Twas the night before christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
I am a Jewish American mother who grew up celebrating Christmas; I loved the Peanuts Christmas Special, Dicken’s The Christmas Carol, The Miracle on 34th Street, Frosty the Snowman, the Carpenters singing Christmas carols, the Santa Clause Lane Parade, houses glistening with lights and figurines, Christmas trees and of course Christmas presents. The holiday did not have any religious significance for my family, but it was a truly beautiful and happy winter-family celebration.
As a small girl, my favorite Christmas tradition was driving downtown on a cold winter evening with my family, eating wonton soup at a Chinese restaurant and walking through the Christmas tree lot smelling the fragrant pines and watching my parents deliberate over the perfect large green tree for our living room. We drove home with the strong tree tied to the top of the family station wagon (definitely not atop my dad’s Cadillac); and my dad carried the tree up to the living room scattering needles along the way. In the living room, boxes of my mother’s stunning ornament collection fresh from storage were carefully unwrapped revealing the shiny gorgeous array of ornaments that we had not seen all year. Strings of colored lights were checked and then perfectly strung throughout the tree to make sure there were colors flickering everywhere. We ceremoniously hung the beautiful ornaments with care until little by little the beautiful branches were filled. Our Christmas tree was stunning and admired by many. I felt like the luckiest little girl to have the beautiful tree gracing our living room and the fresh pine scent wafting through our home. Never was there any religious tone to our celebration rather it was familial bursting with tradition and love.
But one day, we stopped celebrating Christmas. No more tree. No more ornaments. No more gifts. I would like to say that the Grinch Stole my Christmas, but that would not really be true. I can say is that all these years later, I truly cherish my family’s beautiful holiday memories and traditions.
Even as Christmas day is upon us, and I will not be celebrating as I once did, I hold tight to the value and tradition that are the heart of all holidays – spending time with family.
I wish for all of my readers who celebrate Christmas a merry and wonderful holiday. Tonight, I will look to the Northern Skies and watch for our jolly friend in a red suit driven by his beautiful reindeer and dashing to deliver presents. I will listen carefully to hear him exclaim ‘ere he drives out of sight,
Happy Chirstmas to all, and to all a good night!
Ninja Mom from the Holy Land, where Christmas began many years ago…..