My shopping bags piled on the vacant bed. As are gift bags bought last night. Sorting, stuffing and tag-writing will take fifteen minutes. Perhaps less.
I’ll venture to Carla & Chad’s for afternoon and evening with my bags of bounty and toys, sweaters ‘n stuff.
Someone (SG) taught me a new term last year – grandtoys.
I reeled at first. Out of whack. Like any new idea, it has seeped into vocabulary.
It feels more right, now, but I think in a different sense than SG intended.
Last evening – everyone focused on them.
Stars of the show. Our entertainment, our joy, our reason more than any other for being all in that room at that time – for them.
Is their purpose to bring us together?
They have no clue. Not yet.
No perception around meaning of these gatherings, festivities or traditions, but they will build memories. I’m sure. We all do. Our Christmases past. Not Dickensian, but layered ones of food and family, decorations and stockings, laughter and joy. Grand toys indeed.
Lots to remember.
Lots of forgetting too.
Christmases past – and future, déjà vu moments will arrive annually.
Which brings me to Christmas present and F words (nod to SB).
There will be food, family, fun, friends. Amid more food (I’m cooking for everyone tonight – beef night). Some eff’s will rest. Fitness doesn’t show up at Christmas meals because January, gyms and resolutions are future words. Faith, the other F word on many minds, is something I often discount – not to disparage those who have it – but not to fake what I don’t feel.
For many faithful – time for reverence and joy, about a boy – born long ago, who changed the world. Faithful zeolots and harshest cynics agree – this world has been irreparably impacted by religion, culture and tradition of many Christmases past. Battles, struggles and conflicts past. Pain and strain and mistakes past.
For all of them, all of us, whatever we believe – or believed. For those who hold rigidly to a point of view, for those who change, for those who soften – or those still making up their mind what they believe. For all of them, for all of us, we should not lose sight of one very obvious thing – shape of Christmas future is built, layer upon layer, on the experiences of those wide-eyed children who look up to us for everything.
They will, I assert, not remember any particular gift of toys or games or clothes no matter how beautifully wrapped. They will, however, build their memories of moms and dads, grandmoms and granddads. Those will last better and longer than anything. And one day, when moms and dads and gramdmoms and granddads are gone, those indelible impressions and memories will live on.
Knowing that is the best Christmas present, no matter what you believe.
A new word for you SG: grandjoys
Every baby born changes our world.
column written/ published from Hampton Inn, Fort Saskatchewan, AB
morning walk: 0C/ 32F, steady wind traffic is light here in this cluster of hotels (mostly empty – mine has 8 or 120 rooms occupied, the Holiday Inn next door has 1 SUV and 1 Baker Hughes truck), not far from the gaol (yes, Scrabble fans, that’s a word), not far from Carla and Chad’s house – returning to lobby coffee and free National Post.
Hi Mark, Have a very Merry Christmas with your family. It's nice to take some time off our busy working lives & get back to what if most important. All the best in 2015, may be quite the ride. MC, Bottrel, AB