This time of year I think everyone does a bit of reflecting. Even if you do not celebrate any of the holidays that surround you like oxygen, the end of the year approaches, and like a bookkeeper who goes through all the receipts for the fiscal year—every one tends to sort through the muddle of the past year. Sometimes searching for meaning. Sometimes searching for something lost. Sometimes searching for that damn book you bought at the beginning of summer, that you meant to read at the beach, but then the weather was not that great this year and you were too busy with a newborn and you just never got around to reading it, and then you just thought of it and would like to read it now…
I have lots of reminders that the past is receding further, the present is fleeting and the future is coming soon. I have my son who is going to be 10 (TEN!!) years old soon. I have the holidays of Christmas and Hannukah AND my birthday. The ultimate in Time Flies Technology (TFT)— soon to be 8 month old daughter.
I have never been bothered by my age (so far). I do not worry about aging, although as I have gotten older I do worry about being healthy and happy. So, while my birthday is a marker of time, it does not bother me—in fact, with children around, my birthday is merely an excuse to go to that wonderful Japanese steakhouse and have early x-mas presents. Oh, and cake (Can’t forget the cake!)
I think it’s the traditions of the holidays that causes me to be much more reflective. To remember other times that these traditions were done. Some traditions we have are carried over from our parents. Some are traditions we made as we were a young couple, fresh out of college, on our own 800 miles away from our families. And some are traditions we have made with our children (oh, that still feels so good to say “children”).
Some traditions we have are small. Some are big. Some are purely ours. Some are traditions that we merged with others. And some are ones that everyone does. Some are traditions that no one else does.
I remember people I shared those traditions with. Some are not with us anymore. Each year we make my Grammie’s fudge—since she is gone, it is in remembrance of her. Another newer tradition since she has gone--I donate each year to Heifer International in her honor. I remember our family holiday parties—my uncle made a game of Christmas Bingo (his children drew the pictures on the cards). We mixed that in with what I have come to find out is a Yankee Swap. Now, my brother has transplanted that tradition of the party and the bingo game to Massachusetts…I can imagine that at some point this tradition will become a fixture with our families out here.
I remember my aunt and uncle who were very religious and who always sent me very religious cards and gifts—sometimes to my chagrin. I remember that my aunt was a teacher and that she often crafted her gifts in advance. When she died, she left presents for that year, with instructions of who got what.
Sometimes these memories are so random that I can remember things form recent times and then remember something from so long ago. Remembering going on Holiday Trolley rides in Boston, and the light displays on Boston Common, I can then remember going to Bronson Park when I was a kid.
So, I guess my point of this post was to say, however you celebrate the ending of the old year and the beginning of the new…let the memories and reflections wash over you. It is so hard during the normal hassles of daily life to remember those things that are so important to you.
And, if you find my book, let me know.
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