First of all, I would like to mention that when TWCS Publishing House approached me about participating in this event, I was asked if there was a particular day I wanted assigned to me. I chose today, because 35 years ago, my father was killed in a car accident. I was the epitome of a “Daddy’s Girl” and never really fully recovered from the loss. My mom had taken be Christmas shopping early that year, 1976, and the memory of seeing my Christmas present, a faux trophy made of a Budweiser can (my father’s nickname was Bud), haunted me for many years. As I grew older and started a family of my own, I always go overboard this time of year, with decorating my house in and out and trying to make sure there are lots of presents under the tree and stockings filled to overflowing.I suppose it is my way of chasing off the sadness that comes with the anniversary of my father’s death. So this year, my first year as a published author, I figure participating in this contest is one of the best ways to shake off any old depression demons. Bearing that in mind, let me share one of my family’s most treasured Christmas traditions.
When my two oldest sons, Buddy and Joshua, were young, Bud a new big brother at 7, and Joshua celebrating his first Christmas, I bought the traditional “Baby’s First Christmas” ornament. At the time, Buddy asked if he could have his own ornament, too. I said sure. Then he asked me, “Aren’t you going to get one too, Mom?” I thought about it for a minute and said, “Let’s get one for me and Dad.” From that time on, it has become a family tradition to buy a new ornament for each of us every Christmas. Of course, I did not expect three more boys would eventually join our family and by the time we were past my youngest son’s (Noah) first Christmas, I decided it might be fun to choose our ornaments based on a theme.
So from that point on, that’s what we do. We have done Santa Claus, stuffed wintery things like mittens and stockings, crosses, snowmen, angels and words (peace, joy, the year, noel, etc…). There was a year we were so broke, our theme was .99 ornaments. That year, my oldest was 18 already and the only one in the family working. Both my husband and I had just lost our jobs. He paid for the Walmart layaway I had started in October and his .99 ornament was a Santa we wrote the name Buddy on–we could decide whether to name it Buddy Claus or Santa Buddy. LOL. I was so very proud of my firstborn that year. He really came through for his little brothers.
The following year was much more prosperous and we invited my mother, Gail Katherine, from whom I take my pen name and bought the round glass ones from a hobby store. We spent the night painting and decorating those ornaments. It is a wonderful memory my children have with their grandmother and it turned out to be the last Christmas we had her with us. The year she died, the theme for our ornaments was black and all of us had some sort of black ornament to mark the mourning we all felt by her loss.
This year, our theme is Christmas trees. There were seven, one for Dad, Mom, Buddy, Karlo, Joshua, Alex and Noah. In my third novel, BITTERSWEET HARVEST, you will meet the Butler family. Piper Butler, the mother of three children, incorporates this same tradition in her family. The idea is to pass on the children’s ornaments to them when they have families of their own. (Hint, hint to my now 26-year old son!!! Ready to be a grandma much!!!! LOL)
It has been a wonderful year and we have a lot to give thanks for and many blessings to count. My husband and I finally made the leap back to the alter. That only took us 17 years this time around. Someday, maybe I will share my personal fictionalized short story, THIRD TIME’S A CHARM with my readers. Also, I think we have started a new holiday tradition this year. Karlo, my stepson, is by far the tallest of all of his father’s sons–taller even than his dad–and so i believe he has become the designated tree topper-er! LOL!
Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza and a Happy New Year. To simplify, Happy Holidays to All!
Last Updated on: December 13th, 2011 at 3:40 pm, by admin