Yes, it’s that time of year. The weather’s nothing too serious for our area…yet, just enough to remind us that the holiday—Thanksgiving through Three Kings, is just around the corner. You see, we’re sort of a UN family. I’m predominantly Irish, my first husband was Puerto Rican and Irish, and my husband is pure Polish. 100% pierogi and sauerkraut!
Thanksgiving is always a big event, whether we celebrate here or with the inlaws, which we love to do BTW. We’re all very close friends.
Then, on Dec. 6th, an important holiday for the Polish, we used to celebrate St. Nicks, shoes and all. The kids loved it. And if by any chance any of them are home with us now on the 6th, they get the filled shoes. We were fortunate to spend St. Nicks in Germany with our son and his family a few years ago. What a surprise in the morning to see porches filled with candy and goodies for the children. Neighbors leave little trinkets and candy on the porch during the night.
Christmas? Well, that’s everyone’s favorite, isn’t it? Beautiful church services on the 24th, food…too much food, and family. Then Christmas morning, whether you’re nine or ninety, is so much fun. Paper everywhere, smiles, a few “Huh? What is it?” and then food again.
On Three Kings which is celebrated seriously in Puerto Rico, kids enjoy gifts once more. In our home, three of the gifts they would have gotten on Christmas were put aside to be received by the Three Kings along with the story of how the kings gifted Jesus with their love and tokens.
So, you see, we CELEBRATE! More importantly, we raised our children, in spite of the holidays, to be givers instead of receivers. And we haven’t been disappointed. They give to others before they take for themselves. And that brings the biggest smile to my face.
Why am I writing about the holidays already?
The first snow this morning gave me that holiday sparkle (not like Edward, but like an elf). And I wonder what special things you all do to make them extra special?
For one thing, I love to share amazing books. I have two favorites that I read every year until the bindings have broken nearly in two.
The Christmas Gift, by Glendon Swartout (originally the Melodeon) a coming of age story from the Depression era , and A Christmas Gift by Lucy Agnes Hancock, a Harlequin story from the 30s about family and coming home. Each bring thoughts of home, of family past and present, and of the reason for celebration.
As fluffy flakes fall outside your window, I pray each of you will find that perfect story that reminds you what the holidays are all about and that you will read it each year until the spine disintegrates with use.
So bring it on. I can’t wait.
Let it snow, let it snow, let snow!