Thursday, December 22, 2011

Ghosts of Christmas Past

I was what you would call a fan of the Dicken's classic, A Christmas Carol, but it seems to be striking a chord with me this year. Lessons learned over the years have made us all who we are today and I've become very sentimental over the past year (yup, probably hormones but, hey, let's just go with it...). 

The Ghosts of Christmas Past in my life are many and widely varied so I'm trying to morph them into one with a lesson that fits. Staying true to Dicken's approach, there was only one ghost from the past, though if memory serves, and by memory I mean seeing 15 minutes of "A Muppet Christmas Carol" while channel surfing last week, who reminded Scrooge of past happinesses and shortcomings.  I've plenty of both but the ones that stand out are all tied to family and friends. 

Some of the earliest and best memories are of my Dad ho ho ho-ing outside our bedroom windows on Christmas Eve then waking us up at 4:00 am too excited to wait 'til we woke up on our own. He HAD to show us the incredible air hockey table Santa brought us. His love of Christmas almost exceeded ours as kids. I love that Dad was as much a child at Christmas as my sister and I were. I cannot wait to see him spend this Christmas with his grandkids. That will be my gift from him, whether he knows it or not. The twins are now 16 months old and full of curiosity. Combine them with a 77 year old who is still just as full of wonder, especially when it comes to seeing the kids learn and grow...and heck, you might as well put a ribbon on that!

Fast Forward to 1980-something when sneaking home from College with great friends to set up a tree at my parents house to surprise them resulted in a not so pleasant call from my Mother reprimanding me for letting the cat make a giant mess. {Apparently Boo climbed it and toppled the tree then proceeded to pull out then drag all the baby's breath, flowers and ribbon through out the house. Whoda thunk?!?!} Would I do it again? Absolutely, yes. The thought was there and the cat probably had a fantastic time playing with the decorations even if my Mother wasn't too impressed. 

Fast Forward again to 2010 when we spent the first week of December home with our twins, freshly released from NICU and feeling like a family only to end up in the hospital on and off throughout the holiday for our daughter's health issues, which were unknown to us at the time. Spending the week before Christmas in a hospital is no way to spend one's first Christmas, yet it was followed up with visits from wonderful friends Dana and Victor and Matt and Don who embraced these two tiny babies in such a way that reminded us we were truly blessed despite the challenges that may lie ahead. Seeing your kids be unconditionally loved by those who you love is an amazing thing...there really aren't words to describe it. It's heartwarming, and even that is too lukewarm to convey the feeling.

I guess if taken as a sum whole, the lesson I take away from the Ghost of Christmas Past is: don't blink. The special moments are everywhere, sparkling like those random iridescent crystals that catch your eye when you're burdened with the task of shoveling 2 foot of snow from your steep and seemingly endless driveway in sub-zero temperatures. Look for the sparkle, not the slush. Enjoy the moments and make the effort to keep the love of life alive and in the hearts of everyone (even if there is an adorable yet diabolical cat, wild with free will and a serious stash of catnip at it's disposal, in the mix).

As for the rest of the classic - Christmas Present and Future remain to be seen this year. I have high hopes for the very best Christmas ever, but if the turkey explodes or the gifts don't fit, I'll remember to look for the sparkle in the snow and make light of the mishaps. They will happen, the key is to keep it all in perspective.

May the Ghosts of Christmas Past bless you with wonderful memories and Present and Future shine brightly enough to cast no shadows on your festivities.

No comments:

Post a Comment