The special time of the year is upon us again. Yes the season of Christmas & Hanukkah celebrations, and after that is done and dusted comes the closing of the year 2019.
Well, let me tell you a story of a little girl to lighten up the preparations.
When Sasha was a little girl she loved Christmas. For it was a time when her family gathered at her grandparents house. Her grandma and mum would bake many special Christmas cookies and make other especially sweet and tasty dishes, which were enjoyed only at that time of the year.
It was also the time of sweet mandarins and juicy oranges. That was the only time of the year when these were available in the shop.
There was so much to look forward to. There were the foods, then there were the presents and then there were other family members whom Sasha didn’t see during the year.
Her favorites were her two cousins as they were about the same age as Sasha and she could play with them outside in the snow. And yes, the time of Christmas also meant that there would be a lot of snow! The ground was covered in this white and wet substance and it was such a joy to play in it. The snow angels were a hit with everyone. Just as much as building of the carrot nosed snowman. So much fun to roll the big balls for the snowman’s body! And the downhill sledging was a blast to live for.
In the morning of the 24th December there were many special fairy tales screened on the TV while Sasha helped her mum to decorate the live Spruce tree in the living room. Her granddad brought that tree from the forest close by. There were beautiful little square lanterns of variety of vivid colors, which went around the tree and which were lit to bring some light into the evening.
While the tree was decorated and the fairy tales finished Sasha and her family observed fast. From breakfast that morning until the dinner time, they tried to not eat any food or drink any liquids. The reason for that was that they wanted to see a golden piglet. In the tradition, it is said that a person who doesn’t eat until the Christmas dinner on the day will see the golden piglet, which was symbol of good fortune.
Dinner time was around 5 pm. Upon gathering all family members the Christmas dinner was ready to start. While everyone stood around the table grandma said a quiet prayer. Prayer for food, family reunion next year and good fortune. Body of Christ, in the form of plain thin wafer was shared among the family members gathered around the table. A little bit of red currant juice was Sasha’s substitute for red wine that represented the blood of Christ. Then they all sat down and ate the precious food that grandma and mum so long prepared.
Traditionally a soup made from carp’s head with little round flour dumplings was enjoyed. To bring wisdom into the future endeavors. The main meal was the actual carp slices, fried in breadcrumbs batter. The carp, though delicious in taste, required some work to be eaten without the many bones, so Sasha’s favorite part of the meal was the divine cold potato salad.
There was no need for dessert. Everyone was so full that they hardly moved. Grandpa quietly disappeared into the living room and shortly after a bell was heard by all. Sasha knew what it meant. Little Jesus already visited and now there were all the presents!
The family had moved into the living room where the tree was lit and under it were many nicely wrapped presents. Slowly and according to the well written name tags Sasha handed each present to each and everyone in the room. Curious looks, shakes, wild guesses and then unwrapping was the family ritual that Sasha so much remembered. There was laughter, joy and great ambiance in the room. Everyone seemed so happy.
The many different Christmas cookies that were eaten in the meantime might have accounted for some of the laughter and joy.
This was Sasha’s memory of the Christmas time of her youth. When her cousin suddenly died and then grandpa did years later, her family stopped travelling to grandpas’ and grandma’s for Christmas. Instead they stayed to make their own Christmas celebration at their home.
As with Santa’s death Sasha felt broken and uprooted. Her best part of the year was taken away from her. She knew her Christmas could never be the same again.
Now as an adult woman, Sasha doesn’t go into the trouble of preparing and celebrating Christmas. Her childhood Christmas will not be repeated so what could be the point of celebrating? Sasha grew up with a little scar in her heart.
Whether it was Christ, Jesus, Santa or Father Christmas who colored your childhood Christmas now it’s only a distant memory.
Let me tell you this. It’s up to us to create the feeling of celebration for anything in life.
LIFE is THE PRESENT that we GOT. And we are the ones to celebrate its receiving. It is best to accept it and rejoice about it.
Upon clearing our unconscious memories and past scars we are able to breathe again deeply with expanding lungs. Make it your top priority for 2020 to work on your own personal development and spiritual longing.
Be here and thrive
2 thoughts on “THE BEST CHRISTMAS TIME”
Beautifully written story Hana. Thank you for sharing. Wishing a Merry Christmas to you and your family.