My season doesn't start until Thanksgiving.
On Black Friday I am up at 2:00am stretching and doing my stoutness exercises to prepare for my whirlwind shopping spree at all my favorite mega outlet stores. And the season of love and giving begins.
Okay, not really...I have never done the whole Black Friday thing. I would rather stab hot fire pokers through my retinas than deal with any of that. I won't go into the multitude of reasons my constitution doesn't align with Black Friday, but sufficed to say...I slept in, drank tea in my jammies and yelled at my kids...like the good lord intended.
The Holidays...I love them deeply. The Holiday Spirit...I've got it. I have always had it. Almost always. I love the lights, the trees, the shiny gifts, the cookies, the music, the special meals, the christmas stockings.
But I remember the first year the feeling didn't show up. I was 12. I distinctly remember the warm fuzzy feeling being absent and being sad that it was gone. In retrospect that was just about the time the whole world became stupid because I knew everything already and everyone and everything weren't living up to my expectations, even though I didn't really know what those expectations were. Ah...adolescence...what a wonderful time.
I already knew that Santa was a fake...a phony...a masterful lie perpetrated by adults to make us kids look foolish. But something was truly missing and I could feel it. I think the reality of my pending journey into the unknown loomed large for me. I was a kid with a destiny. I had a journey ahead of me that reached right into the deepest darkest depths of the human soul, life and death, good and evil, dark and light.
Whilst I would emerge from this dark time in my life with much wisdom gained and a full life ahead of me, I felt my world and also my holiday spirit would never be the same. A causality of growing up.
My destiny while intense, also rewarded me a few miracles. Two to be exact. (Actually, a few more than that, but that is another blog post) And it was through those two miracles that I found love and magic in my life again. My spirit renewed. (After I was done crying because they threw up all the time, always wanted to nurse and because the laundry became a living entity in my home)
Just a few short years into my motherhood, on the first day of Advent, December 1st, my mother died. She died suddenly of a massive heart attack. I was 25. My heart and holiday spirit lost seemingly forever. It was all I could do to breathe.
But time heals all wounds.
Although every Holiday season for me holds the warmth and magic of good ole' Saint Nick and all that the merry chap represents, there is a depth of heartache and longing to go along side it.
Such is life, such is the world.
The good and the bad, the happy the sad, all just along for the ride.
And at this, yet another season of joy and giving, I have learned that not all miracles come in 9lbs and 8lbs packages bearing endless diaper changes and mountains of laundry. Some come quietly while preparing a turkey for brine. Some come in quiet revelation.
This Thanksgiving was by far the most brilliant holiday I have had with my family. It was just the four of us, no other family, no other friends. We all made dinner together. We all made evergreen garlands. We all took a walk with the dog. We all watched A Charlie Brown Christmas. It was simple. It was quiet. It was brilliant.
Even without my mother. It was brilliant because of my mother. Because of everything she was and everything taught and gave to me and my life. Because who she was, is woven into who I am, the good and the bad, the happy and sad...all along for the ride.
And the Holiday Spirit lives on.
Mostly around the food...because that's how I roll.
Miracles come in all shapes and sizes.