Norman Wesley Brooks, Let Every Day Be Christmas, 1976
No matter what time I go to bed at night, there high probability that I will be the first one awake in the morning. Being the first one awake, alone in the quite, in the presence of the Christmas tree, offers a opportunity for peaceful meditation. The decorations on my Christmas tree, like my life, are a collage from relationships I treasure.
The oldest item on my tree is this fan, made from a piece of lace that belonged to my great grandmother.
There are a few glass bulbs that my mother saved from her family Christmas tree at home before she married my father in 1951. These ornaments were present on the Christmas trees throughout my childhood.
In 1973, while I was still in high school, I began to collect Christmas ornaments. During my teenage years in the 1970's the country was in an economic recession much the same a this year.
When I grew up I was very appreciative to receive a gift from my grandmothers that was either a small token or perhaps a $5 gift to purchase something I wanted on sale after Christmas.
I have vivid memory of taking the PAT bus into downtown Pittsburgh, going to the top floor of Joseph Horne's department store. This was the same Christmas Village where my mother took my brothers and I to "visit Santa" for years. Christmas items were not on sale until after the holiday back then. After looking through many tables of decorations lavish with large selections all half off ornaments I decided to purchase this rather large glass ornament reduced 1/2 off to $5. I wonder what this ornament is worth in today's market?
"Christmas Around the World" is painted with stylized children depicting many nationalities in native garments of Santa with children from around the world. On the back of the ornament I added the year, 1973, in glue writing coated with sprinkles. This is way too crafty for my aesthetics today, however, everyone has to start somewhere.
Almost every year since 1973 I have added to my ornament collection including; handmade, purchased, gifts from my CCD students, ornaments to mark our first year married 1978, Barry's first Christmas 1980, Kara's first Christmas 1984, a cable car from my brother Fred in California and numerous ornaments either made by or purchased for my children. As is true with all of my furniture and home decor, I have a story behind every ornament that I hang on my tree.
After this Christmas, with both tears and joy, I will begin to divide my treasured collection of ornaments. I purchased special storage boxes for Barry & Kara that will protect my ornaments with hope that they will assimilate my past into their future Christmas trees.
New items I am enjoying on my tree this year are two of the "Heavenly Notes" Hair Adornments I made from hand dyed silk, silk screen text and vintage jewelry embellishment.
This year has been very difficult for many people. I don't know anyone who is going to put 2009 on the top ten list as their favorite year. Life stresses ranging from; job loss, reduction of income, serious health issues, death of loved one, divorce, revelation of extramarital affairs, betrayal of a trusted friendship, bankruptcy and foreclosure have darken many days this year. These events happen every year of course, this year it seemed to have happen all too often, too close together. These events may be seen as tragic ending or ways to launch future adventures pregnant with possibilities.
When I was a teen, I enjoyed a novel by Betty Smith, first published in 1963 Joy in the Morning, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joy_in_the_Morning_(1963_novel) “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” - Psalm 30:5
Find some time to sit in front of your Christmas tree at the close of 2009.
- Remember the people who have been woven forever into the fabric the creates your life.
- Have the courage to remove elements that are creating a negative effect.
- Dream what direction you want you life to pursue.
- Share with others from your heart, not just your excess.
- Invite a lonely person to share some time with you.
- Share your talents with others
- Learn that is much better to give than to hoard for yourself.
When we give ourselves, our goods away we make room for new adventures, new possibilities.
"Christmas is forever, not for just one day, for loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away like bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf. The good you do for others is good you do yourself..."