We’re getting our Christmas tree tomorrow. This officially marks the beginning of the Christmas season for us. It feels like we’re a bit behind the curve with all of our neighbors decked out in Christmas lights and wreaths for at least the past week now. But COVID happened here and so now that the plague has passed, we’re ready to jingle our bells!
But, I’m finding myself a bit conflicted about the whole affair this year. I can remember the year that my Gram told us not to get her any gifts. As a teenager it made no sense to me. She was really scaling back on the whole Christmas vibe, and I simply couldn’t understand why. This year, I’m only 50, and I think I understand why.
Many of my old, beloved traditions have gone by the wayside. Our whole family used to go to Seattle to watch the Pacific Northwest Ballet perform the Nutcracker Suite. Every time the orchestra began the overture, I cried for the beauty of it. Afterward, my parents would take the whole lot of us out for dinner. One year we even all went to the Space Needle. That was where I announced I was pregnant with our twins. They are twenty-six now. We haven’t had that adventure in maybe eight years.
All of the children have grown up. For years there was a whole pile of rowdy, excited, adorable kids racing all over the place causing their parents copious amounts of stress and their grandparents, delight. They were berserk with excitement for the heaps of gifts waiting to be torn into around the beautiful tree up in the Christmas room. Those kiddos are all working adults or in college now. The youngest of the bunch are thirteen and sixteen and it’s been a few Christmases since we’ve even seen them at all.
And then there’s the tree. I have always loved the tradition of going out into the deep world, traipsing through snow or rain or muddy dead grass and finding the perfect Christmas tree. Tying it nervously to the top of the car, stopping on the way home for hot cocoa. Singing Christmas songs like goobers on the ride home. This year, I am more aware than ever of the Earth’s need for all the TLC she can get. It is ok to pluck a tree? Is the Great Mother able to be that generous with me still? Or is it time to consider a new tradition?
Letting Go. Releasing.
As we’re bringing up all of our totes of Christmas decorations from the garage, I’m having plenty of opportunities to be triggered. I’ve held on to many of these spangles and trinkets for a long long time. Through at least 2 lifetimes. My shiny new adventure as Taya Sanderson-Kesslau began under the banner of All Things New and so I am aware that many of these previous life holdovers have to go.
Letting go, releasing old things that don’t belong to me anymore is so damn hard sometimes! It’s weird. I’m looking at the rustic wooden snowflakes that have hung so prettily in the past and my heart is tight. Feeling them in my hands isn’t good. If I allow my mind to wander back, it gets even worse. This is obviously not good for me. And yet, they are still waiting patiently in the tote, as if their time on the wall is imminent.
It isn’t imminent. They need to go. And so does my white-knuckle grip on the memories and traditions that I’ve been hauling with me all this time as if, in a moment, they’ll come to life again and all will be well with Christmas. I’m coming to realize it’s the tight grip that I’ve unknowingly had on these memories that has prevented me from cherishing them and moving forward into the new and the now of another Christmas.
Magic In The Air
So, as I’m learning to bless and release the past, and open to the moments that are my present, it is my hope to be renewed by the wonder of Christmas. An all is well, all things new, Christmas. There always seems to be a little more magic in the air this time of year, so as I’m eating too much Chex Mix and undoubtedly singing Christmas music like a goober, I will open my heart and allow it do to its good work. One sacred Christmas moment at a time.
If you are lonely for the past, or delighted by it, if you are lit up by the magic of Christmas or you need to be renewed one sacred moment at a time, let’s be friends~