Sunday, December 6, 2015

Desperately Seeking Claus



... or not?


OK, who's the wise guy that pushed the 'fast-forward' button?!  Before anyone suspects I've run off to the North Pole, I thought it prudent to step up to the plate.

(Actually, I've authored several posts -- epistles, if you will -- but promptly deleted them for sounding too inane ... or worse, snarky.)

So, last night I guilt-ed myself into asking DH to retrieve the tree from the garage.   You see, he's asked ever so nicely the last couple years if we might decorate, but I (a) pretended to be mute or (b) blamed the puppies for probable chaos.  

To be honest, I didn't especially want to see the darn thing again.   We called it Cara's tree: When she wasn't 'tending to business' or eating, she loved to abide under its branches.
  

What to do but pour a glass of wine, indulge in a good cry, put on my big-girl panties .... and deal with it.  After all, my dear mother put up her own tree for my son's behalf - only a few days after my father's passing - with a smile on her face.

"Stupid tree!"  
... That's me, trying to wrestle it's bulk into something resembling a stately spruce.  Unfortunately, both its shape and mine have shifted less than gracefully.     

Then (ca 2008)
... and now.
What?!  Don't go looking for a picture of the author!


Does anyone else out there struggle with feelings of melancholy this time of year?   I was never raised to believe in Santa Claus -- unheard of in the 1950's! -- but lately I've found myself searching for his spirit.  Some mornings I'll put down my car window - perchance to smell a memory.

While I'm busy searching, I thought (one or two) of you might enjoy these olden images.


... that would be 1950
Santa's expression never fails to crack me up!
(ca) 1956?  Lovin' my new Davy Crockett get-up!

I've heard it posed, "If you could witness one Christmas moment come to life again, what would that be?"   
For me, it's a toss-up:   

When I unpack the sleigh-bells worn by my grandfather's team of horses, I'll imagine my mother as little girl, bundled against the elements in the back of a sleigh-car, as her father guides his team towards town to observe Christmas eve with family.   There was only one gift to be had ... but she remembers cherishing it.

On the other hand ...
My father and his siblings never saw their Christmas tree until after his father's final church service on Christmas eve.   Returning to the parsonage, Pastor Willer would gather the children, then throw open his study doors to reveal "the most beautiful" tree.  Little else is known, but oh what I'd give to see those children's faces!

How little it took to make them happy!

I'm interesting in knowing, what Christmas moment would you most appreciate witnessing? 

Hugs from Phoenix!
Myra

PS - 
I may be off the grid for a few days, but will visit blogs as I'm able via my phone.   See, I've an important date with my son and his family over Alabama way.  (yay!)  
Of course, that means entrusting the TSA and pilots union to do what it is they do best -- but I'm nervous just the same.  Thanks for your prayers and well-wishes ... not just for DH and me, but all the travelers across this big old world.


Some of my favorite humans ...
a Favorite Memory (ca. '98) 

25 comments:

  1. Precious picture and memories you have posted!

    I fight melancholy this time of year, too. Just try to keep on keepin' on!

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    1. I'm sorry you fight melancholy as well ... but being my first commentator to empathize, makes me feel better. Thank you, m'dear!

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  2. This is such a rich entry, Myra. Good for you for putting the tree up, tears and all. Still struggle with it, but December is not a kind month, claiming my mom, hubby's dad, and then Koda last year, do it is hard to not feel melancholy. I will though have to shake out of it, in a few years it will be mandatory to putup a tree as the grandson will want to know why we don't have one.

    Such a wonderful thing to have with the sleigh bells from your grandfather!

    I know you will have such a delightful visit with son and family. Enjoy every minute!

    Betty

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    1. Thank you, Betty! Ya, I feel that Koda is weighing heavy on your hearts this season. Even when they're hurtful, we're so blessed to have our memories.

      Won't next year, when little Master Aaron Andrew gets to crawling around the tree be great fun?

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  3. You knew I'd like this post. I love all the memories and photos that you've shared. The photo of you by the tree (2008) is fantastic.

    Whether we like it or not, it's an extremely nostalgic time of year. Unfortunately, most of my memories of the season are melancholic and depressing (I'll keep my tears to myself for now....).

    Have a safe and joyous journey to Alabama.

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    1. Jon, I thought of you while crafting this post! You've such a knack for making my heart smile.

      PS - I was off by a year. The summer of 2008 our big black dog had a go at my left leg; in fact, I nearly lost that leg due to infection ... so couldn't have possibly been standing, in a short skirt no less.

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  4. I am so excited that you guys are traveling this Christmas season. Have fun with that adorable family of yours! I promise to pray for your safety and smooth travel from here to there and back again!

