Saturday, December 10, 2016

Growing Up Grinch...

Being called a "Grinch" isn't bad in my world, but maybe I'm more of a Cindy Lou Who. I don't see the Christmas spirit a lot these days. I look around at the shopping carts overflowing with gifts being pushed by people who are frazzled and overwhelmed by the entire experience. The introvert in me loves observing the people and how their stress levels always seem higher as the contents of their shopping carts grow. The empath in me feels for them because they are trying to fill the holes in their lives with stuff.

See, I grew up in a family where the spirit of the holiday was more important than the physical gifts. It was about remembering your neighbors who maybe didn't have family to visit or spend the holiday with. My mom would bake and bake her heart out simply to give it all away. I remember her getting up extra early on Christmas morning to bake off loaves of bread, wrap them in dish towels, and put the loaves into the already prepared boxes of Christmas cookies and candies so Dad could run them to our neighbors before we opened gifts.

What's funny is I would sit and look through the catalogs for hours to prepare my Christmas lists every year. I don't remember a lot of the gifts I got (there are a couple that stand out in my mind), but I remember how I felt. I remember watching my parents. And though neither of them realized it at the time, I'm sure, they were teaching me about the true spirit of the season. What else is funny is this: I don't remember going shopping with my mom for gifts. But I do remember being in the kitchen, baking, cooking, stirring, dipping, washing, laughing, and loving.

My mother swears that I'm very un-Grinch-like. (She's my mom. She believes only good things about her baby! Lol) She doesn't know that when I'm driving to work, if a Christmas song comes on, I switch the radio station. Today, however, there was a song that came on and I couldn't change the station. Why? Because I heard the music start and I was transported back to that kitchen on a snowy December night. Cookies were baking. Fudge was bubbling away. My mom was in a pair of polyester pants and a sweatshirt. My dad was in his stocking feet, jeans, and a flannel shirt with a thermal shirt beneath it, sleeves rolled up. And he was singing this song: 


There were tears in my eyes as I drove along. As much as the holiday music drives me crazy, this is one song I just can't turn the station for. This is another: 

So, from now until Christmas, I'm going to make posts about my favorite holiday songs. Something to give you a bit of insight in the world of Gemma and what makes the holidays happy for me.

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