Tuesday, December 16, 2014

No Apologies For Sentimentality

I love holidays, especially Christmas, mostly because of the memories which warm my heart and, of course, the traditions that I adhere to. Little things such as decorating a gingerbread house, making candy, baking cookies, and stringing popcorn for the tree are all important in their own small ways. I remember that, as a child, our home seemed to be filled with visitors. Nearly every day from Thanksgiving until New Year's Day, someone would stop by. Mom (and Dad, if he was not at work) would put on a pot of coffee and slice some fruitcake or pie. The house was warmed with the hum of conversation and laughter.

Gingerbread house 2014

Life is more hectic now, and it seems that many of us are too busy or too stressed to take the time to just breathe in and savor the season. People rush to and fro, frantically hunting for bargains or for that "must-have" toy or electronic gear. Some try to outshine their neighbors with ornate decorations and lights that flash in time to music. Each year the decorations become more elaborate. Though I prefer simple decorations in my own yard, I do enjoy taking a ride around the neighborhood to gaze at the twinkling lights. I remember one year in particular, when there was a gentle snowfall as we were on our "light tour". It certainly added an element of wonder to the evening.

Some of the ornaments on our tree are over 50 years old.

Of course, I am missing Darcy even more than usual. She loves the Christmas season as much as I do. She has always participated eagerly in the traditions and festivities. Now, she lives in France, and is creating new traditions even as she holds on to the old ones. Mathieu is benefiting from the traditions of both cultures, and is happily embracing these new experiences.

Darcy and Mathieu's French Christmas tree.

I find it sad that there are many people who become melancholy during the holidays. They try to hide away from the festivities and can hardly wait for life to return to "normal". My heart goes out to all those who are troubled at such times, and I hope that they can find some joy. I hope that all of you can open your hearts to compassion and love for one another, and may peace be with you.

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