always been truly magical for me. I believe it isn’t just a time of year; it’s a state of being. Regardless of your spiritual upbringing, it’s a season for togetherness, joy, peace, and goodwill. It’s a time to treasure those you love, in a profoundly meaningful way… especially your children. There’s no other season that incites wonder quite like Christmas, and seeing it through the eyes of my daughter for the first time was nothing short of miraculous. We have begun the holiday memories she will think back on fondly one day. It inspires me to reminisce about my own special Christmas moments, especially those shared with my siblings: penning wish lists for Santa, trudging through snow to choose the “jolliest” tree we could find, hanging stockings on our mantle, putting our boots out in celebration of the German holiday of Saint Nicholas (the boots would get filled with nuts, fruit and other goodies), baking cookies and over-decorating them, festooning our tree in the ornaments we’ve collected each year since we were born, and dancing maniacally to the Nutcracker Suite. I miss the winter wonderland of our East Coast upbringing: ice skating on the pond behind the home in which we were raised, watching snowflakes blanket the ground like frosting (it just begged for snowmen and snow angels to be made), sledding down our driveway in makeshift toboggans, and warming up in front of the fire with mugs of mulled cider. Those were the days! But it isn’t all of the ‘’deck the halls’’ and ‘’fa-la-la’’ that made my spirit bright. Most importantly, the holiday season meant time spent with my family. It meant hunkering down out of the bitter cold and playing board games, while Burl Ives sang “A Holly Jolly Christmas” in the background. It meant attending midnight mass on Christmas Eve, and listening to my dad’s beautiful voice resonate from the choir. It was the joy of finding the perfect gift for my sister or brothers, and the glee of watching them unwrap it. Even in adulthood, I find the Christmas magic hasn’t gone anywhere. It’s still in my heart, though its style has morphed a bit. Now I get to celebrate with my own little family, embracing long-held traditions while creating new ones with my husband and daughter. I thought it might be fun to share some of them with you. I warn you, if you are feeling a bit of “bah humbug,” and want Christmas to just go away already, this may not be the blog for you… I’ll begin with our “infamous Christmas tape.”
This particular blog installment happens to coincide with my once-a-month contribution for People.com. You can read the rest of this week’s post by visiting my blog there… Please also check back here next Friday, for an exclusive Cradle Chronicles post! In the meantime, if you haven’t read last week’s “My Rockin’ Roasted Cherry Tomatoes,” you’ll find it if you scroll down or check out my archives!
Until next time… Peace, Love, & Dirty Diapers,
Jenna von Oy
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