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It's Beginning. The Christmas Season

Is it just me or is anyone else finding it hard to believe that Christmas is less than a month away?! And on that note, why is it that we measure so much of our years and lives by that specific date?

For myself I find that I look at Christmas as a sort of an “end of the year” type of event. A season where I reflect on what I have done, good and bad the previous 12 months and try to cut myself a little slack for any missed opportunities or faux pas. That has not always been the case though. When did it change?

I remember Christmas as a child as being a whole lot of chaos and fun. I was raised a Christian and during this time of year there were always events and activities we had to attend and chances to show kindness and service to our communities. I have what many would say is a large family when you look at the number of siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins and extended family that I have always been blessed with. There is not a year I can remember when we did not gather with both sides of my family to celebrate.

Quite often that would involve some sort of gathering on Christmas Eve to read from the bible and often reenact the Christmas Story, using newborn siblings or cousins as the baby Jesus and using old towels and bathrobes as costumes.

I will never forget the Christmas over 3 decades ago that my Grandma W organized this sort of heirloom & family history component to our Christmas Eve gathering. She was big on genealogy (which I always pronounced Jennyology for some reason and did not find out the proper pronunciation until I was corrected at age 23 yrs. old by my boyfriend at the time) and for this specific Christmas she provided each of us with the story of one of our ancestors to read about and learn further about their lives. We were to also create, find or buy some small item that would represent this person to be placed in an heirloom box. On Christmas Eve we all gathered and each of us shared the story of one of our ancestors and presented the small item that would be placed in the heirloom box and hung in her home as a reminder of this special night and of those who came before us.

I can’t say why, but this night holds a special place in my heart and in my memories. I loved reading about this person who I descended from and her story of courage. She left her home and family and travelled to North America where she could be free to follow her heart and her religious beliefs. How awesome is that?! To me, this was someone I could be. An adventurer, an independent spirit, a kindred spirit. This person was part of my past and I hoped that I could be as courageous and sure in my faith.

There were also the years when I was a child and would be impatiently sitting, waiting for my Dad to grab his guitar and pull out the old Readers Digest Christmas Carols binder he had tucked away somewhere. It was full of all the wonderful songs of the season that he would sing and play for us, such as “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” or “Jingle Bells.” His strong voice would sing out and we would all sing along laughing and dancing around. To this day, his voice is still the narrator of my childhood memories. I wish I could somehow freeze time and hear those cherished songs being sung by him again.

I grew up with many wonderful traditions and moments and recognize that for some this has not been the case. How grateful I am to have had the blessing of a warm and loving family who made sure that this time of year was filled with songs and laughter and the warmth of home. Oh, and baking! Lots and lots of baking!

I know that quite often it is easy to forget that we are supposed to be kind year-round. Suddenly it is December 23rd and I find myself wondering what I have done to make this year a good one for those I love. If anyone else feels this way, I get it.

The great thing about this time of year is that we also get the opportunity to slow down just a little bit. To perhaps do a little more reflecting. Take a few days off. See family and friends, blood or chosen. Hopefully we get the chance to hope again, that is if you have lost it. And to recenter. That can look like reading a good book. Having tea with an old friend and catching up. It can be a vacation abroad, somewhere warm and splashing your toes in the water on a beautiful beach. For me, it tends to be a cold wintery wonderland with snow, hot chocolate and a gingerbread cookie...or four.

This year I hope for all my friends and family a season of happiness. A time where you can hold those you love near and remember those you have lost. I hope for you a sleepless night on Christmas Eve, not because of financial pressures or worries, but because you are so excited that Christmas is here and that you get to be a child again for a time. There are always a couple of times each year that no matter how hard I try to fall asleep, I am unable to because I am so excited. Christmas Eve is one of those nights. I still lay there like my 8-year-old self, excited for the morning. I don’t have any little ones to wake me up early, nor do I have anything I have to assemble in the wee hours before Santa arrives, but it is still magical for me. That’s just how I am, and I hope it never changes.

Let’s get our Christmas on and make the remaining days of 2022 magical in some way. Any ideas you want to share are welcome!

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Allie Misinchuk
Allie Misinchuk
Nov 29, 2022

We have many a picture of Jenny and I in our towel wraps with a cabbage patch baby Jesus, and my dad playing the donkey haha. I love your line “his voice is still the narrator of my childhood memories”…like your father, you are a writer! Xx


Oh Jenny what wonderful words to wake up to this morning! I remember one Christmas when our families gathered at your parents home to celebrate the Season. We danced, sang Along on a Kareoke machine, laughed, ate great food, and shared games, laughter and fun! so many of those whom we love are no longer with us but the wonderful memories live on never to be erased by time. How I miss the old days💕

love always, Aunty Diana xoxoxo

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