December 13, 2010
Christmas is Coming
Last year we were snowed in over Christmas, and the year before we were stuck at home while my husband recovered from knee surgery. This year we'll actually get to visit family. I wouldn't have said this when I was ten, but getting together with people you love is the best part of the holidays. (A great-big meal of delicious food I didn't cook comes in a close second, though.)
My favorite tradition isn't specific to Christmas, but takes place every time my family gets together for a holiday meal. Conversation always turns to reminiscence and soon my brother and sister have us all laughing about misadventures from our childhood. The stories seldom change. They've become oral tradition--legends my neice and nephew could recite if they wanted to. The stories link us as a family and link our adult selves with the children we once were. I listen and add little. The memories aren't mine, but ours, and each story truly belongs to its teller. My own memories, I keep to myself.
Holidays and family gatherings are frequent fodder for cliched films and stories, but they can be a source of true inspiration. Take a few minutes and list the first words that spring to mind when you think of Christmas. Keep your hand moving and don't second guess yourself, this is an exercise in free association. When you've reached the bottom of a page, go back and select ten words from your list as a jumping-off point for today's writing.