“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” -Melody Beattie
When you reach a certain age, it becomes easier to think that Christmas is for the younger family members to celebrate ~ New Years is for us ‘oldsters’ so a good meal, toasts to the new year, great company, laughs over the last year and making new year’ resolutions we know we are going to break is wonderful.
Christmas can be so commercial, and loved by the companies who rely on greed to feed their cash registers.
For me, the spiritual side is far more important. Thus my kids were taught to give not get.
ONE gift should go to someone who might otherwise have no gift under their tree if they are lucky enough to have a tree.
The second rule is not always followed, but close. Home made gifts beat boughten, are treasured as well as last longer.
I still have the first Christmas bulb and birth plate from my son Stephen and the first decoration he made for our family tree. When he gets married, I will give them to him for his tree, so his family tradition is carried on with the love he brought to all of us.
The sad shift in Christmas is as the families grow, so do the splits away from the large family gatherings. Time, weather, where everyone lives ~ distance, work schedules, all play a role increasing the number of celebrations.
This year, our celebrations were blessed with the visit of Cousin Bobby from Manchester England. He is here until the 6th of January. It has been a number of years since we have seen Bobby. With the passing of his parents, it is now his turn to fill the breach with his family this side of the big pond.
I am sure we will be seeing or at least reading a lot more about Bob as he retires in two years, and already is setting the stage as a unique photographer. His interests run to the history of trains. Both England and Canada have a wonderful history involving these giant steel beasts.
Of course, we could not resist the idea of helping him get positioned on the net for his interests.
One of the things that still amazes me is the differences in cultures whether the USA, England or Canada. For all the naysayers that we do not have an independent culture here in Canada, the differences are sufficient to remind each of us that respect is the common denominator that keeps us all on the same life page.
Thus we come to our final family chapter of seeing 2012 out. With the help of a nice Italian Red wine and a French Bordeaux champagne, we toasted each other, ate fine foods complimented by laughter and stories, we ‘oldsters’ did the evening up just fine.
Ah such an easy good bye to 2012 and a fine welcome to 2013 ~ time to make more memories.
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