Archive for December 1, 2010

The Christmas Countdown Tradition: Ritchey

I can remember as a little girl becoming so excited on the 1st Day of December – I would get to open the first little door of the Advent Calendar, then every day for the next 24 days until “Father Christmas” finally popped out behind the little box.

How exciting it was for a child of innocence, how wonderful the month of December.
I, too would get a calendar for Nikki and Chris, sometimes there was candy or chocolates behind each little door as you opened it! We soon learned that Chris had figured out before too long that he could open the back of his card and his sisters and get the chocolates without disturbing the little door. He was good at getting into chocolate-

Nikki called the other day , where could she get Gavin his calendar– a tradition carried on to another child who will giggle with excitement and count the December days.

Traditions so much a part of a family – ours have changed- In some respects I feel like the Grinch of 4th Street, as I watch neighbors and friends and the city lighting up the street with celebration and coloured lights twinkling- but I just can’t get into the celebration- I used to –

Past Thanksgiving Days found everyone decorating the house, stringing lights and putting up wreaths made out of the holly and the ivy that grows over and around this house.

This year Thanksgiving was spent ignoring its presence and getting through the day.

Gavin Christmas 2009

And as children everywhere look for joy I am dreading the countdown to Christmas. Oh! there will be a huge beautiful tree at Nikki’s, it has to be big as I spent days sorting out the decades of ornaments from their boxes- Her special baby ornaments, memory ornaments of a little girl and boy ornaments, I cannot hang them on a tree here ever again-

but they will sparkle, turn and twist from the branches once more in another home . Gavin will get his “Chris- Miss present” from his Uncle Chris but apart from a trip to the Toy Store- the malls and their bell ringers will be without my custom- no Merry Merry Cards – but a new Christmas Eve tradition- started last year as we huddled around a small boy who gives us the gift of a smile and helps us to escape to life for just a little while.

My calendar has no chocolate surprises, our December surprises that litter our lives from last December still remain- A gift of a scholarship again to CIA will be the only card sent this year on the 3rd Day.

I no longer wait with anticipation but with dread of reliving those December Days and the three gifts visited upon us by those that will sing carols and wish each other peace as they sit in their pews- listening to the priest preach compassion and “for unto to us”. As Father Divis preaches thanks on the 21st day of December celebrating the anniversary of saving his job and church, will he perhaps reflect as he looks at the “Mother” Mary and the gifts he enabled to be given to another mother?

Bishop Lennon Lorain
Letter to Bishop Lennon and Rev. Divis

Do these pious pillars of their church think of the three gifts they gave to us during those bleak December days of a year ago – control, deceit, and self- Do they think of the pain and heartache they caused as the candle on their advent wreath is lit ? No I don’t suppose they do – they carry on pillars of their faith and community – the passage of time, other events, memory blurring , the smoke from the candles and incense masking the deeds, the green Christmas trees and wreaths as they decorate the altar and a “manger” where at midnight a plaster child will appear and great thanks will be given- a child symbolizing Peace and Goodwill – pity they don’t practice what they preach.!

My twelve days of Christmas unfortunately has another meaning this year- as our “Peace” on Earth / Goodwill toward…. was ripped from us by the gifts that kept on giving….

December 1, 2010 at 12:10 am 8 comments


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