The day after Christmas is my day for being slightly melancholy. I think the thought sets in that it’s over, over for another year, a year that will be full of change, perhaps good, perhaps bad, but change all the same
I detest change. Even good change. Change implies that the old way wasn’t good enough, and I am perfectly happy with the old way – my entire family gathered around the overflowing Christmas tree, nobody missing, not a break in the circle. It’s complete, whole. At least for now.
But I know it won’t always be so; we will grow up, get married, create our own circles, and complete others.
It just won’t be the same. My greatest memories are ones that contain family, frolicking care-free with roly poly children, who seemed to sprout into young men overnight, now speaking in bass voices and talking of girls, dreams, future plans carelessly and confidently.
I know I am jumping the gun, I know that this time of change will spark new, perhaps ever lovelier memories – I know that.
It just never becomes any easier. Perhaps, it’s just me, but as a child, I hated to change anything; I resisted throwing away clothes, because “they were comfy now”. Throwing away a book, tattered and torn though it may be, was pure sacrilege, for it contained not a story, but my memories, my friends. Changing a tradition was taboo because it would have changed the entire feel of a cherished memory, would have made it seem alien, foreign, not like us at all. I would literally relive memories, striving for the same feeling, the same anticipation, the same ambience, trying to force each year to be as good as the last, and would feel a let-down if, somehow, things just were not the same.
I know why that is, of course. I am very much a creature of stifling habits, and I live in a comfort zone with large windows, but a small door, on which is carved the epithat, “Change not welcomed here”. Someday, I shall be very grown-up and hold memories less tightly, protest change less readily, look on cherished traditions with a more jaded eye…
But not this day.
That’s why, for now, though change may be coming, I will cherish this day, these Christmas memories, of children/adults who may change someday – but not this day. This day is a day to remember talking, mouths bursting with food, to cousins, laughing, teasing, of gathering under the tree, an unnatural silence pervading, to read the old story that never loses its poignace. It’s a day to celebrate 21 years of memories with a family that I not only love, but even like, a day to hug close the familiar and cherished, resisting the siren pull of the new and foreign.
It’s a day to remember.
It’s a day to remember the real reason for Christmas, which honestly has nothing to do with my faded, tattered memories, nothing to do with eating, nothing do with fragrant smells and snowy hills.
The day a tiny baby was born of a virgin, the Ruler of the Universe, enthroned in a manger, which was encrusted by golden straw. The day the Unchanging One changed his glorious form for that of a human and all of Heaven trembled at the shock – God in the flesh. Fully man, fully God…Jesus Christ.
He is the reason I will never have to totally embrace change, for He changed all of history – yet remains the unchangeable God.