Christmas and I have a complex relationship. There are some aspects that I love about this season: meals with my family, hanging out with friends, putting up decorations, and our Christmas Eve tradition in which our kids (well 2 are now technically adults and one teen) drag their mattresses from various locations in the house and have a ‘sleepover’ by the tree in the family room. Then there are those elements that I haven’t learned to appreciate yet: shopping, figuring out presents, getting too ‘busy’…
I am more of an introvert than extrovert and can find that the ‘Christmas season’ as celebrated in our culture is an absolutely fabulous, frolicking, fun loving time for extroverts. There are parties and people and friends to see, families to visit, lights to see, Santa photos, decorations, music, more people at the mall, more music….. In writing this I can even feel my heart rate begin to increase 🙂 And it’s not that I don’t enjoy music and parties and all that – it just can tend to stress me out at times. So, I need to remember to do those things and practices that help keep me grounded and centered and peaceful. One of the practices that keeps me grounded is writing. It’s not for everybody, but it works for me. I’m hoping to post various thoughts and musings here as I journey through this 2012 Christmas season.
One of my favorite decorations is the manger scene that my mom bought at Woolworth’s in Canada when she was about 12 years old. My mom celebrated her 77th birthday yesterday so that makes the manger scene on my piano 65 years old! Its had its share of wear and tear. One of the wise men is missing a portion of his hand and arm. Mary has been glued together in various parts, as well as Joseph. One year when I was about 13 or so, Joseph lost his head and it went missing for a few days – still not quite sure what happened, but we recovered his head and it sits glued upon his shoulders. Phew. Both Joseph and the lone shepherd lost their staffs years ago. The stable is still in one piece (even thought it’s constructed from simple cardboard), as well as the cow and donkey. I’ve added some of the animals we picked up from our traveling adventures in Africa and India to room along with them in the stable. The angels are still in one piece and I love that this decoration has been in my family for this amount of time. As a child this was one of my favorite Christmas decorations to help set up for my mom. Sometimes we put twinkly colored lights behind and around it, sometimes we used that fake snow felt stuff to sit underneath it. I didn’t grow up attending church on a regular basis but this manger scene was always part of our holiday decor. When I was younger I used to have imaginary conversations with the various pieces. I often wondered where the wise men had been? Where had they traveled from? What lands had they seen and what stories would they share? I didn’t chat with baby Jesus that much – wasn’t quite sure what to ask him 🙂 I talked with the angels and asked them how things were in the heavenly realms and conversed with the cow and donkey asking them what life was like for them when this event took place. It’s fun for me to remember as I set this decoration out for the Christmas season.
What about you, reader? What is your relationship like with this holiday? What aspects do you like and not like? Do any of your decorations speak to you?