Christmas Memories 

Recently, I was starting to tell a new, but very close girlfriend, about my ex-husband, Vinny. She asked me what had happened… 
I thought about how I missed our traditions. How we cut down a tree up on a hill by Delta Lake every year. We’d go with his cousin, brother, nephew, niece… pick up hot cocoa from Dunkin Donuts, chat with the geese and old horses at the tree farm. The guys would look for the biggest trees they could find – their poor mom getting the largest. Why? So they could take it home and she could exclaim over its beauty, and crazy size. Then, it’d take Vinny, Chris, his father, Ben, all cutting and trimming and pruning until the tree was pronounced fit for inside.  
Vinny’s family was a traditional Italian Catholic one – we did our big dinner on Christmas Eve with his mom’s extended family – salted cod, chicken & eggplant parmigiana, greens, spaghetti, bread, tons of pastries, Pop’s dandelion wine (Vinny’s mom’s dad) that kicked my butt… espresso, Anisette, cannoli cake… presents, a Precious Moments collectible for his mom & a Hess truck collectible for his dad. 
I painted ornaments for us, including a Tigger for his baby cousin, Abby, who’s now in college. We collected ornaments from trips to Vermont, New York City, Corning… our wedding. We would light the fire, watch cheesy movies… I made him swear after our first year that he’d never put off shopping until 12/24 – worst gifts other than the Godiva chocolates, which, unfortunately, the dog & cat first ate, then “returned to sender” all over the apartment.
I’d always dreamt of raising children who would love Christmas, would make beautifully ugly ornaments and decorations, would make Christmas mean even more. I never had those children, and the marriage fell apart, and I find now that Christmas is torture.  
However, this year might be different. Friends, family, connections, art & writing…and, there’s also volunteering and giving, which always make me happy. There are my friends who are family, and who bless me with their love, acceptance, and kindness. 
So, Merry Christmas – Joyeaux Noel – and here’s to “onward & artward” from me to you.

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4 thoughts on “Christmas Memories 

  1. Sometimes it’s in the letting go – and really letting the painful memories, even if they were wonderful at the time, finally go – the understanding that in the here and now, one holds the power to slowly begin to create the new moments, the ones that will begin to fill the gaping spaces and places ….. this is how we heal. And so it is I wish you so much love, laughter, joy, peace – shared with your family and friends, both in “real time” …. and those who are your “online” family too. Happy Holidays Jen! 😀

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