Growing up as a haberdasher's daughter, Christmas was a sparkly wonder to me. The window dressers came into our stores and strung up twinkling lights, silver mercury glass balls and they carried in fresh pine trees, and red lacquered wrapping paper. As a little girl I looked up at all of the busy grown-ups and the packages, felt the brisk air rush in when the front door opened and I loved the excitement.
When I was five I started wrapping gifts with that red lacquered paper and felt very grown-up myself. Now during the holidays I still get excited when I see the decorations go up in the stores (not too early, please), and I start to wrap presents for my friends and family.
Of course not all of my Christmas memories are sparkly and wonderful, how could they be? There was the year that my parents got divorced, the year that my mom passed away 3 weeks before Christmas, and the year that we had to put our dog down & my husband and I, and our children were devastated, plus the many years we spent time with 3 different families on Christmas day before we figured out that we didn't have to.
The holidays provide us with the gift of expectations, wishes, yearnings, memories, and a host of other feelings that sometimes sneak up pretty fast, as fast as the decorations change from Halloween to Christmas at CVS. I was with a friend last night, who was just in Japan with a buddhist monk. I asked him what he learned from the monk. He said, "breathe."
Every morning I have coffee next to our Christmas tree (yes, we have a tree and we're Jewish, remember, I grew up in retail where Christmas was fairytale...I keep the dream alive), and I enjoy the twinkling lights, the ornaments, the smell of pine, and some days, I can recapture moments of my childhood wonder.
I wish you the best holidays you can have, remember to breathe, and hope you take time for yourself to experience some wonder.
21403 Chagrin Boulevard
Beachwood, OH 44122