A Holiday Invitation
It is the season of bright lights and holiday cheer. The streets and buildings of New York City are sporting garland, twinkling lights, exotic window displays and Christmas trees of all sizes. Magazines feature Christmas decor and recipes and the Christmas specials are already on all the television channels.
It brings to mind my view of Christmas when I was a child. It was a wondrous celebration with the magic of Santa and reindeer, decorated trees and big, exciting gifts, but I was on the outside looking in. As a child in a Jewish family, I did not have a tree to decorate or Santa coming. Chanukah had to fill the gap, but a menorah and dreidels were not as exciting. The celebration was a small family gathering with token gifts exchanged. We watched “Miracle on 34th Street” and “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”, but they were about someone else’s exotic holiday.
My glimpse into that other world came from my friend across the street and her generous family. Each Christmas, they put up a wonderful, big, Christmas tree in their living room. My friend’s mother would bring out the boxes of special ornaments that would be hung with great care by my friend, her brothers, her parents and me. I treasured the chance to choose from the wonderful antique glass fruit ornaments and decide what I would hand and on which branch. Not far from the tree stood the antique cradle in which the gifts were placed. For weeks before the holiday, we would carefully examine and gently shake my friends packages trying to guess the contents. Then came the special night. Christmas eve, her family, mine and several of the neighbors gathered around that beautiful tree, drank eggnog and exchanged gifts.
It has been many years since I shared those Christmas rituals with my friend. But this year, I felt that I was let into that world once again in the Handmade Artists’ forum. I was a Secret Santa and have had the fun of giving and seeing all the wonderful gifts. During the recent weeks, I have seen the lovely ornaments made by my fellow crafters. I treasure the traditions of Chanukah, the lighting of the candles, the dreidels and the latkes, but it has been nice to share in the excitement of Christmas!
Posted in Handmade Holiday