Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Was Her Holiday

Christmas was her holiday.

She reveled in the true spirit of giving. She did not give to receive. She gave because she truly loved searching for the perfect color, the perfect texture, the perfect shape, the things that would make our eyes sparkle. Not once did I ever hear her complain about the commercial rush of the holidays. She weaved around the chaos and stayed grounded in love and generosity.

Some years she would arrive heavy suitcases in tow, treasures for all tucked inside along with the ribbons and extra tape. Then she would spend hours hiding in the guest bedroom, folding and wrapping and stacking and sorting. She was our Santa.

Other times, the packages would preempt her arrival. Or we would go to her. When we all made the trek to her, those were the ones I remember most. This new geography that she made her home was the backdrop of every perfect Christmas card. Towering evergreens, snow on the ground, regal homes tucked in hillsides and Norman Rockwell villages.

There were no idyllic nights singing Christmas carols or baking cookies. She didn’t try to set up the perfect holiday for us. She provided the warmth, the peace, the love and the laughter. If there was drama…and there usually was…she listened and encouraged us to talk it through. Always the peacemaker and the caregiver.

So when I wonder how to make this holiday special for my own children, I learn from her. Offer some love wrapped in pretty paper, carve a wide path in the snow, light the way with laughter and help when the walk becomes slippery.

Warmth, love, laughter and light to you and yours.


  1. Tradition are carried forward by the thoughtful dedication of those who have set the example. The torch has been passed and what a privilege to be next in line.

    Best of the season in your home this year.

  2. You have been lighting the way with love and laughter for years. What a beautiful Tradition to pass down.

    May your Holiday be filled with the joy of the Season.

  3. You describe Christmas with my grandmother here. Skillfully describe it. I am sure you are making special memories for your children, not only at Christmas, but every single day.

  4. I googled "spoon in the road" and found your blog.

    I actually found a spoon-in-the-road last Wednesday in rural Minnesota -- seeing the (obvious, marginal) humor in the situation, I picked it up. (It was flattened and all scratched up - as perhaps, I am too.).

    Let me digress -- I am originally from the rural midwest (SD, exactly)and have been in the east for the last 35 years. I occasionally return there as I did last Tuesday for a funeral of an uncle -- on whose farm I had worked a number of summers during my teens. Brought back a lot of feelings about how far I had come -- and really, how far, I hadn't come... And the decisions, I (or life) would be making for me. Recently became an empty nester, on-my-own with a possible new relationship that would be bring me back to Minnesota; recently diagnosed with cancer and all the uncertaintly and fear that comes with it. Still considering the options for the cancer treatment...

    So really a lot of "fork-in-the road" symbolism was going on... And I find a spoon-in-the-road !! So I speculate that just as the fork symbolizes choice and possibilities, the spoon represents resolution and peace......

    Kent --

  5. Kent, Thank you for your thoughtful comment. 'The Spoon in The Road' has many meanings for me but your comment "the spoon represents resolution and peace......" has made the title of my blog even more meaningful. Throughout my life I, of course, have also had some of those fork-in-the-road moments, but the experiences that stay with me are those that brought peace and allowed me be still inside (or outside of) myself and see things more clearly. I hope you find some clarity soon. Perhaps it will be an inverted image, just as the reflection from a spoon would look closely. :)

  6. Spooner and all,

    An update -- the surgery is done and I am in the recovery stage. Still awaiting the tissue results before deciding if radiation is needed (or if I am declared a survivor). Another waiting period with a significant result at the end.

    And amazing (to me at least) -- another spoon-in-road moment. The day before surgery last week, I walked home from Center City (Philadelphia) and found a second spoon in the road. The first one was a heavily scared teaspoon from rural Minnesota and this one was a slightly bruised soup spoon from the street near 30th Street Station.

    What does this mean?