Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Another Year, another Christmas



Merry Christmas! Jolene Navarro here. As I write this it is deep into the night, the house is quiet and the Christmas tree lights the dark room.

I love Christmas decorations, each one comes with a special story.  Over the years the memories get deeper and richer with  little sparkles of sadness coating  them.  Most of my angels that hang around my tree came from my mother and a few came from students. Of course with four children I have all the handmade ornaments glued and dated by little hands that are now all grown up.
Each year marks a loss of some sort: people, youth, and phases of life your children outgrew. You can let it take the joy or you can  find joy in remembering the legacy of the one you have lost. Of where your children have grown. When they come home they actually decorate the tree.
In my Christmas story, A Texas Christmas Wish, my hero has a hard time coming home because all he see is the loss of his mother and sister. Seeing his nieces getting older reminds him of the thing his mother and sister will never do again. He lives in the pain a grief instead of finding ways to heal and honor them.
His father is grieving too but both men are a bit on the stubborn side and ignore instead of embracing. The heroine’s faith and optimism in spite of her own rough life brings the men around to seeing the beauty in their memories and celebrating the legacy of the women they love.
 My own mother loved Santa figures. As she bought me a new angel for my tree each year I bought her a new Santa for her collection. When I see a unique Santa my first impulse is to buy it and it makes me a bit sad, but that’s okay. We take our sadness and turn it into blessings. Through me and my children she lives on in our lives.
The naivety scene pictured below, belonged to my mother. She made it when I was about eight years old. She poured the molds and glazed the set. A few of the pieces have been bumped and dinged but they are the first thing I set up in my house and the last thing I put away.

They remind me of one of my favorite line from a story: The Velveteen Rabbit, Margery Williams
“Real isn't how you are made,' said the Skin Horse. 'It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.'

'Does it hurt?' asked the Rabbit.

'Sometimes,' said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. 'When you are Real you don't mind being hurt.'

'Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,' he asked, 'or bit by bit?'

'It doesn't happen all at once,' said the Skin Horse. 'You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand.”
So maybe another year has made us a  a bit shabbier, but the Lord has designed us for relationships the most important on is with him. So this Christmas whether you are surrounded by tons of family or quietly alone, light a candle and remember the greatest gift is eternal life we are given because of faith in the unseen.

6 comments:

Lorraine Beatty said...

Thank you for that beautiful sentiment, Jolene. I'm at that 'real' point in my life where I'm worn out, shabby and wrinkly but its also the best time of life. I'm closer to the Lord, more appreciative of what I have and not as concerned what others think. Except for my editor of course. :)

I read your book and thoroughly enjoyed it. Merry Christmas

Pamela Tracy said...

Your book is on my TBA pile for after I get AA's in and finish a novella :)

Jolene Navarro said...

Thank you Lorraine, your words are more than encouraging! Thank you

Jolene Navarro said...

AA are important lol - No one warned me that when I started writing I would lose reading time.

Renee Andrews said...

Beautiful, Jolene. I love the photos that share your sweet memories. Merry Christmas!

Jolene Navarro said...

Thank you Renee. Here's to a happy Merry Christmas to you and yours