I have to admit, Christmas is not one of my favorite holidays. Mainly because I dread going shopping. While I love giving (and receiving) gifts, I hate the mad rush of people at the department stores, the rudeness of others (aren’t the holidays supposed to be peace and good will towards man?), and the loss of time one gets when you realize you have to pay more in shipping than the gift itself because it’s one week until the big day.
I’m not completely anti-holiday. I love what it represents. I still believe in Santa and he believes in me. I enjoy the traditions and stories that come with celebrating Christmas. Whenever friends of family ask what I’d like from their vacations*, I ask for ornaments. No silly keychains or magnets for me! I want something I can display on my tree, even if it’s received months before the actual holiday itself. On the rare occasions I travel myself, I always pick up an ornament or two to commemorate the visit, so I can have a story to tell about its origins.
This summer, my basement flooded three times. My box of ornaments were the only thing down there I cared about. I dreaded checking the box, fearing the worst. So this weekend, I finally gathered the courage to check my tub to see the extent of the damage. Fortunately, about 80% of my ornaments survived (most of the ones that perished were my cheap glass filler ornaments from Target). But a few cherished ones were lost: my dancing Pinocchio that my friends bought back from Italy when they went on their honeymoon (a thanks for dog sitting), the expensive work of art my husband purchased for me in Santa Fe during our first Christmas as a couple (which we didn’t spend together).
Then I realized that the memories, or stories, weren’t gone from my mind. I still have them, even if the ornaments that represented those moments in time are lost. It’s no different than the stories that we read or tell. Once we’ve experienced the moment, it’s hard to forget. I still have the little Russian doll ornaments I got when I went to Alaska, the Hershey bears when I visited Hershey, PA, and even the pirate skull ornament I got in the Outer Banks during our yearly trip to the beach, but the stories are no more fresh in my mind than the stories attached to the cherished treasures I lost.
I hope everyone celebrates traditions old and new this year and store all the memories for years to come. You don’t need tangible objects to remember, you just need to re-tell the stories.
And as a way to celebrate the holidays, we here at Spellbound Scribes will be hosting a Holiday Giveaway! Prizes will include several ebooks by Spellbound Scribes authors and a $50 gift card to Amazon! More details to follow!!
*My parents are celebrating Thanksgiving in New Orleans this year. My mom is bringing me back an ornament (I asked for a voodoo doll). When I get it, it will remind me of the time “my parents went to New Orleans and didn’t take me.”