Christmas Remembered — Up and Down Memories

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I have been avoiding writing this “Christmas Remembered” post ALL week. Each day I thought about writing. . . and then quickly I sought something, anything really, to make the memories stop.

It’s Christmas time so finding things to keep busy isn’t exactly a challenge. As this week crept on, and absolutely zero words were being written, anxiety increased. And the grumps.

Christmas Remembered. But First, Soup
I’ve been making soup.

The lid’s on, the flame is low, my soup is barely simmering. When I increase the heat, that soup begins to boil and rise up.

No. Not yet. Calm down there, soup. I quickly lower the heat.

Then maybe a little later I lift the lid, just to check to see if my soup’s ready. I give a little stir. Ready yet, soup?

Contents swirl and mingle, steam and aromas rise — both scalding and enticing. Pain and pleasure from the same damn pot.

I quickly put the lid back on and return it to a simmer. And wait. I know that my soup will eventually be ready. Exactly the right time? I’m never sure when things are brewing. So I wait.

Eventually people need fed.

I guess it’s ready. I ladle it out little by little and remind: Take it or leave it. This is all that I have for today.

Christmas Remembered: I Don’t Wanna
I’d prefer to keep everything locked up inside. Repression feels safe. Safer for yourself and others. But suppression has consequences. Hidden feelings fester, the sadness grows and poisons from the inside out.

Like a corrosive acid slowly eating away, eventually some leaks out. It’s as if your soul is trying to save itself. The feelings refuse to stay in the dark.

Emotions seek the light. As they surface, it is now a choice. Two paths. Let it out and deal or push back down and deny. Chose the later and you are now not only harming yourself, but others whom you claim to love.

Ready or Not. For the love. . . let’s serve some damn soup.

My Christmas Remembered
Christmas was HUGE for my maternal Grandparents.

The 22nd will be one year since Grandma past away. Bummer for the holidays trumped only by Grandpap’s passing — on December 25th — the first year that Husband and I were married.

Their home was the most amazing place. Many of my favorite childhood memories are from that yellow house with black shutters.
There was Christmas.
We’d wake up Christmas morning and open Santa’s presents at our house, then we’d go to up Grandma’s for lunch.
Always a nice time with aunts and uncles and fun cousins.
Tracy.
Then, off to my down Grandparents.
Down –Their label in my kid brain based on driving direction.
They were anything but down.
When you got there it was all UP.
Christmas was their thing.
Presents, presents and more presents.
Presence, presence and more presence.
Hugs and kisses.
Love, love, love.
Generous with the the stuff that comes from money. Not that my grandparents were wealthy. I really have no idea.
But giving stuff, sharing their stuff, with the people they loved, seemed to make them happy.
Generous with material things, yes, but even more generous with themselves.

Most of what I remember about Christmas at my Grandparent’s yellow house with black shutters is about food. Really bad for you, super fun, Christmas time food.

Mixed nuts that you had to crack, red shelled pistachios, pink & white popcorn, big boxes of mysterious chocolate, and thin ribbon candy.

I searched for weeks to find this food. I only found chocolate covered cherries in Walmart. (Half the box is now gone. No I did not share.)
Last Saturday morning Husband got up early to go hunting and I was lying in bed thinking about that damn pink & white popcorn and ribbon candy. I was sobbing and he came into our bedroom. He cuddled and wanted to know what was wrong. All I could blubber was, “I can’t find the pink & white popcorn!”
Amazingly Husband continues to love me.
I don’t even like that food. I just want it.
Yesterday Kmart was my last hope.
Bless that cruddy store. Found my ribbon candy and some nasty old fashioned hard candy that I had completely forgotten about.

I resisted my urge to clear the shelves. No pink & white popcorn but that’s okay. A win for my backside.

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