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of Christmas past and present

Christmas feels very different to me now.

I see the parents waiting in line with their children to see Santa and remember how it is a period when that bond and focus is at a premium. Our parental skills are honed here and we operate on a kind of auto pilot where the daily business of child rearing overrides our ability to discern whether we are doing things right. We do not have the luxury or time to step back and analyze and it is with this in mind that I enter another phase in my own life; one where my role as parent has clearly shifted from one of caretaker into mostly mentor. As a result, it will require new definition of what I want.

That same mall walk makes me think of the materialism that threatens to overtake the spirit of the season. It is always there but doesn’t quite succeed in hampering it and I think most people focus on connecting with family and friends even if their religious leanings (if ever there at all) may have dissipated. Christmas is now mostly a pagan feast for many; one which is liberally sprinkled with insipid songs piped over loudspeakers everywhere one goes.

it was right around this time 23 years ago that my father was in his final stage of terminal lung cancer which would only get him to early January and so for my mother this time is always bittersweet as her life becomes less about grown children with families and preoccupations of their own.

But that huge clan will still gather on the 24th as it has done for all those Christmases. Maybe we won't sing as many traditional carols around a piano as we used to which only makes me recall those first ones so fondly and, as I finally drive home this week, I will be reminiscing about them all the more.


  1. Our perspective changes as we age. I hope you can find some joy in this holiday season.

  2. I love the painting in your post and the idea of singing around a piano along with a large extended family. Holidays like these certainly trigger memories, hopefully good ones. I wish you a very Merry Christmas and wonderful 2018.

  3. Christmases certainly seem to mark transitional moments in our lives, maybe it is that they are more memorable than other days, but certainly it is a time of year when I recall how things used to be, how much they have changed, and to remember the people who were with then and aren't anymore.

  4. A wonderful Christmas to all of you!


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