I have always loved the holidays. Halloween is my favorite and Christmas is my second favorite. It has been a tradition since I was a little girl to have a tree and decorations and lights. We were not spoiled by any means and our Christmas's were pretty lean so Christmas isn't about so much about gifts but the spirit of the season.
When my children were little I made sure to spoil them at Christmas. As a single, working Mom I felt that it was the one time of year that they would have whatever I could afford to do. They were never spoiled either, which makes it nice. When I had really good income I would let them each spend $100 on anything they wanted. It was always interesting to watch them figure out what they were going to buy. Those years I went a little overboard, as I feel that it is always nice to get something which you don't expect to get, even if it is clothes!
In 2008 when the recession hit our family our tradition changed drastically. I am thankful that the children were old enough not to put up a fuss when I stopped getting a tree and decorating, falling into a huge depression and frustrated, having had no contingency plan for complete and utter disaster there was nothing I could do. I raised awesome sons though and they really accepted the idea of a feast in place of presents and a tree and never once have complained. Last year I started feeling a little better and actually decorated my apartment. No tree still. But I was able to purchase some socks and p.j.s for my son with my remaining store credit card.
This year, my son and I are in a great apartment! It feels like home for the first time since I gave my house back to the bank. It could be in the country if it were not in the city. (a little joke) The other day my Dad brought me to my storage and I retrieved my Christmas Decorations!!
Two days ago I was peeking in a container - did I tell you how much I love Christmas decorating? - and the next thing you know I had all four huge containers of Santa's, snowmen, Nativity and two ceramic Christmas trees adorning my dining room table. I have been on my own since I was 17 years old and had my first son when I was 18. I have been a collector of things since my step-father introduced me to Flea Markets. I have some cool things that I have had for a really long time. Everything that I own has some kind of special meaning or memory for me. That is how I store my memories, with objects. Sometimes I remember and sometimes I cannot recall the stories for each item but they are there waiting to be shared!
Looking at the Christmas and birthday greetings (my birthday is 5 days before Christmas) brought back some of those memories! I love looking at the beautiful cards I have received over the years, notes from loved ones long passed! Smiles and tears!
I just finished my double window in my dining room. Since all of the things are in there it was the obvious place to start, and it is the street side of the house. Adorned with lights and snowmen and a wreath, I do not think it is half bad!
Holidays can be both joyous and sad times for people. I am trying to make everyday of my life from here on out happy and joyous for myself and my friends and family and strangers also. We all need to be thankful for what we have and think about those who have so little, so many people do consider others, which warms my heart, but we all must be aware that not everyone is able to make it joyful and bright so do what you can do to put some cheer and love out there for others!