Memory tells me the door frames in my grandmother’s house were made of a beautiful, rich wood.
Perhaps, that wasn’t the case. But memories can be bigger than life and during the winter holidays those door frames were bigger than life – even then.
Understand, Grandma taped the holiday cards she received to the door frames in her house. Sometimes, I got to help with the annual task.
When we ran out of room on the door frames, she and I would tape them to the giant door to her hall closet, which I also remember as being made of a beautiful dark wood. That door was so tall and beautiful that I was sure that it must have led all the way up to the heavens.
I remember sitting for hours looking at all the beautiful cards on display. She would tell me about the people who sent the cards and the places where they lived.
She kept a running total of the number of cards received. Then, she would compare her number to those of her women friends, all of whom had the first name of Mrs. or Miss, and all of whom were her companions in turn on her daily afternoon phone chats.
Some traditions honor the belief that our departed loved ones live on through our remembrances of them. I saw the most beautiful and peaceful smile come to my mother-in-law’s face when I told her of this tradition as we placed her late mother’s china on our holiday table several years ago.
My husband and I feel as if we knew one another’s late grandmothers because of all the stories we have shared about their lives.
Some other traditions keep the belief that our departed love ones do live on in spirit, watching over us – that we can send and receive love to one another across the space between earthly life and the afterlife.
I am sure that there must be as many other beliefs and traditions as there are tribes and peoples in the world.
But through our traditions we pass on our collective legacy. We tell the story of the human experience for our place and time.
I don’t know for how much longer the tradition of holiday greetings made of paper will continue to live. I just feel blessed that I have inherited the tradition to share because this small act affords me the remembrance of Grandma.
I am certain, however, she would not approve of my New Years greetings which get sent during unusually hectic, or stressful holiday periods – like this one. Sending holiday cards that would reach the recipient after Dec. 25, was bad form in her book.
Sorry, Grandma. It’s the 21st century. Traditions evolve but the spirit and intentions behind them remain .
So happy holidays, everyone. Many of you will receive our paper New Years card. But for all of my readers, on behalf of The Trucking Yogi and my beloved husband, here’s wishing you all the best for the coming year.
The Jackson and Suzanne family.