Linda, and my sister the late Robin Knight Nutbrown and my late parents Bernice Ethylene Crittenden Knight (Bunny) and Arthur Knight who would be laughing his derriere off to hear I followed his councillor of Cowansville, Quebec steps after I vowed never too. LOL
This year it is– Entry from Holidays Past –Linda Knight Seccaspina
Dec. 15th, 2009, 2:44 PM from my journal
It is December 15th, almost a week before Christmas, and you would never know it. I wrote a piece a few years ago called “Searching For Christmas” and it seems, as the years go by, it disappears more and more. The Martha Stewart Christmas CD plays for the umpteenth time, and after 17 holidays movies on the Hallmark channel I just can’t watch another. Or can I?
I had something happen to me this year that was life altering. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about it, and it has literally changed my perspective on life. It was almost like learning there was no Santa Claus when I was a child. That innocence that reinforced the goodness of mankind suddenly vanished. So, I sit here and ask myself, how many years do I have left? What if I had not lived, and missed Christmas this year? Well, I did live, and the holidays are almost around the corner.
So I try to snap out of this funk and remember. I remember the smell of festive trees and their sharp pine pungent scent, and the smell of home baking in the air. To be honest, the last years of my childhood Christmases were not spent smelling a fresh evergreen tree. It was gazing at the latest model of Sears “best in the line ” decorator trees in my Grandmother’s living room. I remember the delicate fragile glass ornaments that belonged to years gone by and the blue lights on the metallic silver tree.
I can still hear Miss Watson playing the church organ next to the tree at Trinity Anglican Church in Cowansville, Quebec which also shone with blue lights. I felt like it was something that was decided upon one Altar Guild Day in one fell swoop of a pact. Can I still hear these women talking with their glasses perched on their noses and fluffing their short tight perms? Did these church ladies decide that blue lights, and only blue lights, should be on a Christmas tree? I am positive that’s what happened and then they all went home and changed their lights to blue in a no nonsense way.
Memories then flood my mind of two weeks after Christmas in 1995 when my sons and I stood on top of a water- soaked carpet looking sadly at a completely black Christmas tree. Staring at the remainder of a horrible fire that burned everything the day before, my oldest son wondered if his purchase of one small TY Beanie Baby monkey started the fire that turned our lives upside down for over a year. My sons are very much like their mother. We dwell on things and don’t give them up. We are good at that.
But Christmas went on the next year and no one was a Negative Nancy. We still watched Charlie Brown’s Christmas and baked cookies, hung up stockings and I still left small presents on the door steps of the elderly. So what to do? How do I get out of this Downer Dan mood? I decided to make Butter Tarts–now that would make me feel festive.
Twenty minutes later after listening to Loreena McKennitt singing “Good King Wenceslas” for the 5th time, I take the tarts out from the oven. They smell wonderful and I know they will be enjoyed. Charlie Brown’s Christmas by Vince Guaraldi fills the air and I dance. I realize the holidays are what you make out of it and not to expect anyone to drop the Holiday spirit outside your bathroom door– because it just isn’t going to happen. The holidays are not just a season–it’s a feeling sometimes being torn for the familiar and just a chance to feel old feelings twice. May 2019 shine brightly for you, and thanks for reading my stories this year.
Author’s Note– I am proud to announce, or am I? Linda has watched or listened to over 51 Christmas movies on the W channel while writing this year. All I have ever needed is: Christmas movies, pyjamas and cookies.
Linda Knight Seccaspina, December 2018.