Thursday, December 24, 2009

New Memories to Sustain Me Through the Year

I can never get enough of Christmas. It is a tonic, like a B 12 shot. The grandbabies are hysterical and brutally honest. They tell you if you are fat, if your hair looks bad, if your clothes look funny and then they top it off with how much they love and miss you.

You get to decorate the tree over and over and over again because Ellerie keeps taking off the bottom ornaments. I have watched Shrek the Halls every day and it kind of grows on you. Princess Fiona is starting to actually look pretty in her winter hat.

I love watching the girls brush Pap Pap’s hair and adorn his head with a princess headband. Ethan is going to have his own HBO comedy special one day. He is a riot. Today he announced in that he has a lot of energy and there is only one way to get rid of it. He has to “fart” to let out gas.

We started a new tradition this past summer. Grammy & Pap Pap taking the kids to a movie. Today’s adventure was Disney’s new Princess & the Frog. We loved all the New Orleans references and totally enjoyed the story. Fred said he was homesick for New Orleans. Personally, I think it is the “Biegnets” he is missing.

Annie seems to have a little of her mom in her. She had a craft party for Abbie and 9 eight-year-old friends. They made a huge glittery mess in basement and decorated a tree for a local senior center. Then Annie realized the tree was too big to take up stairs and out the door so we had to undecorate it and come up with a smaller tree to decorate for the center.

Paul was the chef tonight and made us some red hot chili from an internet recipe. It tasted wonderful and really cleared our sinuses. Only a few more days and my NJ adventure will begin with our grandson Luke. I can’t wait.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Past

Our first Christmas after we were only married two months, we had no ornaments. I improvised and used all of the white bows from our wedding, it was thrifty and pretty too.  Fred was so excited for me to open my huge gift. It was an orange garbage can with mushrooms that matched my canister set. (It was 70’s) No points there buddy.

Our second Christmas, he waited until Christmas Eve. He did not believe me when I told him our small town did not stay open. So that year I got no presents. No kidding.

Our third year was like can you top this. Fred bought a tree without me and it was a squatty bush. I tried everything to save it. I kept imagining that it would be like the Charlie Brown tree in the annual Christmas Special. Nope, it still sucked. I even bought red Christmas bulbs, our first real ornaments. Annie was 14 months old she was like most toddlers, inquisitive and lively. There were a few leftover red bulbs that I put in a big bowl on the table. Annie came in with the glass bulb in her hand. She thought it was an apple and took a big bite out of it. Yep you guessed it. She swallowed glass and I spent Christmas week at ER’s, doctors and sifting through poop diapers to see if she passed the pieces that showed up in her X-Rays.

Each year we have treasured mishaps or events that have become blessed memories. We made our own Martin Family traditions because we lived far away from family. We would have fondue on Christmas Eve, hide our stockings, and go to the beach on Christmas Day. When we first moved to Florida, I brought a little tree to the beach on Christmas, took the kids pictures in Santa hats and mailed the photo north when there was a blizzard just to rub it in. Ho Ho Ho.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tis the Season

The holidays are times that generate reflections of the past.  I have decided to write several posts and toast to childhood memories.

When I was twelve we had just moved into a new bigger house and it was our first Christmas there. My father was the decorator and he went all out with the holiday lights. We had spotlights, large candles and a perfectly shaped blue spruce. No fake trees in our house. Of course the fake trees in those days were white aluminum with a rotating colored strobe light shining. UGH. I remember feeling sorry for a few friends who had them. My mother bought dozens of large blue bulbs with white holiday scenes engraved on each. We marveled because we had never seen anything like them before.

Christmas morning arrived and we ripped opened our gifts. My dad would always light the fireplace and use the wrappings to help start the fire. I decided to do this on my own and put all the paper in the fireplace. I lit it but alas, I did not open the flue. The room and house filled with smoke. My mom ran around screaming like a bangee.

My first response was to run into the kitchen and get the broom.  I came back in and used the handle to open the flue and all was well. My dad affirmed me over and over because I had stayed calm. Even though I had made a mistake, I was happy with myself for saving the day. I was off the hook; mom was in the doghouse with dad because she lost it.

My pride was short lived (about ten minutes) because I stood too close to the tree for a photo and my bathrobe caught on an ornament. Unaware, when I started across the room that most carefully decorated tree followed me and fell and broke every NEW expensive ornament my mom had just bought for the new house.

OOPS…  “Tis the season to be Jolly”

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Basking in the Light

There are so many times when we are rushed and do not take time to bask in the light. I am lucky I live in Florida, the Sunshine State. There are days when I need to let the light in my life. You know the kind of day, flat tire, late to work, rushing through traffic to get home. But, I only have to walk outside and look to the sky and know God is with me, I can feel His warmth kissing my face and I am at peace.

I love decorating for Christmas. Each year I try to do something a little different. I recycle old ornaments and use them in my classroom or donate them to a new teacher who has no shiny ornaments or menorahs to display. My tree and home look so warm and inviting with holiday lights. At night, I do not want to go upstairs. I just want to bask in the light and I am at peace.

Our porch has a chimney where I can light a fire. Yes, it is Florida but our December feels a bit brisk at night a lot like fall up north. It is my favorite month of year down here. So I bask in the light of the fire and I am at peace.

This week, we have enjoyed the light of a full moon so bright you wake up and look outside and swear it is morning. It is an awesome light and I am at peace.

Sometimes, the light comes from people who you love like your husband, children, grand children and friends. It radiates from their eyes when they run to greet you. I see the light and I am at peace.

I look forward to the peace and love of the holidays and basking in the light.