December 24, 2010

Melancholy Christmas Meanderings

It's 3 AM on Christmas Eve Morn and I'm wide awake.  This is not a good thing because I have so much to do tomorrow/today and I know it's going to be a long night.  We've been practicing an old German Christmas custom in our home for the past 27 years; one I've enjoyed most of my life.  Father Christmas brings our Christmas tree on Christmas Eve after the children have gone to bed.  My girls have loved waking to the treat of their first glimpse of the tree on Christmas Day.  That was a gift in itself.  It's been fun even though Mr. Scrooge, who lives here too, has never enjoyed sharing in this tradition from my childhood and tried to sap my joy every one of those past Christmas Eves.  Now that the girls are older, it seems that other things are pulling on our time at Christmas and I resent the urge to change our tradition to allow for more modern or should I say less traditional activities.  But this tradition of Christmas is one they don't want to give up even though they will help with the trimming now that they are older.  Since they are helping keep the tradition alive now, it's even more fun because I have someone who shares my enthusiasm for the magical feeling of the Christmas ornaments from their childhood. Strings of wooden beads mixed with twinkling lights, real candles lightly clipped to the tips of the branches to be lit for one anxious moment while Scrooge looks on with trepidation and warnings, ruining any chance for one peaceful, magical moment of contemplation.  We no longer hang the silver strings of icicles on the tree because I got so tired of listening to the complaints even though he never touched one icicle, either to put them on or take them off the tree.  Some people just never have the magic...it's so sad.
Here's my itinerary for the day.  Preparing as much of tomorrow's Christmas feast in advance as I can.  We're going to be spending the day here at home and I'm ever so thankful for that.  We'll be celebrating with family on the 26th.  So, we're having a Middle Eastern style feast including leg of lamb, spinach balls, tabbouleh, haroset, rice pudding, hummus and baba ghanooge, flat bread and spumoni.  I'm really looking forward to it!  If I had more time or had planned ahead, I would have added more to the spread with lamb stew and stuffed grape leaves; a favorite here.  And then there's spinach flats and stuffed tomatoes...my mouth is watering!  But I had to be reasonable with my menu so we'll have those things another time.  Or maybe we'll just add another dish to the menu every day.
Next is last minute wrapping, then Christmas Eve service (the girls and a couple friends are doing a ribbon stick "dance" as part of the service) and Chinese for dinner.  And last, the trimming of the tree.  We're clinging to our past and hoping for more good memories but life seems to have a way of pulling us into another time.  The girls and I will have fun with it.  We'll break out a bottle of sparkling cider and a few Christmas goodies to share while we listen to Christmas songs.  Scrooge will consider it his gift to us to be in the same room watching the proceedings with contempt.  The we'll each open a gift, always a new pair of pajamas, and say "Good Night!"
That's our hope...but I think the tree trimming will be moved to earlier in the day to avoid too many grumpy remarks and because I am now wide awake and don't foresee getting much more sleep in the meantime.  When we brought the tree inside so it could thaw and put it in the stand, I, in my haste, put a deep gash in my hand that will slow me down a little today.  Resisting the urge to get a few stitches, I pulled it together with a butterfly bandage and some of my homemade salve and I think it will be fine if I can keep it dry. 
We'll still have fun and it is, after all, still the birth of our Saviour but I'll miss those bright little faces full of excitement and magic as they peak into the living room after our traditional breakfast casserole and the Christmas story to see the tree for the very first time.  But I pray that I'll always be able to see them in my mind from memories of Christmas Past.  I guess I'm just wishing time would slow down and waxing nostalgic as I sit here in the dark...remembering.

1 thoughts about my meanderings:

Wanderer said...

I should note that Scrooge wasn't so very bad this year. :)

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