Friday, August 29, 2014

It's December So This Must Be A Christmas Post

In a round-a-bout way today's ramble might be about Christmas. 

I love this little drummer boy ornament.  He has a matching little drum.  Both are made of felt and sequins, beads, embroidery thread a little stuffing and a whole lot of love.  My mother made the set for me the year I was married ... so thirty years ago. 

I've learned that while I haven't stopped missing my mother's physical presence in my life, she is here every single day.  Let me count the ways:
At some point during the day I will hear my mother.  She makes a comment, sighs, or says a prayer, "Jesus, Mary and  Joseph!"  It's her.  But with my voice.
While sitting chatting on the phone I'll notice her rubbing her eyebrow.  In contentment, frustration, annoyance, boredom?  Oh yes, it's her. But with my fingers.
When I look at her hands working over cutting the vegetables or stirring something delectable in the pot I see her age spots, freckles, wrinkles and her strength.  She's cooking with love.  But with my hands.
If it's right, it's right.  And if it's wrong, it's wrong.  It's black and white (but there is always a little area of grey, just in case) And when I see her disapproving look reflected in the mirror I am glad it's not directed at me.  But then I realize it is me.
I'll see her sitting quietly.  She's reflecting (and worrying) on the lives of those she loves and I might hear her utter a concern and then offer a simple prayer.  But if I look closely and stop for a moment, I know it's me.

The original Elf On The Shelf, made of felt and ribbon and pipe cleaners and a tiny bit of stuffing. 
I don't hold all of my mother's traditions and customs but I remember  how she could make Christmas magical without money to spend and seemingly little effort.  (I should be so talented or resourceful)
After years of preparing Christmas for my own family I have learned to appreciate even more the special little things she would do for us; from hot chocolate served from a Santa pitcher into our Santa mugs, to the white sheet tacked to the doorway so we could not see our unwrapped Santa gifts as we headed to the dining froom. Our stockings were the beginning of our Christmas morning, filled with all the essentials, they were each carefully layed out at our places on the dining room table.

There was Christmas divinity and snickerdoodles and time for us.  Always time for us.

There are two things I love about December.  Well, okay, there are more than two things, but I'm going to just point out two:  Snow.  If it snows.  And Christmas.  It's guarenteed to arrive.  And cause a little stress.  But just a little.