Tuesday, December 11, 2012

it's that time of year...

It's been awhile since my last post. Thanksgiving is over and now Christmas is around the corner.

As every year for the last twenty, I struggle between loving this time of year and mourning this time of year.

Growing up, my family thanksgivings were quiet. Just my mother, father, brother and me. We never had extended family over for holidays. They all live(d) on the east coast and my father hated traveling during the holidays.

We'd eat ourselves to death and lay around the house. Then on Friday we'd drive down to Carmel-by-the-Sea and do some Christmas shopping. I'd follow my father around in and out of art galleries. Usually he'd see something that would speak to him and buy it. My father has a wonderful collection to this day.

On Saturday we'd drive up the hill and chop down a tree. Our living room had very high ceilings and the tree usually topped out at about 20 feet. We'd manage to get the tree home and soak it in a bucket of water overnight an hope all the little bugs would crawl off overnight. Most of them did.

Then on Sunday, we(my father, brother and myself) would struggle to get that damn tree in the house and standing up. Most years it didn't fall over. Eventually we learned to tie it off with fishing line half way up to keep it standing.

My brother and I would use the rest of the afternoon to decorate the tree.

That was our family tradition until the year our father collapsed at the thanksgiving dinner table 20 years ago. Later that weekend the doctors told us he had an inoperable brain tumour that would kill him in less than four months.
The holidays have never been the same for me, and probably never will. Yes, I mourn him. However, I wish my girls could have known him. I wish he could have been a grandfather.

I've passed many of those family traditions on to my own family. I'm blessed for every year we're able to do them.
I've changed a few here and there. I'm not a turkey girl...we have prime rib for Christmas dinner. Hmmm. Our tree has never been taller than 9 feet...and I only remember the kitten knocking over the tree once.

I hope you all have family traditions to carry on to your children.

Happy Holidays to you and yours,
Monkey Girl

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