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.