Monday, December 7, 2009

No Thanks Mr. Gore

I’ve been meaning to write more about my weekend with the new family and new fiancé since it all went down, but have just not been able to focus or had a huge desire to write recently. Last night gave me that little push I needed. Last night I spent my first Christmas doing some sort of family tradition since I’ve moved up here that looked anything like the movies. Growing up in Jacksonville, FL Christmas traditions fall short of what one would think is appropriate or seasonal. Maybe there is something more too the environment surrounding the season than the actual date and month on a calendar though. I took a class in college that was based on a similar idea, that cultures and individuals are all affected by their environment, but cannot remember what it was called. It’d be an interesting study now though, being as I have an experience to link my desire for education to this time around. The temperatures yesterday ranged from 19 (low) to 36 (high). J was all excited about going home to participate in their annual family tradition of decorating the Christmas tree. I was a little nervous at first because I’ve never really felt this seasonal spirit that everyone seemed to have on the movies. We walk into the house to see an almost rhythmic dance from within the fireplace. The warmth and smells produced permeate the senses and dive deep into the psyche to convince myself that I have the seasonal Christmas spirit I so longed for. Christmas music is being played and we begin to decorate the tree. The family remembering all the times of past and enjoying each others company. For a moment the room seemed to be still and move in slow motion as I was a spectator of something beautiful. This moment was interrupted by a rugged, probably unsafe, ladder and some old red lights. If you are thinking that I was beaten with an old piece of wood by a police officer you are wrong. I was handed an old rickety ladder and strand of lights and asked to hang the strand of red lights that they have traditionally decorated their tree with. In that moment my observing was turned into participation and no longer did I watch a family tradition, I became part of it. No longer their tradition, it was ours.

Ever since that announcement that we were engaged in Michigan on Thanksgiving weekend I have felt nothing but acceptance and the warmth of what I’ve missed since moving from Jacksonville, Family. The entire weekend, Thanksgiving weekend, was great because I knew I was adopted into a new family. Although I still greatly miss my family, it is very nice to feel like I have one up here. So last night as the Christmas music played and we all just sat around after the tree was completely decorated I just looked around and smiled. J hated the taste of roasted chestnuts. But all in the name or tradition I decided to bring a package of them to roast on an open fire (even though it was done in an over at 400 for 20 minutes). We chased that with some eggnog and wondered what exactly eggnog was. What a great ride this has been so far! This morning it snowed and I find myself just smiling a lot as I reflect on how important family is to me and how blessed I am to have J and her family around. It makes me miss my family as well, but it is nice to know I have that here now. So I will probably find myself listening to Christmas music and being enamored by decorated houses as I feel like that cinematic Christmas spirit has finally made its way to my heart. Maybe this is all a bit sappy for you to read, but that’s how I’ve been feeling lately. So if Al Gore is truly the environmental prophet and global warming is correct I have become an avid hater, for I’ve found that there is truly something magical about all this cold weather, snow, ice, fireplace, Christmas season Jazz. So no thank you Mr. Gore, I do not want any of what you are serving, I’m fine with traditions and family for now.

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