Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas Melancholy

Remember Christmas when you were a child?

If you were lucky, like I, you had several Christmases of pure joy.  Your life was complete; everyone you knew and loved was part of the season, right there on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

There was no one missing.  You missed no one and nothing.   It was all before you.

Every Christmas decoration was pure fun, pure beauty.  No pangs of melancholy over the sequined ornament your long-passed grandmother made; no yearly swoon of regret over the dropped ceramic Christmas tree you cherished; no mournfulness over a missing loved one.

No dish you would give almost anything to taste one more time and get the exact recipe for.  It was all there, before you, more of it than you could ever eat.

No family picture you wish you'd taken while everyone was there.  They were all there and it seemed they always would be, and it was so loud, you couldn't hear yourself think.

No coveted decoration that has since been lost.  If it was Christmas, the flocked Santa, sleigh, and reindeer were on the hi-fi.  You just assumed your Christmas tree would always look like that, and that certain thing would always be in that certain spot.  These days, there isn't even a hi-fi.  

No song that brings a tear to your eye or a momentary ache to your heart.  All Christmas songs were just songs.  "Blue Christmas" was sung the same way as "Jingle Bells;" "I'll Be Home For Christmas" seemed sort of sappy, but you sang along anyway, hoping something snappy like "Rudolph" was next.  You heard your mother's Christmas albums ad nauseum. 

No sight you would seriously consider giving almost anything to see one more time.  Your eyes were heavy and exhausted by all the brilliant, blissful sights of a Christmassy day.


Ahhh, the Christmas of a child.  So simple.  So simply joyful.  


Don't misunderstand; I love my Christmases these days as a mother, with children of my own.  I longed to sing carols to my own children one day and to see Christmas lights reflected in their eyes.  My dreams have come true, and it is even more than I dreamed it would be.

But. 

As I get older . . .

How my heart also aches for people I miss this season and the joy they brought to my life, for a simple Christmas again when my whole world, my whole past, present, and, seemingly, future, were under the same roof.

And when everything was simple . . . or seemed that way.

Oh, to come into my grandmother's house one more time on Christmas Eve and smell all that wonderful food, hear her Nat King Cole record playing, and see her standing at the stove in her apron and slippers.  The red bow of her apron ties looked just like a Christmas wrapping . . . and, surely, they were . . . for she was one of the most precious gifts of my lifetime.

And I miss her deeply each and every Christmas now . . . and always will.

I guess I've had a visit from The Ghost of Christmas Past as that is where my heart seems to be today . . . with those in my past; how blessed I am to remember them all.



14 comments:

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Such a lovely post filled with wonderful memories we all have. Life has a way of constantly changing and changing again. What a blessing that we have those wonderful memories. God Bless. Hugs, Marty

tdjunkie said...

We are blessed with our memories and the joy of being able to make new ones

Weza said...

How wonderful to have memories like that. Your grandmother lives on in you as you now take up the post and create beautiful memories for your family. xxxx

sissie said...

Thanks for sharing your precious memories with us. Now, it's time to make new ones with your family and know the old memories will never leave you.

Jenny said...

Wonderful post. This time of year is hard for me too, because my Memaw is no longer with us. I miss her so much!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

What a sweet post! And I can certainly identify with what you're saying. Every now and then, something reminds me of the ones I love who have gone on ahead, and I get that feeling in my heart... like it's being squeezed. Yep. I can identify.

XO,

Sheila :-)

M.L. @ The House of Whimsy said...

Your post reminded me of the quote, "The only thing constant, is change". Or something along those lines. I'm with you...I wish we could each be granted one wish at Christmas time...to go back and re-live one perfect day. Happy thought!!! : )
M.L.

The Feathered Nest said...

Oh sweet girl, you made me cry!!!! This feeling you are experiencing rings so true with me, there is nothing so wonderful as the Christmas of a happy, loved child....as we grow up it's simply not the same for so many reasons. hugs and love, Dawn

Tracy said...

I echo your sentiments, Renee... the holidays are such a mixed bag of emotions. I think may of us feel the joy and happiness, but also a touch of sadness for those gone before us, things that have changed... but it's memories that keep us warm when we get too sad. :o) I live far from my family, so creating new traditions with my husband is something I strive for and enjoy. Be keeping well... and enjoy advent. :o) ((HUGS))

Susan from The T-Cozy said...

A lovely post!

MiniMadWoman said...

Renee', what a beautiful post. I can relate to so much of what you're saying . . . I'll be missing my Grandmother's too . . . it seems more profound this year than most . . .

Thanks for sharing with us today!

Hugs,
Teresa

Frippery said...

You brought tears to my eyes. Truly, Christmas is for memories, bittersweet, but still lovely.My babies are in college now and my oldest has his own place this year so he won't be with us early on Christmas morning, for the first time. Of course each year is an opportunity to make new memories and to recall the past. Thanks for this post.

Anna Bartlett said...

I've been busy, so haven't been able to keep up with blog reading like i'd like to - but I read your blog tonight and thought - WOW. You're terrific. And as the mother of 11 and 8 year old boys, my heart ached for your 9 year old's play story. Thank you for sharing it.

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