Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Memories of Christmas Past

One thing I have always tried to do in regards to my writings within my blog have been to keep it neutral and somewhat upbeat.  I am one of those people who attempt to eternally be optimistic and look on the bright side of life... Find the lesson in all occurrances, smile even when I'm beaten down.  Yea.. you know the kind of person that some people just want to kick in the butt at times... I understand, I do, yet it has been the way I have learned to survive and will defend it till the end.  When it comes down to dealing with some of the wonderful trials and tribulations we all seem to have the wonderful pleasure of experiencing, it is this positive attitude that  helps me to pull from if any positive energy there is to find; As sometimes it is all the goodness that may come from it.

You are probably saying what the heck does that have to do with Christmas past.  Well yesterday I wrote my Tag blog.  Answering all the Christmas questions about preperation and such.  Memories, traditions and so on.... Many of the questions were not the easiest for me to answer.  As the cupboard I had to extract answers from was limited to say the least.  Yet I put on the good front as I always do to make it sound festive and pleasant... Like I said earlier... I am the tough girl... Yet after I wrote, it kept nagging me that in a way I was not portraying an honest picture.  In saying that, this is my attempt to reveal a bit of myself.  No specific reason except that there are some of you in blog land that I have grown quite fond of.  Your friendship and daily words have been a true gift to me.  As with any good friend I would have, I would want to be upfront and open as that is what I am.  So I figure it was time to let a bit of myself be shown. 

I think I have a love hate relationship with the holiday season.  What I mean by that is that my early memories as a child are vague and not what one would call pleasant.  I do not have an abundance of Christmas family memories to fall back on.  There were many years when my father was still at home when we did not even recognize the holiday.  No tree, no presants, no explanation.  It was odd being young and seeing all the other children with their family traditions and their gifts.  Their homes filled with lights and tinsel and the wonderful smells of Christmas goodies and mine dark and quiet.  For so many years this puzzled me as I would explain it as a child would explain it, having only themselves for any clues. It was somehow my fault.  Yet in later years I would understand a bit more, learning that my father was raised Jehovah Witness (although he was not a practicing one) and they do not recognize the holiday.

When my father left the home (via a divorce), my mother being the full blooded German woman she is, began what I would know as the start of my Christmas traditions.  A little bit of history to help you understand this a bit better.  My mother met my father in Germany while he was in the Korean War.  She married him and later came to America.  She has a past of a strong independant East German woman, yet when she met my father and came to America she left all that behind her.  My father being the alcoholic he was did not make life easy or pleasant, yet all of that is truly another story. 

His departure from our family did not take place until I was well into my teen years.  Thus most of those young years for me;  when most kids are in awe of Santa and are anticipating  the gifts to be left under their tree. such things were not part of my life.  Even back then I loved to cook and all I wanted was an Easy Bake Oven... The dearness is that when my father was gone and my mother began our Christmas ways, one of the first gifts I received from her was an Easy Bake Oven, although I was 14 years old and already cooking in the kitchen it was special to me. 

It was not until I began a family of my own that I truly began my holiday traditions. I was hell bent on having the perfect life.  Perfect holidays, perfect family, perfect everything...Mainly because I just did not want to let any bad in.  Still the little girl mentality.   I attempted to give my children some of what I did not have.  The one bad thing about that: I did not really have an example to draw on except for the perfect examples that I had read about.  I wanted a "Bobsey Twins Christmas".. (If you remember this series of books, then you are definately telling your age).  Needless to say I had to learn the lesson that this perfect ideal did not exist.  There is always a little bit of life out of place and many times even more. 

 Through time and much trial and error I have gotten to where I am today.  I still dread this time of year (beginning at my birthday November 19th through the end of the year) as it holds so many bad memories; but it is far from the dread I felt in years past.  It seems that each year that passes brings something new to me that adds to the goodness of this season.  Eventually I know that the scale will lean towards the good memories more than the bad, in truth it is already there. 

