Saturday, December 17, 2011

Tis the Season

Christmas time is one of my favorite times of year, its full of tradition, miracles, and the promise of a new beginning.  It's also the time of stress, shopping, and reflection at the year behind us.  I'm feeling warm and fuzzy tonight, bundled up in my hot pink robe with a large mug of hot chocolate and nothing but the Christmas lights shining throughout the house. I love this kind of peacefulness.

One of my favorite things about Christmas when I was growing up was listening to Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers Christmas cassette.  Yes, I said cassette, but I think at that time we still had some 8-tracks in the house too.  Even today when I put up the tree and decorations, Dolly and Kenny are with us, only this time it's an MP3 file on the laptop. 

Some of the old traditions I grew up with have not happened in years.  Christmas caroling was a favorite, attending the annual church Christmas party where the story of the nativity was read, visiting my paternal grandparents and singing all the Christmas songs in the old hymnal as my Grandmother lead the sing-along. But all of these time-honored events have been lost to me.  You can't carol door-to-door any longer because you want to be politically correct and not offend anyone. I haven't attended a church party (let along a regular Sunday service) in over 7 years and my grandmother stopped leading song service when my Grandfather passed away 16 years ago. Now she sings along to the Gaither specials on cable and we reminiscence about making Christmas candy together.  

To say I am feeling nostalgic is an understatement.  It lets me escape my worries of today and recall a simpler time, a time when loved ones were still among us, and nothing seemed to terrible that a hug or kiss couldn't fix.  I could be feeling this because Kenny and Dolly are singing about 'Christmas without You'.    Damn song always did get me teary, guess it's time to change the track.

So today times are different, life is different and it's to be expected.  After all, I'll be 34 years old in about 6 weeks. Now instead of waiting for Santa to surprise me, I AM Santa.  Luckily I was able to convince my son years ago that Santa really loved Coca-Cola, I mean he's on the bottles so it MUST be his favorite.  I slip a splash of rum in after he's gone to bed. lol  My son knows the truth about my alter Santa ego and he takes no mercy in letting 'Santa' know all the cool, expensive things on his list.  Of course, the one thing on his list this year (10 times in fact) that he REALLY wants... beef jerky.  lmao.  I'm pretty sure I can handle that one, even ten times!

Anyways, presents are bought and will be wrapped in the coming days.  Holiday candy IS going to be made but this time it's me, my son, and two of my nieces and my nephew (we'll send Grandma a box of goodies). And I'm looking forward to the year ahead.  It should be a great one.  I'm a fan of even numbers, so the fact that it's 2012 AND I'm going to be 34 ... well how much better can it get?!?!

For the moment, I'm struggling with how much will be 'new' in the New Year.  Though this year has been amazing, I realize there are some adjustments to be made in order to continue on this upswing. I have internal and external changes to make.  New understanding to grasp, new opportunities to pursue, and new challenges to overcome.  It's exciting, it's scary, it's a whole lot to take in.  But at the end of next year, I hope I will be sitting in this peaceful quiet again, grateful for the blessings another year gave and hopeful for what lay ahead. And as always, Kenny and Dolly will be there.  

Happy Holidays to all of you.  If I don't blog again until the New Year, I hope you find time to enjoy your family, smile at your blessings, and share you gifts with the world.   Tis the season of giving, what a better gift than love - love for yourself, love for others, and love for life.

Blessings, Love, and Light,

Amy O

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