It is freezing outside today...I can hear the wind howling through the window...I kind of like it...makes me want to tuck myself in and have some hot chocolate...The crows don't mind the frigid wind it seems. They are in the tree again...three of them. Think they are the same three that always show up in the beautiful naked birch tree outside my window. My mind wanders...back...back...back....STOP! REMEMBER!
Well, here we are again, Christmas. How did that happen? Seems we just packed up the decorations from last year and had just moved on but here we are again. I am thinking that each day until Christmas if I can be so disciplined I will post a personal Christmas memory, or a memory someone has related to me. (how interesting!) But hey, in the meantime I may prompt another to have a special...or not so special Christmas memory.
I love this time of the year, nothing to do with Christ or with mass. (although I will admit I love a good ritual, a joy-filled choir singing their hearts out, and, well...a good version of Silent Night always makes me cry) We'll get to the Jesus part later...
For me, it has more to do with the feelings surrounding this time of year. The memories...ah the memories wah....
My earliest memory of Christmas involves my mother convincing me that she and my cousin had just seen Santa and his reindeer flying through the sky and then landing on the house next door as they sat in the window watching the snow fall, playing cards and sucking back a Rothmans. All such a comfort as the wood stove in the kitchen warmed us up and baked our bread. This was her way of getting me to bed I guess...She had me so convinced of it that I actually saw them myself. They were real at that moment and it was magic and wonderful. It helped my mother's case that the announcer on VOCM radio was saying that there had just been a sighting of Santa and his reindeer in the St. John's area. I was a bit freaked out, took this all very seriously,ran up the old stairs and jumped right into bed beside my big brother and tried to force myself to fall asleep before him.
I have no memory of the next morning so unfortunately I have to end that part of the story here but lets assume Santa did arrive and I did have a present the next morning. I even had heard the thump when he landed on our roof & fell through the chimney. I still believe I saw Santa and his reindeer that night...I did, real or imagined...I saw them and I will always have my mother to thank for that magical moment whatever her motives might have been. This one my one and only sighting of Santa. I was probably five years old but it seems like yesterday. I remember it as if it was real. My mother was quite skilled in making imagined things become real.
Years later When I was nine I found two garbage bags in my parents closet, both full of toys and Christmas things which I immediately knew were for me, my brother and my new little sister. I knew they were from Santa. At that moment I knew that Santa must not be real, but I carefully placed the bags back in the exact position I found them just in case Santa had just stored them there because he might run out of space or something. I knew not to mention this and although inside I knew it was all a lie, I carried on the next day pretending to believe.
After all, that was the year I received Hugo Man of A thousand Faces, a Makin Faces clown make up kit and a gigantic colouring book almost as big as me, so even if Santa did not exist...well, I still believed in him. Nobody ever told me Santa was not real. I just knew. It was still like magic, I went to bed crayonless, I woke up to find 64 brand new fresh Crayola crayons to compliment my new colouring book. Eventually my Mother told me that we had to pay Santa for the things he brought, so if we got less, it was not because we were "naughty" or that we were on the "bad" list, it was just that they could only pay Santa a certain amount that year. I believed her...sounded reasonable...but the Santa part...I let that go...I knew what she meant.
We were poor but who knew, I didn't.
As an adult I visited Iceland and enjoyed a fine meal of reindeer...felt weird about that!