    If I could re-live a memory, it would be when I was a young girl and my mom and I would take the "L" to Chicago, especially State Street, and go into the shops. So many decorations to view, snow to deal with and cookies in large departments stores wrapped in beautiful boxes. My favorite were the crescents with powder sugar. Oh, I loved those times with just her and me.

    Thanks for asking! I'm very melancholy at this time of year. Every ornament, song, recipe is filled with memories mostly happy and some tearful because I've grown old and so much has changed!!!!

    You were a gorgeous model at the tree. I don't think I've ever had such a small waist. But my favorite photo is you crying on Santa's lap. Too precious!!!!

    Love you,
    Mary

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    1. Ah, melancholia. What an extraordinary solidarity we share.

      I had to ask (my) Tom about State Street; your memories made him smile and describe the big department stores' picture windows. Sometime I hope to see that in 'real life'!

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  5. Myra, what a wonderful, nostalgic post. I enjoyed it so much, reading about, and seeing you as a child. So adorable. The stories of your ancestors were moving.

    Ah, that sometimes elusive Christmas spirit. I have struggled finding mine this season, even with a new grandbaby to thrill, but when I remember what the season is about, and who it's about, I am grateful beyond words.

    For now, my tree stands waiting to be decorated. I'll get there ... in time.

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  6. Myra, what a wonderful, nostalgic post. I enjoyed it so much, reading about, and seeing you as a child. So adorable. The stories of your ancestors were moving.

    Ah, that sometimes elusive Christmas spirit. I have struggled finding mine this season, even with a new grandbaby to thrill, but when I remember what the season is about, and who it's about, I am grateful beyond words.

    For now, my tree stands waiting to be decorated. I'll get there ... in time.

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    1. You've such a gift for making me feel my words are appreciated, Dayle.
      You're right; when the 'blues' threaten I need to remember what this season is really all about.

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  7. Yes, I am right there with you and melancholy. Christmas brings back so many sad memories for me. My dad committed suicide on January 8 and I remember the last Christmas he stood on my grandma's porch and mom would let him come in to see us because he was drinking. I remember all the 'very poor' years and how it was impossible to compare our family with the others who (in my mind) were having a fabulous Christmas. I remember mostly the many times the Salvation Army truck came up the alley to drop off the used toys for our family. I am shaking it all off (or tucking it away) for the sake of my grands. I am very happy for you to get to go to Alabama. You know I will be saying prayers for your safe trip and your safe return.

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    1. Oh Paula, my heart hurts for the little girl you were.
      No matter the years, those memories will probably still exist - but they sure don't define the wonderfully strong woman you've become; one I'm proud to call my friend!

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    2. You are way too sweet! All of those memories of my past are what shaped me. You are right! And I can handle today!! I am proud to call you my friend too!

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  8. Christmas can be nostalgic, but it's my favorite time of year. I love all the aspects of it from the cookie baking, decorating and the services at church on Christmas Eve. I found the reindeer you mentioned in your comment on my blog years ago in a little gift shop, don't remember the name and then a year later found another smaller one in a clothing store of all places called Christopher Banks. This was several years ago now and I'm sure it was a one time thing. If I ever see them again, I'll be sure to let you know.
    Enjoy your trip!

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    1. Thank you, Ma!
      I'm imagining the aromas in and around your kitchen are the stuff of Hallmark specials! :)

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  9. I cannot remember a more poignant entry. From start to finish, I was captured. From the bells off Grandpa's horses to the 'secret Christmas' tree showing. WOW
    If I oould recall one Christmas, it would probably be the Christmas in 1945 when I got my first bike, a used Indian make. The most beautiful thing in the world. I wasn't brought up to BELIEVE in Santa but he was acknowledged.

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    1. Thank you, Jack. I don't know if you realize it, but gosh, how I look forward to reading your comments and 'winks.'

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  10. Oh yes, and have a great time in BAMA!

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    1. I'll sure do my darndest! :)

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  11. It is definitely the time of year to be nostalgic. I love the photos you shared. ((Hugs))

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  12. I love your share and the stories and photos too. I often think about what my mom would think or say. My favorite CHristmas memory, I have many, would be my fifth year of life and getting a bicycle with training wheels. That Spring my dad worked with me riding that bike until he removed those training wheels and the feeling I still remember when he let go of the bike and let me go at it alone. My dad was the kindest and most patient man I ever knew. Enjoy your wonderful trip with the kids and thank you for sharing with us. Hugs, Anne

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  13. Enjoyed your post very much...I have so many photos of Santas and kids and they are all pretty much crying. :)
    xoxo
    Have a great Christmas....

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  14. You know, yourself and Betsy Adams are super blessed. She often shares these incredible childhood photos too. She grew up in Big Stone Gap,Virginia. Ah...such a delightful place, at least what I saw in the recent movie of the same name. Take care my friend.

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Thanks so much for dropping by! Your words are like hugs from afar.... and who doesn't love a hug!