I have lost the desire to raise a huge tree with massive decorations.  Much of this is due to the fact that little children do not run around my house on a continuous basis.  I have devided up the old ornaments and have them ready to give to each of my children for their remberance.  I am happy with our little pre lit tree Vincent and I purchased a couple years ago.  I just have to take it out of the box each year and stand it up. So easy yet still it gives a little of the Christmas glow.  There are not massive presents under the tree each year as I have learned that there is more to this season than presants.  I will admit that I love to give and do not really worry if I get anything in return.  Sometimes I thank my lack of presents as a child for that.  I had so much time when I did not get any gifts that I truly do not expect them as much and am wonderfully surprised when I do get them.  Yet on a strange other note, I give because I remember what it was like not to receive... go figure...

This will be the first year for me that all my kids are not around me at Christmas time and the grandkids as well.  It is an adjustment to say the least yet I am trying to fall into my ever changing role as best I can.  The quietness this year has given me time to reflect.  Something that although we do not like to do it can be very rewarding.   In my life I have not focused on "me" much.  I am learning that this is the dawning of me.  It is a time to search out myself and tend to the things that make me who and what I am.  A new thing but a good thing.  As I settle back and watch as Yule time unfolds I can not help but smile.  No it is not a "Bobsey Twins Christmas" but it is becoming my blessed Yule. 

15 comments:

Rue said...

As we grow and change, our traditions do too. It's nice that your mother afforded you a taste of the holidays that you didn't have previously.

And I'm sure you gave your children lovely Christmases in the years they were at home.

I know that you and Vincent will fall into your own holiday traditions and make new memories together.

Blessings to you!

Olde Baggs n Stuft Shirts by LindaOma said...

Oh my dear. I have tears of understanding in my eyes as I type this response to a lovely, open, honest, heartfelt, cleansing post. I so get what you are saying. I so wish I could hug you right now and let you know there is one who has a feeling of oneness with what you just wrote. Briefly, if that is possible for me, I too didn't have the Bobbsey
Twins christmases, I had to make better ones for myself when I married. I too was separated from my grands and know the quiet is calming but also empty.
I wish you peace, joy and hope in your self knowledge time. Wow, you are so special and I now hold you so dear to me because you have shared your heart with all of us.
And here I was going to be my usual rat faced self and tell you I had answered my Christmas torture quiz. Pardon my flippant, rasty old self.
Mushy holiday kisses, Linda

Debra She Who Seeks said...

I think a lot of people have conflicted memories and feelings about Christmas. There is so much pressure to have "the perfect holiday" when in fact such a thing does not exist. Your post is refreshing in its honesty! And yes, I remember the Bobbsey Twins too!

mxtodis123 said...

Thank you for sharing this. I, too, was raised in a home with an alcoholic father so I know how difficult it can be. We always had Christmas, but that is all we had. There was always plenty of gifts under the tree, but none of the love which is supposed to be a part of the holiday.
Mary

Celia (Head Witch of the Hollow) said...

Janie...my lovely Janie!
How alike we are...knew that from the moment I first met you through your blog.
Great having an alcoholic papa isn't it...at least mine though wasn't a witness...I've that to be thankful for...but then he wasn't my "real" daddy anyway...oh well...

I'm glad you wanted to share this peek about you...although I have to admit...I think I already "felt" this about you anyway...sometimes we say more than we think we are saying, when we write!

At least you've got your blogging folks for the Holidays...we're really hard to get rid of you know...just try...you know we'll hunt you down!

My memories of this time of year are pretty much empty...but my sprogs...well...I spoil them to the best of my abilities...with limited funds...we have a lot of second hand things...better for the blue planet anyway!

My back is feeling a little better now, so should soon be back in The Land Of Blog...watch out everyone...ha ha ha...or should that be ho ho ho?

Lovely to read this my dear sweet friend...thank you for tagging me...just one thing though...who are the Bobsey twins?

Mother's Moon's Message said...

Oh linda.. you had me rolling... Christmas torture quiz... sort of my feelings too... but I decided to not be too blunt... ha... I totally love your honesty... Thank you so much for your openess in response to my post... Your words were so needed.... they gave me the hug you intended... still laughing... :-)

Mother's Moon's Message said...

Celia... so good to hear from you... you have been on my mind often as of late... Yes, you have always been somewhat of a kindred spirit to me... and yes I believe too that you probably saw things from me without words being said... but then you are that way. :-) Oh the Bobsey twins... It was a series of books about the perfect family with 2 sets of twins... an older boy and girl and a younger boy and girl... something most kids read back in the ages when I was a young one... (we wont say when that was).... Sort of like your Narnia.. yet I think you had the better end of the stick.... if I had to choose now I would much rather live in there.... love you sweetie... so good to hear from you

Mother's Moon's Message said...

