BALL OF LIGHTNESS
PUFF OF FUR HELD IN HAND
DEAD OF WINTERS HARDY SWIVER
STILL AS SNOW HOWLS YOU WAIT
BLACK-CAPPED FEATHERED WARRIOR
SOFT ELEGANT SWOOSH ONTO
SPACIOUS BUFFET LANDING SITE
SEED DISH FORMERLY BIRD BATH
ALOOF AMONG SKIRMISHES OF BLUEJAYS AND DOVES
DARTING DAGGERS OF BEAKS SORTING AND SNORTING
STEALING SEEDS IN PLAIN SMEARED WINDOW VIEW
ROCKET PROPELLED UPTO YOUR LEAF STRIPPED BRANCH
YOU ARE MY SUPER HERO
MJ Meets - The Holidays
Let me start by admitting right off the “bat” that Halloween is my favorite holiday. Give me all things spooky, all of the time (like the stuffed crow which I still have on my desk at work in protest of the witching season being complete for 2018). With that being said, there is something wonderfully magical about the days that fall between Thanksgiving and the New Year. The lights, the music, the movies—all classic staples of my childhood. The holiday season always brings with it a deluge of memories, and with this season being my first without all of my grandparents, I am especially grateful for these recollections.
Traditions run deep in my family, and I often have a difficult time with swallowing change. The Christmases of my entire childhood followed the same schedule: Christmas Eve with my mom’s side of the family, Christmas morning with my parents, and Christmas Day with my dad’s side of the family. Always the same food (lasagna on Christmas Eve, kielbasa and homemade cheesecake on Christmas day), and, for the most part, the same locations. You could always count on my Grandpa Little to wear his infamous Garfield Christmas sweatshirt on Christmas Eve (Garfield in a stocking cap holding lumps of coal saying “There must be some mistake.” Classic grandfather sweater.) My Grandma Little would inevitably give one of us extra plastic bags or another random household gift. On Christmas Day my Grandma Della was always the peacekeeper, and prevented our family from falling apart over an argument over whatever Trivial Pursuit we happened to be playing.
On February 9, 2013, we lost my Grandma Della. There was not a lot of time to prepare for it, and with me living in Florida, it was even more difficult to cope with. The first Christmas without her was strange—it felt like the traditions would never be the same. Instead, our family rallied, and while we still argue over trivia, we now also participate in a family game of BINGO—Grandma’s favorite. Kielbasa is still served, and my aunt has exceeded expectations at making the famous cheesecake.
On February 8, 2014, we lost my Grandma Little—almost exactly a year apart from my other grandmother. Traditions had already begun changing on that side of the family—with my cousin’s family growing, it was too hard to meet in any of our houses on Christmas Eve, so we had already moved the date and location. We didn’t get plastic bags or boxes of tea that year, but we still had lasagna (her original recipe), and my grandpa still wore his Garfield sweatshirt.
Finally, on August 8, 2018, we lost my Grandpa Little, four years and six months after his sweetheart. This coming Christmas will be the strangest yet, without his re-telling (and re-telling and re-telling) of stories, and the smell of black coffee. We will still have lasagna, though, and I will be wearing that Garfield sweatshirt with a huge smile on my face.
A shift in tradition can be hard during the holiday season, but that’s not necessarily bad (or sad) as this story implies. The change my family has endured has also allowed growth for new traditions, some of which aren’t limited to the holiday season. Changes will always keep coming, but each year we find ways to embrace them and create new memories while treasuring the old ones more and more.
So you say you know a lot about Christmas?
Well, we plan to challenge you this season with a few teasers from songs, traditions, history, books, movies and cartoons.
More to follow so stay tuned.
1.Did Scrooge have a brother or a sister?
2.In the song Jingle Bells who was 'seated by my side'?
3. When he was a child who did George save from drowning in It's A Wonderful Life?
Answers found elsewhere on this page