I am very slowly starting to gain some excitement about the upcoming Christmas holiday. Mostly, I get excited about the memories of a happy Christmas childhood that come flooding back. Every now and then I watch a movie we recorded "back in the day" that sparks that feeling in my heart and mind, or look at some old Christmas ornament hanging on the tree that stands as tribute the the glory days of Christmas past.
My family is now in what I refer to as the transition years. We are still adjusting to losing one generation, and scrambling for the other generations to step forward and make their marks in the hearts of the younger. It's the memory of the older generations that really makes me love this season. I've long since given up the immense excitement that used to keep me up at night waiting to open presents. Now, I look forward to seeing family and friends, and exchanging the niceties and small tokens of affection, while we gather around tables and sharing stories and laughs.
I have been doing my best to keep up with the holiday baking. It can be a lot of work, and it is not as appreciated as it was in years past. I keep it going because it feels like a link I still share with Grams, who worked so many days each year preparing for Christmas, making everyone's favorite cookies. I feel it is a tradition worth preserving. Not everything has to be store bought and mass produced. There is something to be said for homemade.
I listen to the radio a lot, and this week before Christmas, my dial is set to AM 740. I usually listen to that station in the car once in a while, but this time of year they play 24 hours of Christmas songs. The difference is, they play the songs from the "old timers", as Gramps would call them. The sounds of Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Nat King Cole, and Jim Reeves sound more authentically Christmas than Brittany Spears or even the Beach Boys. If I listen really closely, I think I can still hear Gramps whistling to the music, or singing along in the beautiful baritone voice that he had.
Yes, the spirit still hits me from time to time, but it's going to be a while before this transition phase is complete, and new traditions that we look forward to are forged. I always hope that when I get my own home I can do a little more, make things a bit more memorable... just like my Grandparents did for me.