Monday, December 22, 2014
My Favorite Christmas Memory
Walking along a snowy street in Cleveland.
While pondering which to choose as My Favorite Christmas Memory for Cherdo's and Janie's bloghop, that was the image that kept coming back to me. I've spent exactly one Christmas in Cleveland and not an especially memorable one - or at least I wouldn't have thought so before this exercise. So why was that particular image continually popping up in my mind? Definitely worth exploring.
I grew up in suburban Maryland and Christmas was always at home. We might travel for other holidays but family always came to see us for Christmas. Grandma was there every year. My mother was an only child so my sister and I were Grandma's only grandchildren. For as long as she was able to travel, she would fly to Washington for the holidays. But my first year out of college, Grandma was in assisted living. We all went to her.
In hindsight, I realize it was a milestone gathering in our family for several reasons. It was our first Christmas away from the house in Maryland. It was my sister's and her husband's first Christmas as a married couple. It was also our last time all together with Grandma. I would see her on my own a few times before her passing two years later but that was our last time with her as a family. It would, in fact, be a couple of years before I was with my parents and sister for Christmas again. I was abroad the following two years - not a definite at that point, but plans were in the works.
On top of all that, I believe it was my first White Christmas. I recall very few of the particulars from that trip but I do remember snow. It was a stressful visit in many ways, much of it spent in our hotel rooms or gathered in the nursing home - not exactly the idyllic image of a family Christmas. At one point, just to get out in the fresh air, we all (apart from Grandma) went for a walk in the city. It must have been the day before or after Christmas day as there were loads of other people out, too. We were all quite merry, enjoying what was probably miserable weather. Smiles and laughter are what I remember. Is that really how we were that day? I'm not even certain. My memory wants it so, needs it so. And so it is.
Merry Christmas to all of you! May the season bring joy, warmth, love and peace no matter your spiritual leanings. We all need it. We all deserve it. We all should be as grateful for what we have to give as for what we are fortunate to receive.
Peace on Earth.