This holiday memory remains so vividly real, let me share!
Jim Croce was spinning on the record player singing the Christmas carol, It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way . Sitting proudly in the living room was a 6-inch television screen, displaying static snow due to the broken rabbit ears tethered to the top of the wooden television box. Our lonely, yet always present plastic Christmas tree stood guard in the corner trying to glow with holiday cheer. And, this was all sprinkled with an aroma of rum-drenched, candied fruit cakes baking in the oven.
And me, I was clinging tightly to hope and dreams of something different than Southern California winters. Winters which are defined by huge cactus, palm trees, and 90-degree heatwaves. I was a young teenager and had lived a decade believing in the magic of holidays.
And that magic always came alive in my snow-globe. Probably only 8 inches in diameter, yet it was life-size to me.
In that globe was a colonial home with brightly painted Christmas lights, people outside laughing, playing hockey, and sledding with a sign that read, “Winter Wonderland”. Every holiday, I would sit with that globe and dream of a different holiday.
Disclaimer: the exact details of that dreadful day may be a bit fuzzy.
Somehow, someway, my 12-year-old “globe of hope” rolled off my bed and splintered into nothingness, all over the hardwood floor.
It was like all my hopefulness for holiday difference instantly vanished.
As money was light, I knew getting a new globe was not practical. Besides, that really wasn’t the point. That globe represented my perfect holiday and my ultimate winter wonderland, that someday would come true!
So, I sat with my shattered hope, scattered all over the floor. For just a moment, let’s fast forward a couple of decades. Yes, GreenDay sang it perfectly, I was walking a boulevard of broken dreams
For two weeks, I dared not touch the broken. I watched the water and glycerin stained floor proudly display my shattered dreams. When tucked into bed on one December night, I must have believed in the modern clique, there is always a message in our mess! And, so I began to think how I could best create new hope with my broken pieces. What if, some of the pieces were not really broken at all?
This change of heart allowed me to soon realize that some of the pieces really were not damaged. I began to feel an excitement in my ability to create something different that might give me hope in my dream for holiday difference.
Many of us yearn for that perfect holiday. Yet, maybe the message of the perfect holiday lies in the brokenness we experience in each and every imperfect holiday celebration. Dare I say, what holiday doesn’t have some imperfection?
It is in our brokenness and imperfection that we begin to build our blessings. Our imperfection allows us to feel our power of choice. Imperfection may be a family or a friend; it may be a holiday tradition, stage play, decoration, or gift that exposes life’s imperfection.
Let’s just be real. I have burned then served unedible holiday meals, I have invited people into my home who were hurtful and toxic, I have forgotten gifts for loved ones, and I have decorated with candles needing the local Fire Dept.’s help to extinguish.
All of this colorful holiday cheer certainly shows my holiday imperfections. And, just maybe there is some perfection in all my imperfect holidays! And in all my imperfectness, I always choose to feel hope…
And, when I use my experience of imperfection, hope always rides tandem.
It truly saddens me every holiday season when I encounter family and friends that allow a very dark cloud to remain over their season. For some their history continues to prevent them from making different choices. I know for many people, Christmas and Hanukkah are about history. For many, their past has not been kind and events have caused much loss. And it is the tight hold of history that will always prevent embracing something new. Yes, it is in today, we are blessed with choice.
My friend, as you begin the celebration of winter and the holiday season, maybe it is time to begin creating your new and different Winter Wonderland; A holiday season that truly represents your own values, ideals and the love you have today.Click To Tweet