No Parades of Any Kind

Posted: 7 December 2009 in observations
Tags: , , ,

We had a fantastic snowfall last weekend.  It’s the first time I ever remember decorating the tree while heavy snow fell and Christmas carols played in the background.  I can’t believe it has never happened, but with a childhood spent in the west, it’s not entirely unlikely.  Still, it was a particularly storybook memory to tuck away.

While I’m not religious, I celebrate a holiday that brings family together (however you identify family) and focuses on giving.  We decorate a tree, we give thanks, we sing carols, I’m sure my wife has a word or two with god.  As for me, I welcome the coming longer days and the change of the seasons.  Spring is coming and along with it rebirth.  First though, rivers of eggnog, fantastic mistletoe kisses and heaps of chocolate.  Let’s not skip past those.

D says my family is fanatical about memory making.  Okay, I added the fanatical part.  And they are.  I grew up with my mother insisting that we were a “white picket fence” family and she constructed memories to go with it.  At the holidays, that meant gingerbread houses and men, sledding and hot chocolate, ice-skating on frozen ponds with colorful scarves and mittens.  She kept our childhood ornaments and carefully marked the dates, though the construction paper and popsicle stick ones have somehow disappeared, leaving only pretty ones behind.

Food features prominently in my family’s memories. Turkeys are golden and huge.  Ham is perfectly glossy.  There are dozens of tins of different cookies and plates of pies.  It’s a little like a Karo syrup Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  This year, I’m quietly appreciating a holiday season (and I’m counting Thanksgiving and birthdays in that) spent without my extended family and all the food and perfection that comes with it.  Not up to speed on my family’s weird birthdays?  Now you are.

This season, I’ll be able to get up as early (or as late) as I want to, wear sweats at the breakfast table, eat toast instead of cinnamon rolls, eat tacos instead of turkey, enjoy a non-gift focused celebration, listen to whatever music I want and not have to watch any parades OF ANY KIND.  There will still be memories (like when my wife doesn’t kill me for putting on the seventeenth unique version of Let it Snow.  You think I kid.) and the look on her face when she finds the tiny gifts I’ve tucked in her stocking.  It will be good.  I’m looking forward to my own sort of memory making.

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