Have a wonderful nostalgic Christmas

It’s only the beginning of December and I feel I’ve already experienced Christmas.
A wonderful, warm, fun, nostalgic Christmas–full of good cheer.
It all began last Sunday afternoon when I attended an excellent Christmas concert. It was a varied concert, including women’s voices, men’s voices, bells, and instruments.
As I sat in the packed church, I sometimes closed my eyes. From the first notes of “Angels we have heard on high” to the last “Gloria, in excelsis Deo!” I was entranced.
As I listened, I was transported through time to other Christmases in other places. Suddenly, I was a child again, opening my baby doll–sparkles in my eyes. A doll that said, “Ma-ma! Ma-ma!”
My mother’s eyes sparkled as much as mine. And my dad also was delighted.
Then, quickly, the scene changed and I remembered the grief when my father died just before Christmas. And 28 years later, also during the holiday season, I lost my mother.
I still remember sitting in the dark on the floor under the lighted tree the year my mother died–remembering all the Christmases we had together.
It wasn’t easy, but remembering helped.
Then there are funny memories, like the year I thought a co-worker had “lost his mind.” We were having a conversation in the front office and he seemed to be invading my personal space.
I kept backing away, but it didn’t seem to help.
Suddenly, he leaned forward and startled me with a kiss. Only then did I see the mistletoe!
As the choir sang Christmas carols, I remembered fun times in high school. One year, a group of youth attended a beautiful midnight mass in our local Catholic church. Afterwards, we caroled until 4 a.m.!
Then, my mind focused on another place and time, when a little Canadian girl asked for a “green dollar” to go Christmas shopping. At that time a $1 bill was green, a $2 bill was brown, and a $5 bill was blue.
With her “green dollar,” she went to the children’s area of an upscale department store and bought very nice gifts for the whole family, including Grandma.
No adults were allowed in this special area. The entrance was kid-sized, shelves placed low to the ground for young shoppers, and items priced to make a “green dollar” go a long way.
Christmas is so special. We have such memories. And beautiful Christmas music can make us very nostalgic.
Nostalgia is a mix of happiness and sadness–happiness as we recall people or events of the past and sadness because the past is gone and we miss it.
Like I miss my mother’s Christmas dinners–her buttery whipped potatoes, her delicious pies with ice cream.
While we don’t want to live in the past, it is very important to feel nostalgia on occasion. Recalling the happy times of life gives us pleasure and enriches our lives today.
And what better time to indulge in a nostalgic trip through the past than during the Christmas season.
So, enjoy some happy travels down memory lane! And let the joys of the past inspire you to make the most of your 2011 Christmas experience.
Marie Snider is an award-winning health care writer and syndicated columnist. Write her at thisside60@aol.com or visit www.visit-snider.com

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