Thursday, December 22, 2005
The Best and Worst of Christmas List
Here's my start - leave yours too!
- Family memories - laughter, good food, music, games, a fireplace, snow falling, magic...
- Ethiopian Christmas - sitting in a mud compound in Khartoum, Sudan - as the guest of 20 or so Ethiopian refugees who lived together in a space the size of a big living room. There was a delicious (precioius) meal, bottles of Pepsi all around, songs and prayers... and a feeling of love, hope and kinship that belied all circumstance.
- Riding the subway in Toronto very late one Christmas night and realizing that almost everyone else in the car looked immensely sad and lonely (and probably were)
- My favourite snow globe (I confess, I used to collect them) - the one with baby Jesus in the manger ... and Santa Claus kneeling before him in prayer (maybe it should be on the best list)
- Visiting Bethlehem and drinking a cold beer in the Star Bar before sticking my head through a hole to be photographed 'on the hillside with shepherds' - hmmm, maybe that goes on the best list too - depends on my mood.
Worst = the greed associated with Christmas, and the way life becomes so hectic around this time of year.
Best = Christmas movies like Ralphie's story and the first two Die Hard movies.
Worst = those creepy Santas you see everywhere who look like escaped convicts and scare children (and the occasional adult, like, um, me) witless.
The worst Christmas was about 5 years ago. It was our younger daughter's first American Christmas. My husband had a nosebleed that wouldn't stop. When we finally woke grandma up to come and babysit, we spent the rest of the night at the ER. The kids woke up to find the bathroom covered in blood and Mama and Daddy gone. Then I had to go to work.
At Ballina ,in the far north coast of NSW, holiday with my parents and staying with my grandparents I had managed to convince my Mother to take me fishing.
I caught an 8lb flathead and walking home every car stopped and hooted its horn, glimpsing the huge fish head poking up through my tiny cloth fishing bag.
It was enough for the entire families evening christmas meal and I have never felt more apprecated.
Worst: The Christmas after we suffered a miscarriage.
Miss Cellania - that's not such a pretty picture... but a damn good story.
Worst--years when I let sadness or lack of material things keep me from seeing the light in the Christmas celebration
The worst: Christmas overseas in a Muslim country where they did not celebrate Christmas, ofcourse, and there were no decorations, no trees to buy, and it was illegal to cut a tree from the forests. Our air freight shipment containing our Christmas stuff didn't arrive until 5 months later, so the children had no Christmas. The feeling of being strangers in a strange land was most acute, and thoughts of Home were almost too painful to endure.
I have no best or worst. I have a couple that I thought were going to be the worst (or none at all) but something always happened at the last minute to make the day a good one for the kids.
In some ways, those poverty stricken Christmases were the best. They were a reminder that most people are decent and caring. And, as in Gift of the Magi, it's about giving, not getting.
I was grounded on my 16th or 17th and wasn't allowed to join the Christmas event of my girlfriends family. I did managed to make a personal gift and she would record (on film) the unwrapping. I inserted some firecrackers that had to be pulled via a rope. The toy helicopter exploded but it was not visible on tape because of the intensity of the blast..
I expect this Christmas to be a good one. Tonight we did some voluntairy work and had great conversations with many people. I have so much faith in the future!!!!!!
i bounced into their room on christmas morning, balloon held aloft with a big grin on my face. it was the best present i could have hoped for - all the toys and presents left opened still in the pillow case. my folks had a job persuading me to give up my precious balloon and go see what else i'd got...
the worst: christmas isn't for teenagers, it's for people either side. i can see that on my children's faces now they're teenagers.
when i was a teenager, getting a record of Favourite TV themes when i was well into Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath wasn't good.
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