I was listening to the radio this morning and there was a local program on KZYX with Laviva Dakers called The Family Connection. She was speaking with an author about the meaning of Christmas traditions. During the conversation, they discussed that St Francis of Assisi was actually the first to bring the idea of the nativity scene to the public, and was very instrumental in making sure that peaceful animals were present during the birth of the Christ child. Coincidentally, I happened to be wearing my faux leopard coat for the first time this season. That brought to mind a family legend from the 1950s when I was growing up. My Uncle Darwin, who was always a bit of a high roller, gave my Auntie Barbara a mink coat one Christmas, and she fainted. When my mother retold the story, I always got the impression she thought the whole thing was a little outre (and maybe Auntie B was faking the faint, anyway). And that made me think about how, even though my mother has been gone for more than 25 years, I always seem to channel her at Christmastime.
I like decorating the house, and thinking about all the people I’ve loved past and present during the holidays. I love to wrap beautiful gifts (just like Mom did), and get dressed up, and be a part of the hustle and bustle of holiday time.
Working at a raw vegan school, I realize that we are creating much different traditions today. Instead of mink coats, we have Peta, instead of turkey, we might have something entirely different on the menu! While my mother’s favorite song was O Holy Night, (which I still love), mine might be Reindeer Boogie.