Wednesday, December 2, 2009

LOST: The Ghost of Christmas Past

Today is Dec 2,beginning of the Christmas Season. I love Christmas, it has always been my favorite time of the year.

I have spent many past  Christmas Holidays in various places other  than "HOME".While in the Navy I spent most of my Christmas's away. The most unique Christmas I have ever had was when I was detailed out to Operation Desert Storm. I spent Christmas Eve into Christmas morning on duty/shore patrol. It was quite lively. Since we were in a Middle Eastern country, we had to do our duty with a male partner and in the lobby of hotel restarauts. My watch started quietly and boring enough. For some reason the partner I started with wanted to go and try to make time with a waitress. I got moved (without him) to a different place. It was called "Dukes Place". It belonged to an ex-pat; ex-marine Gunny Sarge named Duke; after of course, The Duke John Wayne.He was as big as John Wayne, but bald. The excitement of the night was an all out brawl of some jar heads who had liberty from a gator frieghtor called the USS SHREVEPORT. These guys had no home training so they started a fight in the lobby,destroyed some furniture, and of course The Duke had to come and break it up.The reward for this was a free meal on the house,with another partner. It was most surreal. I remember a lounge singer who seemed to be channeling Barry Manilow, only he was from Australia. At the stroke of midnight, he asked my partner and I if we had a special christmas request. I guess he thought we were on a date. My partner, can't remember his name, had one.I think it was I'll Be Home for Christmas. He asked me to dance. 

I am noticing that as I get older, it seems that my circle of friends and family are shrinking. My close family ties are down to my stepmother, my mother, my husband and some friends from church. No memories happening there. My husband seems to distance himself more and more from Christmas. A lot of people allow bad memories to rob them of the joy of this season. I suppose that if we would really celebrate the real "reason for the season", Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we would enjoy it more.
This Christmas will be the last Christmas. Now what does that mean? Life is changing and on going. My husband seems to get depressed at Christmas, so much so, that for the last 2 or 3 holidays he was just about non participant.

I'm going to record all of my escapades,like  putting up the tree,planning some goodies, etc. I will do it. My husband thinks that if he doesn't fix up the house, we don't have to live our lives. This is the Last Christmas that goes to the Island of Unwanted Toys. No gifts, no pressure. I bought a few things for myself and I am happy. I want to see Christmas lights on the homes of neighbors. When I was a kid, one tradition was to bundle up the family and go driving through the different neighborhoods to check out the light show.

My dad's work place always had a family Christmas Party, complete with food and games and of course Santa Claus. Every year he would receive a little bonus check, a ham or a turkey; a big bag of fruit and nuts and a gift for me and my brother. I loved it and I know I was to immature to appreciate it at the time but it was great. My mom would start prepping for the food fest in October. We had a pecan tree in our yard and a fig tree. My mom had me and my brother literally pick any and every pecan in our yard, our next door neighbors yard and every yard in the neighborhood who would let us do it. Afterward we would begin the tidious process of separating the good from the not so good. Washing them and cracking them open; shelling them as it was called. My mom was "Julia Childs" ,she would plan at least 3 or 4 varieties of fruit cake, german chocolate cake;coconut cake;ice box pie;sweet potato pie. They were all worth the work. Depending on if we had a ham of turkey, especially a ham, she would cure it herself, and her ham would put Honey Baked Hams to shame.Melt in your mouth tender. She would have 2 types of dressing, potato saled, cranberry sauce and asparagus. Yum. I miss that so much.
So hopefully I can rally myself and ponder and meditate over the true reason for the season, it is more than a baby in a manger, but it is the person that baby grew up to be. It is the love and scarifice of the person that we do remember and honor Him. Dec 25 is probably not the day, but its not the day, but the blessing of that birth-day.
Happy Christmas

       
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