Thursday, December 22, 2011

Where's Reggie

Meet Reginald Zelf the Christmas Elf. Reggie for short.
He has been very busy this Christmas season!

Friday, December 2, 2011

The most wonderful time of year....Maybe, sorta, not always

I set myself up. I really really did. I let my optimism get the better of me, or maybe it was wishful thinking. Or just total willful blindness.

I thought "Oh, this is great. Christmas. My mom hated Christmas, I can do this holiday, no problem! She was never here for the decorating or the movie watching or the baking or anything. Christmas eve and morning will be hard, but the rest of it? Piece. Of. Cake."

I know, I know. I can hear you shaking your heads from here. I own waterfront property on the river "Denial"!

So, I go bounding upstairs to the Christmas attic. (does it tell you anything, the fact that I have an attic dedicated to Christmas?) I pull out the first bin and in it, right on top, is this...

My mom made it when my brother and I were little. She couldn't get rid of it when she got rid of her other Christmas decorations after my brother died, but she couldn't keep it either, so it came to live with me years ago.
It has hung in pride of place over all my Christmases ever since.

The next things were these...

Mom gave me one and Mojo the other the year we moved into this house, one for each twin to inherit one day.
Then when I was digging around looking for my red and white ball ornaments (which I still haven't found) I ran into the nativity scene.

My dad made the manger from an apple crate the first year they were married and my mom had the Fontanini Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus. Only she got rid of all the figures and only kept the manger. I found it in the attic and adopted it and it has been mine ever since. Only all the figures have been replaced by my mom, who gives us a new piece every year. All Fontanini. It now takes up the whole top of the buffet in the den. It is turning in to a small town, with a bakery and palm trees and lots of animals. Only I am not sure it I can stand to put it out this year. The Nativity was the only thing she put out each year. She bought several to replace the family one because she just couldn't put it out any more after my brother died. We used to play with the figures and animals and spend hours with it. I understand why she put it aside. I am blown away realizing what she did for me in letting me start it up again. In giving me pieces for it each year. She wanted her grandgirls to have memories or it and take pieces of it to start their own collections in time.

I really, really want to put it out this year, I just don't know if I can.

I am also now terrified of the land mine that was once the Christmas attic. I had no idea how much my mom is interwoven in my Christmases. I have no idea how I am going to keep diving in and getting sucker punched. But I have kids who I love more than life itself.  They deserve to have the very best Christmas I can give them. So into the breach I go.

Wish me luck.