Stories of the Season

by gloria on October 28, 2017

We all have our favorite holiday activities. One of mine is watching holiday movies. Though I have seen my favorites so many times I can recite many of the lines by memory, I seem to find a new meaning or laugh each time I watch. Charles Dickens’s character, Ebenezer Scrooge, reminds us that giving gifts many times brings more joy to the giver than to the receiver. Clark Griswold, played by Chevy Chase, the over-zealous father in Christmas Vacation reminds us to keep décor simple and that less is more. In It’s a Wonderful Life, the difference that one individual can have on a community is poignantly portrayed when James Stewart’s character George Bailey fights with his guardian angel, Clarence, to regain his life. And we all remember that famous line from George’s daughter ZuZu, “Look, Daddy. Teacher says every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.”

The holidays are a time of year rich with stories. Rachel Naomi Remen’s book Kitchen Table Wisdom suggests that everyone is a story. Life stories happen in real time. In times past the kitchen table provided an opportunity to tell and listen to the stories of our lives. The great thing about the kitchen table was that it provided a level playing field. No matter how young or old, rich or poor, the story was important. Unfortunately, today our schedules are often so busy that we don’t take much time for stories. Remen states, “Stories are someone’s experience of the events of their life, they are not the events themselves. Most of us experience the same event differently. We have seen it in our own unique way and the story we tell has more than a bit of ourselves in it.” Stories are the way we connect with one another.

Our calendars are filled with holiday celebrations, concerts, parties, and family visits that provide incomparable times for sharing the stories of our lives. Think for a moment about your story. What memories are you creating for the 2005 holidays? Is it a tired story of the same old-same old? Are you seeking to discover newness in your celebration of the season? I often have to remind myself many times that I am in charge of my story and not the merchants or the media. My most cherished memories of holidays past are the stories and experiences shared with friends and family, not how clean my house was or whether every package was beautiful or the decorations spectacular.

We have the opportunity each day to create our story and special holiday memories. Listen to your own story. Listen to the story your children are telling you. Listen with anticipation and expectation for a new meaning as you hear the familiar music, look with excitement at the lights of house decorations, or watch Miracle on 34th Street for the fiftieth time. Listen, listen, listen to the stories of your mother, your father, your grandmother, and your friends as they tell you about their lives and their favorite holiday celebration.

Happy Holidays to each of you. May this be a season of great story-telling and memory-making!

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