Monday, December 13, 2010

This Christmas

My Grandmother was a collector.  She collected miniatures, dolls, and many other things.  When she reposed, there was a bit of an argument among my sisters and I.  See, at some point in each of our lives our Grandmother promised each one of us could have her miniatures.  This fall, after Lucia was born, my sisters and I got together to divide the miniatures.  This task was quite difficult.  There was one particular miniature we all wanted....a gumball machine.  There were hurt feelings, but there was also lots of joy and squealing as we relived each little miniature and how it reminded us of our Grandma. 

I am facing a similar difficult task now.  One that is proving to be quite challenging.  My Grandpa has asked each of his children and grandchildren to bring an ornament to Christmas this year. This ornament should hold some memory of our Grandma.  It can be new, old or handmade, all that is required is that it represents my Grandma.  I am not exaggerating when I say that this one request has been occupying my mind ever since he asked me.  

I walked through Target last night intending to find a tree skirt.  Instead, I wandered over to the ornaments section analyzing each ornament and trying to find how it would exemplify Grandma.  And I found myself wanting.  None of the ornaments show her kind heart and gentle spirit.  There was no single ornament that would convey just how warm a hug from Grandma could be.  Her cheerful laugh and smile could not be reduced to a hanging bauble.  

It's hard to wrap my mind around a Christmas without her.  She has always, always been there.  Every piano recital, every speech, every play, every birthday, she was there.  Maybe that is why this task is so hard to accomplish.  I don't want to think about the fact that this Christmas she won't be there.  I trust that she is praying for us.  I feel it.  And I find comfort in knowing that the physical pain she endured these last couple years is over.

No matter what ornament I choose, I know that she will love it.  And when we all gather to hang our ornaments on the tree and explain what each one means, I believe that she will be present with us.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

What are you listening to?

We have a lot of Christmas favorites in this house. Along with the classic Nat King Cole and others, there are a few other Christmas albums that are getting heavy rotation in the Heider home this year.

A Very Rosie Christmas

Rosie Thomas is one of my absolute favorite artists. This album is a little sappy and sad at times, but also full of joy. Rosie loves Christmas.

Songs for Christmas

Sufjan Stevens can do no wrong in my opinion. His Songs for Christmas collection has some original, traditional and lesser known songs. It also includes of my favorite Christmas songs Lo, How a Rose E're Blooming.

Snow Angels and The Darkest Night of the Year

Over the Rhine is so amazing. Karin's voice alone could keep you warm during the cold Midwest winter.

What are you listening to in your homes? What songs get you in the Christmas spirit?