I cannot write another word about the holidays–everything has been said. I particularly like the advice about the true meaning and the joy that we must keep in our hearts. I do believe it, I do. Here’s the hook: it’s an emotionally charged time of year. Busy this, busy that. What to buy, or should I just give gift cards? My Jiminy Cricket voice says, “I thought you were cutting back, hmm?”
Listen to me. I believed in Santa Claus way too long, and sometimes I think I can be his helper. I put up two trees, put out my outside lights, and bought three new plaques that I just love. (Don’t worry, I’ll give them away before I die.) Back to my personal NOW. I love the holidays. It’s genetic, I inherited it from my Dad, who played Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas,” put the tinsel on the tree a piece at a time, and even drilled holes in the real tree to replace a bare spot. And when I find myself getting overwrought, getting crazy, I return to Christmas past.
My ghost of Christmas past reminds me of people that left my life for the time being, but are locked in my heart forever. It is not sad. I think of our Boo-Sha, that’s the Americanized version of the Polish word babcia which means grandma. What a fine, old-fashioned woman she was. I hit the jackpot for mother-in-laws.
Plus, she is my role model for grandmothers. She knitted and crocheted, she kept her little two flat brick bungalow as clean as a palace, and had a stash of quaint jokes that we still kick around. I think she signified the best of the old immigrant ideal, strongly religious, thrifty, not cheap, but careful with money.
She once took all her end scraps of yarn and knitted my kids the ugliest hats in the world. Yet my oldest son still wears his. He calls it his boosha hat. And I saved her collection of salt and pepper shakers. She had one from every state except Maryland. No one can capture the sweetness of another person’s nature. Let us just say, our boosha’s handmade ornaments still hang on my tree.
Quickly, I gift you with MY BUDDHA SMILE. Looking at eastern statuary, I noticed the soft smile on every figure; even the many versions of the Buddhas never looked severe. Why?
They are grounded in the moment, they look upon everything with sublime objectivity, they breathe the air about them with pleasure, then they raise their lips upward and the playful smile appears. While life roars about them, they are at peace.
Whatever your religion or persuasion, I wish you all a kinder, gentler world.