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ostarella
12-24-2007, 08:26 PM
It's Christmas Eve now, and the tree is up in the living room, just as it has been every year for the last 55 years. My brother and I have never spent Christmas anywhere else but in this house. No matter where we were, what we were doing, every Christmas we are drawn back to the big old house on Franklin Street.

The tree sits on a low coffee table in front of the big picture window, and the star on top sits only inches from the ceiling. It is a somewhat garish star. For years, we had a cream colored star, surrounded by a blue circle. When that failed to light one year, my father went to the store and got the only one left. Garish it might be, but it has lit the top of the tree every year since.

There is a blue striped candy cane on the tree. My brother ceremoniously places it there every year. When my brother was ten, my older sister decorated the tree. She wanted it to be 'special', and wouldn't let my brother put the candy cane on the tree. He felt bad, and she felt terrible, and every year since she has called and asked, "Did Jimmy put the cane on the tree yet?"

My son's first Christmas. We bought him a jack in the box. Scared him half to death, poor kid. But he enjoyed playing with the box more than anything. Actually, trying to eat the box was his favorite. And every year, he has gotten a snow globe from Santa, and they sit now on top of the piano. This year another will be added.

There was the Christmas he was six. We were at the grocery store, and he wanted a sucker. It was maybe two inches wide, deep red with a white Santa on it. A whole fifty cents. And I couldn't get it for him, because if I did I wouldn't have enough for the milk.

There was the first Christmas without my dad. Going through the motions. Every ritual adhered to with great rigidity. It would be a "normal" Christmas, by God...

The first Christmas without my mom. All rituals out the window. Everything changed. New traditions, new rituals. A new beginning. No hanging onto the past. None.

Tonight, my family - my brother, my son - sit in the living room, watching a movie, and the dogs wander from one person to another, getting absent petting before moving on, and I sit watching them. And I know that this is what Christmas is really all about, having family near, exchanging smiles for no reason. All the pasts no longer matter.

The tree sits in front of the window in the big old house on Franklin Street, and the garish star twinkles high on top.

And I am content.

Merry Christmas.

sara
12-27-2007, 06:42 AM
I'm so happy to have read these words from you ostarella...

I think the real meaning of Christmas is that you mentioned and it falls upon everybody of us, whether we want it or not, only if we're so lucky to have people who love us.
And, since we are, all sorrow can't make that feeling less precious.

Best wishes again dear friend

ostarella
12-27-2007, 08:03 AM
Ah, yes - the power of the vine again :oops: It does seem to make me "say" the things I would normally only think. Days later, I'm never sure if that's good or bad. However, I really would be just as happy with a tree and a bunch of empty (but wrapped) boxes - just to set the mood - as long as I have my family around. Told my brother that - wish I'd had my camera for that jaw-dropping moment :lol:

sara
12-27-2007, 08:48 AM
Expressing feelings (positive ones and negative ones aswell) is always good, I think...
This is a strange period.. after Christmas I always feel a bit melancholic.. maybe it depends on memory or on my present situation.. but having shared deep emotions of familiar harmony is always a good help to face eveyday difficulties again.. :wink:

bibbi
12-27-2007, 09:46 AM
ostarella :D

That was really beautiful what you wrote. I think the best Christmas gift of all I got was being able to spend time with my family and friends. :D

UKJules
12-27-2007, 10:12 AM
Ostarella

Your words are so true........having family around at Christmas is the best gift of all :wink: I hope you had a great Christmas :wink:

Take care

Jules x

deebeelicious
12-27-2007, 11:43 AM
I felt warm, like I was sat beside an open log fire, when I read your touching words, O! You are a great writer - now if only you could be paid for it, you could spend your day getting sloshed, err I mean 'relaxed', and do a spot of creation after dinner? 8) :wink:

Merry Christmas, and so glad your brother and son arrived back safe. Storm only 10 miles away - that sounds v close to me! :shock:

ostarella
12-28-2007, 07:57 AM
Thanks all - glad I didn't embarrass myself too badly :wink: Have my son for three more days (unless I lock him in the closet 8) ). Why do you suppose it is that parents seem to need their kids more than the kids need their parents? Or maybe we're the only ones no longer hiding the need (drives the kids nuts, doesn't it? :lol: )

sara
12-28-2007, 08:48 AM
No no ostarella, believe me: kids need their parents as much as parents need their kids...!!!! Maybe they can demonstrate it less, or be stressed in an hectic life... They can have a family on their own.. but it DOESN'T mean that they don't miss parents.
The difference is maybe that parents see their kids flow away... ans they have the feeling of lack.
Kids on the contrary decide to flow away (that's natural.. it's life!) but the have the constant assurance that their mom is there for them.... and this is extremely important!!! :wink:

Lily
12-28-2007, 11:14 AM
I have nothing to add but send (((hugs))) xx