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:: Thinking of Christmas ::

When I think of Christmas, I think of shimmering lights, the scents of evergreen, oranges, cloves and cinnamon, warm cups of hot chocolate, in rooms filled with family and lots of jolly laughter. I think of soft, cozy blankets as we kids huddled on the couch reading classic tales beside the roaring flames of a burning fire, and the tingling of peppermint as I ate several of the candy canes meant for the tree. Cold afternoons were spent in the kitchen preparing baked goods with our own hands, chasing flour clouds in the air, decorating cookies with buttercream icing, and giggling non-stop from the sugar high. Bundling up against the cold to choose the most perfect tree, and then, cut it down and haul it home, only to stare in awe at it when the decorating was finished and the lights were turned off, and the Christmas tree turned on. It never failed to take my breath away. Decorating our tree and our home with handmade ornaments of the past and just made ornaments now, and with offerings from nature, garland strung of popcorn and cranberries, pine cones hand-painted with glitter, leaves gilded golden, and mistletoe hung in all the right places. Watching the Charlie Brown Christmas, each year. Creating gifts for those we love, and cherish and hold dear to our hearts, gifts that meant something to us and to them, gifts that have a story to share. Even today, as I look at the ornaments I have I am taken back to the days of my youth, and to the stories that accompany each ornament, for each one has it's own story to tell. And, I do what my people before me did. I relate each story to my grandchildren. They already know most of them already. It is a way of keeping those who have gone before us with us, always. As are all the traditions we hold dear.

After all, Christmas is meant to be magical. It is a season meant to be filled with joy and peace. My grandchildren are young and impressionable, and now is the time to engrave the pureness of Christmas into their hearts. Allow them to be filled with promise of good tidings, good wishes for others and prayers of hope for better tomorrows. They are my family, and we will continue all of our Christmas Traditions so that they in turn one day will pass those along to their young ones. So far, their enthusiasm for decorating cookies, tree trimming, party hopping and caroling, and running with wild abandon through a Christmas tree farm leads me to believe I’m on the right track.

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