Mary, thank you so for your kind words... I so look forward to hearing form you... have a blessed day...

OleCrowsNestJournal_Nan said...

Hi Mother Moon..your post was heartfelt and sincere. Good to hear the truth of what the holiday season can bring on people.
I always had a traditional family Christmas that for the most part was enjoyable..from a superficial point of view. Our Christmas focused on family and being together. But I had a problem with family..I was adopted at 3 days back in 1970 when it was still secret. It is hard to go into it here for lack of time but I had a void and emptiness that I carried around for years and still carry a bit of but not like I used to. When we would all get together I would to begin to feel feelings of alienation and awkwardness. Like I was a stranger in a strange land of very nice and welcoming people..but I just felt I didn't belong. I grew up feeling that way here and there and family occasions brought it out more. Luckily I have been exploring these feelings and know that I am a valid family member even if I have been/or still can be uncomfortable.

Your such an elegant writer and I love coming here to visit you. Glad to have you as my friend :)
Have a great day and stay warm!

Dessa said...

What a heartfelt and tender post. My heart goes out to the young child that still lives within you. Blessings to you...

Bella Foxglove said...

Thank you for sharing this glimpse into your life...

I have very mixed feelings about christmas...some of them were great as a child, but most of them were not. The most poignant one being the year my mother tossed our xmas tree out in the yard, fully decorated, and unwrapped all our gifts and threw them on my bed and hers and my dads bed..and said xmas was over for the year. This was when I was about 11 and my dad had been being a real jerk ( as usual ) and my mom just lost it finally. It was only the first week in December at that time..

I grew up for many years in a Witness family as well, by Dad drug us through that for about 5 or 6 years...but my Mom still did xmas for me every year...since we only went because Dad made us...but he gave my mom hell about it every year..and made me feel guilty...

As I got older, I disliked xmas because of money...never seemed to be enough, and no matter what your personal reasons for the season are, and no matter what you teach your kids, they still focus on gifts usually...and wen you struggle to feed them the rest of the year...christmas is its own special version of financial hell...


Even though now my older two understand about how hard times are in the money department, and my youngest is so blissfully unspoiled and happy with anything at all yo want to give her...it is still not a time of year I look forward to, and I always breathe a sigh of relief when it is over.

I love Winter, but I really wish we could just enjoy cold weather without having to worry about xmas and all that..not to mention listening to the Christians insult people who say "Happy Holidays", and gripe about people who type "Xmas" instead of "CHRISTmas" and all that junk...

I feel a blog post coming on...sorry to write you a novel lol...

Lyon said...

Blessed Yule indeed, Dear one.

You are brave to share yourself raw in this way and I honor you for your words. And your memories.

I think it is a testament to your strength of character that you always try to look at the lesson or bright side in situations. Many who have been where you have been would use it as an excuse to do the exact opposite, but not you.

And this is part of the wonderful that is you!

brandi said...

~mother moon....a very humbling post...it is never easy to open ourselves up and expose the not so sweet happy life side...thank you for sharing....thank you for your honesty...as you transition into a new cycle of life, i wish for your a fulfilled heart, a mind knowing this is your time to find you as a woman and no longer a mother, i wish you only sweet memories to come and beautiful moments to remember always~

Tamara said...

Bless your heart....your post brought tears to my eyes. I completely understand why you live your life as an optimist, you've had to otherwise you would have drown.

My husband is German and both his parents full blooded german's so I have some idea of what it was like having a german mother.

My children are grown now too, no grandkids yet, but our holidays and traditions have changed. Startig next year, we will only have homemade handmade gifts.

I'm so glad you decided to reveal some of the real you. I did the same on my blog this morning and I really feel better. I wasn't hiding who I am, I just wasn't talking about it on my blog.

(((Hugs)))

Bridgett said...

Your childhood reminds me very much of my fathers. And, like you, he tried to give me everything he wasn't privy too.

Thank you for sharing these raw memories and emotions with us. I think you'll find Yule is a blessed day no matter what your role.

Big hugs.

)O(
boo