“What is important is that we can be together and be flexible.” (11-year-old wisdom)
Often things do not go as planned. This Christmas was no exception. My daughter was in another state due to weather preventing her return until hopefully today, the day after Christmas.
I could not ask for a better family. For generations, my maternal side celebrated Germanic Christmas on Christmas Eve with candles and apples on tree branches, much baking of traditional Springerle and Stollen bread, and plenty of time for children to play with their gifts on Christmas Day. Aside from weather this year, for the past decade my divorce has thrown a curve-ball to tradition forcing us to jostle various days and times of celebration in order to include my wing of family. But still we carry on.
Despite my daughter’s glaring absence, we carried forth with coffee and pulling gifts from stockings one at a time around in a circle, with my niece saving some of hers to be opened in the presence of her cousin upon her return. And even though none of us are religious in a traditional sense, the “Christmas Story” section of the Bible was read (by my Jewish sister-in-law for the first time this year). That any of this happened is what I love about my family.
Despite an eye surgery and 3 December birthdays in the family, my folks managed to get a nice tree, invite grandchildren to decorate it, bake goodies, and carry on traditions, even in the face of change.
I have written a tribute to my parents’ marriage in the past (46-year work of art), but this month I was especially touched by appreciation of my family when they held a Support Circle for me after I reached some sort of “rock bottom.” A gentler rock bottom than a long past year with a child on life support while experiencing a job lay-off, but nonetheless a depth brought on by cumulative stress of making ends meet with multiple jobs and providing the consistency of family dinner at the table each night.
My family members gifted me with support in the form of a book (Finding Your Way In A Wild New World), a small financial buffer while I seek work that appreciates and rewards my reliability, dedication and passion, and also a circle of intention where each person held a polished white stone while stating an intention for me for the coming year. Inner Peace. Joy. Sustained Confidence. Spending more time with me. Prosperity. I held a larger black stone with my intention. To allow myself to receive the good.
The stones sit in a glass bowl on my shelf, and I know everything will be fine with resilience like these stones.