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December 5, 2015

Christmas Is Coming!

I had a few free days and decided to get a jump on Christmas. I've prepared for Christmas earlier and earlier over the years. I used to get ready about one to two weeks ahead. But, after acquiring a lifetime of ornaments and nativities, it takes longer and longer to decorate. Gone are the days of staying up half the night to put together doll houses or bikes. My poor clergy husband too often came home from a midnight service only to help finish projects or wrap presents. Those were the Christmases of little sleep.

My mother used to tell me how the house was as usual when my grandmother hauled her and her siblings to church every Christmas Eve leaving my grandfather to put up and decorate a tree and distribute presents which, I'm sure, was a wow factor when they got home from services. What magic that must have been.

There was plenty of magic in Christmas as I was growing up. Extended family with aunts and cousins meant a Christmas tree piled with presents for the gang. My dad loved Christmas and our house was full of kitschy ornaments and a ceiling full of glass balls hanging at different levels which could make one seasick after too much Christmas eggnog. It took him a week to hang those bright shiny ornaments from fishing line which virtually disappeared as they swayed as doors opened and shut and people walked through the house. So where is the magic now?

Part of it is getting into beloved ornaments and nativity sets lovingly made by good friends. I have a habit of using original boxes for my Christmas stuff so I have to giggle when getting down a ragtag box which has held the same items for over fifty years. Larry made my stained glass creche which is still housed in his cleverly wrought box. The red plaid paper is tearing, but I wouldn't think of changing boxes. Keith's carved creche (which he yearly added to by sneaking pieces in when it was displayed) is housed in a plain, brown box that says "Keith's creche" in very faded letters. Almost all my items are stored in easily recognized boxes that have been around for years and years. They may be dusty and worn, but I am delighted to once again recognize the old plastic bags from Frederick and Nelsons, boxes from Hong Kong and Singapore, and several from our trips to New Mexico where many of my bought creches were purchased on trips to see Don's brother, Lloyd.

There's magic in the music that fills the air and our senses. Carols just never seem to grow old. They still have all the power to conjure up good feelings. We're all hungry for peace. There is such a magic element to belief. Maybe it's a cliche for some to say that baby Jesus is once again born into a dark world bringing hope to all who believe in redemption. But it is definitely a message that we need more and more these days. And sheer belief is the ultimate magic. It touches us all in those places where hope is still alive and the wonderful moments of yesteryear are once again on our doorstep.

I hope your Christmas preparations bring you joy and reminders of the magic of the season.

Larry's box:

Keith's carved creche

Larry's stained glass creche

Posted by Marilyn at December 5, 2015 12:26 PM


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