Friday, December 22, 2006

Give Love This Christmas

One of my favorite things about Christmas is a special Cartee family tradition. It’s very unusual, but this means as much to me as figgy pudding and Jingle Bells. It’s an annual proclamation. Given in the classiest style by my mother. She has faithfully announced this news every year of my life, since I started recording memories. Never once faltering, never once letting us down. It usually goes like this. “Gather round children, I have something to say. I don’t want you kids to be disappointed, but I’m really cutting back on Christmas gifts this year.”
I am from a normal middle class family. Not rich and even a little familiar with need from time to time. However, I am convinced that if my mother won the lottery and had billions, the compulsion to “cut back this year” would still be impossible to resist. It’s built into her. She must say it. Even now that my sister and I are grown, married and have children of our own, we still hear those predictable words. Karen (my sister) and I await them like two 5 year olds stalking Santa on Christmas Eve. We love it. Mainly because it creates more of the humor that adult children enjoy at the expense of their parents. I am sure Oak will observe funny things about me and I’ll reap the wrath of this blog later in life. Who cares? I would not have it any other way. I love my family and mom never keeps her word. She gives me all the socks and deoderant I can use in a life time and worries that I won’t be happy. However, being happy is not about the stuff. It never has been. The Christmas when I got the G.I. Joe Headquarters (tops of all Christmas presents) or the Christmas when nothing went right...nither one was defined not by the kind of presents but that I was with the people I love. So here’s a Christmas wish for you. Cut back, way back. Give your stuff away and hang on to every minute you can with the ones who mean the most to you. I don’t have my G.I. Joe headquarters anymore but I do have my family. One I could care less about, the other is my greatest possession.
Give Love and give all you can. Merry Christmas. CC

(the pic is... me, Karen, my grandfather and other grandkids)

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