Finally, someone sent me a lovely personal story of their own to share. It came as a comment, but instead of punoshing it as an appendage to my story, it should have its own place.
Herewith, signed "anonymous" but clearly from a woman. Thank you for sending it and may others enjoy this gift as much as I
"... Growing up in a household with a mentally ill mother did not allow for great Christmas spirit to come flowing from our family. Yes, to the outside world we appeared as the wholesome catholic family that volunteered at church, and acted as useful members of society. That being said, I can tell you of my favorite activity of the holidays.
I have worn glasses since the first grade, and I discovered soon after that I could take them off to see our christmas tree in a whole new way. Seeing the blurry, large colored lights on a dark field of green boughs was simply magical. I would stare for what seemed like ages, squinting and turning my head to get the best effect. Time seemed to have stopped while I created tiny worlds of light people at play within the tree branches.
Looking back, I can see that this was a creative coping mechanism for escaping an environment of chaos. Sounds pitiful, but wonderful all at once. I still practice this ritual every christmas, but now it is to reflect on a little girl that lived through the tough times, only to find an adult that has grown strong both mentally and spiritually. Finding the beauty in any situation is truly the meaning of holiday spirit."
(Note: I shall be away from the keyboard through the weekend. Feel free to send stuff. I would love to find my email box stuffed like a stocking with your memories. But non of them will appear until Tuesday of next week. Merry, holy, happy...)