December is here which means Christmas is just around the corner. I don’t know what Christmas means to you, but it conjures up all kinds of emotions and memories for me. Some of the memories are good: childhood memories of getting and decorating the Christmas tree; searching for hours to find that perfect gift; playing Christmas carols. I always began playing the Classic Christmas Collection the day after Thanksgiving. I’d pull the records out and stack them onto the record player and let them play. Mom loved it. When our record player died of old age, I’d turn on the radio and find a station that played Christmas carols and Mom and I would sit around and reminiscence about the happy times we had visiting loved ones at Christmas, and decorating the house and the tree.
After Dad died in 1995 and Mom’s eye sight slowly deteriorated, we stopped decorating her house, but still continued with the Christmas song tradition. I’d turn the radio to a Christmas station and let it play. She knew that when she got tired of the music she could just unplug the radio and then call me when she was ready for more music since I lived right across the driveway.
Mom had a plastic tree that was decorated with Hawaiian leis from Mom and Dad’s one and only trip to Hawaii. That was her Christmas tree after Dad died. We’d add some Christmas bows to it, and set a small white lighted ceramic Christmas tree atop the nearby console television. She would sit on the couch and gaze at the two side-by-side trees and remember happy days…
Then in January 2002, Mom was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and Christmas would be changed forever. Mom died December 27, 2002 and my son and I swore to create new Christmas traditions. After all Mom would have wanted it that way; so remember to cherish these moments People because you never know when it all may change — and sometimes you will wonder if it was for better or worse.