Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Perhaps being the youngest, our last daughter, K, pushed our buttons, dipping her toes outside the set boundaries and tested the water the most. As a result, we butted heads a lot, especially the last couple of years. We knew it was only a phase, but still it was difficult to deal with at times. In the heat of the moment, many times being the flawed person that I am, I have said or done things that I regretted. K taught me patience.

About one or two months before she moved out in November, she and I had a huge argument where she gave me opportunities and she even asked if I wanted to kick her out. It was so tempting and easy to rid the stress and chaos of the moment, but I refrained and calmly said instead that I was not kicking her out, that she would always have a loving home here, and she could move out when she was ready to do so. Taking the wind out of that sail was tough, not reacting to her poking and provocation was even tougher. K taught me to look at things from different angles.

She did move out with her boyfriend, they invited us over for dinner once they settled in. We were pleasantly surprised that their small apartment was neat and tidy. They were lovely hosts and we had a wonderful evening together. K showed me that she could handle change when she was ready, and she was capable and confident.

It was hard to let go, especially the baby of the family. K reminded me that true love is to let them go, spread their own wings and make their own lives.

All the children, and their significant others, came home for Christmas. I loved listening to them catching up with one another’s lives. I loved hearing the laughter, where only a few years ago, it was constant bickering. I loved the kibitzing and teasing between them, where it was blaming when they were all living at home. This was the first Christmas where we graduated to become empty-nesters, and the kids grew up to be young adults. They really wanted to be with us and we were enjoying and appreciating each other’s company, connections and conversations. Even the two older silbings commented on how pleasant K was since she has moved out. How AWESOME is that? I feel so blessed.


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As our children grow up, they are spending less and less time with us. Despite the fact that  we will have to postpone our traditional celebration on Christmas Eve, I still feel blessed to have them home for Christmas on Christmas Day.

Recently, I over heard one of our kids describing our family traditions of celebrating Christmas to one of their friends. Even though it was described as if it were a boring and mundane process before they get to open their presents, I am heartened to hear that the years of doing the same things at Christmas paid off, and can now be considered family traditions.

Imagine this bit of conversation, expressed with our kid’s exaggerated tone of boredom and having to put up with this year after year at Christmas:

“After our turkey dinner .. and oh oh oh (arms flailing to emphasize this point), the stuffing is the best part (mom’s feeling pleased) … then we’d have to sit through my dad reading a piece from the bible. Then we’d have to sing Christmas carols FOREVER (with much exacerbation) and EVERYONE has to choose a song … it takes like f.o.r.e.v.e.r. Then we get to open our presents. Of course, we don’t get Santa’s presents until the morning along with our stocking stuffers …”

Christmas is about family traditions, being together and enjoying each other’s company, conversations and catching up. I love Christmas for these things more than anything else. Family traditions are important to me, and I hope they get to be carried over generations to come. Family traditions at Christmas – AWESOME!

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What I want for Christmas

All the kids were home for a while last weekend and had brunch with us at home. JT even helped us with some household chores and now all my decorations are done. How I missed their laughter and kibitzing with each other! They actually enjoyed each other’s company and were interested in each other’s lives! AWESOME! That’s what I want for Christmas.

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Some people don’t like Christmas music, but I do. For the most part, I find them uplifting and even cheerful, especially the classic Bony M CD. It’s sort of disco-ish, but I like the upbeatness of it. I like cooking my Christmas dinner with the CD turned up high.

At a stop light in traffic yesterday, people looked at me strangely as I sang out loud inside my car, mouthing the words I knew, rocking to the rhythm and drumming my fingers on the steering wheel. When I didn’t know the words, I just made them up. Who cares? I liked singing inside my car when I am alone, no one has to suffer my off notes. It was AWESOME!

If you have never heard Stuart McLean’s “Dave cooks the turkey” episode on the CBC Vinyl Cafe show, you really should. It’s another Christmas classic.

Wishing all a joyful, safe and healthy Christmas Season and 2012!

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Having faith

Today is sunny, bright, cool but not frigid here on the west coast. It is a perfect day for a walk and for decorating our Christmas tree while listening to Michael Buble’s new Christmas CD.

While decorating the house all by myself (kids are out, hubby’s back is bugging him), I was thinking that we are at an in-between stage now where our children are starting to take flight, thinking of leaving home and leading their own lives, our parents’ generation is getting on, and our own bodies and health are deteriorating, even when we try to live healthily.  No matter how old I am, I love Christmas, I love the music, the upbeatness of most people, the joy and hope in children’s faces, and my own resurgence of my faith.

Although I don’t regularly go to church or formally practice my faith, I do pray or talk to my God silently every now and then, especially when I feel saddened or troubled. At Christmas and Thanksgiving, I tend to remember my faith a bit more. I do believe that there is something or someone bigger than us, and things happen for a reason.

This season is one to celebrate families and friends, to be thankful for what we have and to remember to give what we can rather than to receive. This season, I will pray even harder for some families and friends who are going through some tough times. I wish everyone an AWESOME Christmas and be reminded to have faith, all will turn out well!


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