When it came to Christmas, my mom was a holiday queen. She loved to put up holiday decorations. She delighted in things that sparkled. She often put up more than one tree. One for inside the house, and another, smaller tree, on the front porch. And she never forgot anyone. Did we always get what we asked for? No. But no one went un-gifted at Christmas. Stockings were filled. Oranges, chocolate, candy canes, a trinket or two. Lifesavers, slipper socks. Simple things. But thoughtful.
As I got older, I would enlist my sisters to help me put together stockings for my parents. It bothered me that they weren't included. I guess my mom's desire to include everyone sunk in for me somehow. I can recall, in the aftermath of gift opening, a puzzled look on her face. Usually followed by a comment on how there was supposed to be one more gift for...fill in the blank... She'd go upstairs, and you could hear her rummaging through her closet, maybe her dresser. It was there somewhere. Sometimes she found it, sometimes she didn't. No matter, really. We were far from well-to-do, but my mother put plenty of effort and thought into gift-giving.
Life isn't perfect. We have a lot of work to do in this world to make it a better place. To protect the planet, and heal ourselves. Tasks that shouldn't require a Christmas holiday to motivate us to be kinder, gentler, more forgiving. But this is where we are. And if the month of December brings twinkling lights, Christmas carols, and a heightened desire to put some good out into the world, I'm on board with that.
Because somewhere within this hectic, mad, fairytale of a holiday, is a true longing. A longing for a future with heart, soul, healing, and kindness. We don't get to where we are going without remembering where we've been. It's all part of the process. And, though those we love may not be here with us now, they take the journey we're on within us. Which may be the best gift we can ask for.✨
A nature lover, bird watcher, wildlife fan, amateur photographer, humane gardener, traveler, and singer of songs. I've been keeping closer to home these days, and truly discovering the beauty that lies in TheParkNextDoor.