What is Christmas?

Lat night both my kids and my husband were home. We all were sitting around eating and talking. To be honest that it is Christmas enough for me. The hockey game was on. I was knitting. We were all passing around a bag of sweet and salty popcorn. ( get some!) We had a few laughs, a few groans, and naturally there was some rolling of the eyes. We are after all, family. Christmas is different for me now. There is no late night assembling of toys, no over tired children crying, it is a grown up Christmas. It is about getting together. It is more fun giving presets than getting them.

Christmas is an extremely busy time for my husband. He has a mens wear store next to my studio. Every customer they have almost, comes in to the store in December. By Christmas he is beat out. The last thing he wants to do after work is Christmas shop. Yet I have to say that has never interfered with our enjoyment of Christmas because he loves his work, his customers and his store. Our son works there with him at Christmas which is also a blessing. By Christmas day he is tired. When the kids were little he would sleep away boxing day.

A few years ago, after a beautiful Christmas Day with all the family around , my mother in law quietly passed away after Christmas supper. Even that though , we agreed was a good Christmas , because she had been surrounded by those she loved all day. She had lived a long, full life, and she was ready. We had eaten, sang, opened presents and laughed. It was her favourite kind of day. We don’t tend to remember her anymore on Christmas Day then usual because we remember her all the time.

Yesterday I ran into four people who I know were having a difficult time this Christmas. It can be very sad for some people. After work, over a plate of nachos, a friend said that this time of year incidents of domestic disputes rise dramatically. It is a challenging time of year for many people. I know that. We all miss people we have loved, or still love. We are reminded of so much. Yet it is also a beautiful time of year when we are reminded to care for those around us, to go out of our way to show some extra thoughtfulness and love.

Recently someone said to me that it bothers her when people say “it does not feel like Christmas”. She explained to me that she felt Christmas is inside of us. It is what we do. The preparations that we make is what makes our Christmas. The Christmas Spirit is not fairy dust dropped on us. It is the fairy dust we create by rubbing our hands together and getting down to business with a little baking, a little prepping, buying or making special gifts for those we love.

Any time of year is good to love each other, as my mother in law always said, “we are here to be good to each other.”, but at Christmas we are reminded of the importance of friendship, of kindness and of love, for that is the real meaning of Christmas. So it is not about the shopping, even though at Christmas we are both ( my husband and I ) busy selling and wrapping presents, we know that the buying of those presents is meant to represent the way one person feels about another.





You can see a picture on the top shelf here of Robert’s Uncle Mike who started the store ninety years ago as an immigrant pedlar selling around the county from a horse and wagon.


13 thoughts on “What is Christmas?

  1. Lovely sentiments on Christmas. It was different for us .. First Christmas without Mom and no longer at our childhood home for 47 years. It was good and we had laughs and lovely memories of times past…and loved ones were missed and remembered and it was good….


  2. Wonderful message for Christmas Deanne! I miss my family this year as they are in your end of the country and I am halfway across the continent. We will enjoy Christmas with friends and, hopefully, via Skype with family. Hope you have a Merry Christmas! 🙂


  3. Your message touched my heart. Just being with family means so much, some are no longer with us, we think of them. My Christmas is different this year, no rushing around gift buying. I am mostly at home doing a little baking, icing my knee, instead of the cakes. Merry Christmas to you and your family Deanne, to all the rug hooking friends I have met on your blog, and all the others too.Shirley


  4. This is a very different Christmas for my family. My grandson will be leaving for college late this summer – so his list is quite short. He won’t be able to take his musical equipment or sporting goods to Engineering School with him so he has asked only for an Acoustic Bass – amplified music won’t work out in the dorms. We will prepare our traditional meal (my daughter and I in my small kitchen shoulder to shoulder) – Maine Lobsters and Classic Seafood Chowder – that meant so much to us all the years we lived in California and needed to remember “home” – which is New England. There could be a few tears at our gathering, we will miss hearing from my son Scot, who always called to talk with each of us on Christmas as he had been living in Portland, Oregon for 13 years prior to losing the battle with cancer this past June. We feel his presence in everything we do but we still miss his contagious laughter, great whit and his huge personality. I plan to have my sketches of planned “Scotty” rugs out so I can get input from my daughter and grandson – Scotty skateboarding the clouds; Scotty rocking out up by the stars on his Bass, with his drums nearby – and several others. My husband’s speech is practically gone, a February stroke took that away, and I am still hobbling from knee surgery that didn’t go so well but we will be together – the four of us: My daughter, grandson, husband and myself. And, we will eat our bright red lobsters served on the green majolica plates I have collected over the years and enjoy our chowder (my grandmother’s recipe). We will laugh a lot because we have always been good at that, and we will remember when our Christmas Table always held so many more – our California family – and we will crack up over some of those memories. Maybe Jess will play for us on the guitar that Nonie (me) had placed under their Christmas tree, and maybe we will sing – my daughter was in a bands forever (some big names you would all know) and has a voice that lights up a room, and Jesse is also a vocalist. When Will remembers a song, he may come in for a few bars – I know them all and my voice will be loud and clear as I will be so happy to have my family around me for another New England Christmas. Blessings to all of you – and in 2014 Health Happiness Joy Contentment (and at least a few rugs you absolutely adore) xoxox


  5. I agree and feel much like the first paragraph. Had my boys home for a good week now. It’s been Christmas all week and the tree isn’t even decorate yet!


  6. Years from now you may re-read your description of “last evening”; and the memory will wash over you – it is a gift to recognize the treasure in ordinary moments. And it is good to be reminded to “make” Christmas.


  7. My friend and I were just talking about the gifts most kids getting now are mostly electronic (yes times have changed) but the best present my sisters and I received in the 60’s was a new box of crayola crayons and a new flannel nightgown! Hope you and your family have great holidays!


  8. Thankyou for a beautiful message reminding us of the meaning of Christmas. We enjoy family and friends, wonderful food. give to those in need, and place those away in the pocket right over our hearts. Blessings to all. K


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