Monday, December 17, 2012

The Bittersweet Images of Christmas

Last week's tragedy put so many thing into perspective for so many people.  I'm not going to blog about it, other than to say it's made each minute with my daughter so much more important, more sweet, more critical than ever before, and was a bittersweet reminder to never take anything for granted when it comes to the time we're able to spend together, enjoying each other's company.  This morning's school drop-off, salted with a sense of urgency in the air from school staff enforcing new, more strict policies and heightened awareness, was a grim reminder.  My heart goes out to all of the families affected by such brutal, pointless carnage, who will live with this wake-less nightmare for the rest of their lives. 

I certainly don't want to come across as glossing over anything by moving on quickly here, but feel that it has to be done right now.  I'm not the one to tell  the re-tell the story, and I certainly hope you can all read between the lines enough to know that I, along with millions of others, have been affected deeply. 

And on I go...

This weekend I discovered some of the sweet images of a child's Christmas around the house, as well as some of the super-sweet images of an adult choco-holic's holiday... 

When I was 7 years old, I made this cottonball Christmas tree at school.  I was in 2nd grade, and felt so much pride at having created something I could bring home to my parents for the holiday.  There used to be foil snowflakes and stars glued on along with the beads, but they've long fallen off over the passage of time, spanning across 37 years.  My mother kept it wrapped up with her Christmas decorations, putting it out on display faithfully each year, and returned it to me, much to my delight, a few years ago.  Don't let the photo fool you...the cottonballs are actually yellow now...gross.

Yesterday I discovered, with much child-like glee, that the 7-year-old me had written my initials inside the cone.  

Samantha's favorite part of decorating the tree is placing the star at the top.  A star she'd made in preschool two years ago, one that I'm pretty certain she had a lot of help in creating, but was proud to have brought home nonetheless, it is the perfect topper and one I see having for many, many years to come, much like my little formerly white tree.

This ornament was also "made" by Samantha in preschool, in 2009.  Uh, she was 3.  I am certain she had little to do with it, especially given that an identical version of it also came home in 2010.  But I love it anyway.

One of my bosses brought me this box of chocolates on Friday.  I'm so glad I actually opened the box while he was standing there, because I'm sure my reaction was pretty priceless when I got a gander at the exquisitely-crafted pieces of art, delectable gems of organic, preservative-free, Norman Love chocolatey goodness, that lay inside.

Chocolate just can't get much more beautiful than this.

Or this.

Or this.

And to call this stuff, this confectioner's delight, "delicious," is to do it a serious disservice.  It'd be like calling the Hope Diamond cute.  Now this is chocolate.  Steve and I have sampled 4 of them so far by cutting them in half so we could each taste the delicate layers of flavor in the creative, holiday-themed assortment.

Sweet, yes.  Bittersweet?  Even more-so.  We go on, living our lives, enjoying the small things.  And this Christmas, the friends and families of 28 in Connecticut will not.  May not again ever.  If I were the praying type, I'd be praying for them to find peace one day.  But while not actual prayer per se, I am thinking of them, hoping they'll find peace one day, and I will not forget.


TUC said...

Christmas will never be the same for those families. Cherished Pre-k Christmas ornaments that hold priceless memories are now infused with crushing sorrow. I cannot imagine how they will ever find peace, but I hope they do.

Chromosomally Enhanced said...

Those candies are amazing...wowsa...I am loving the ornaments and star...perfection...there is nothing more to say about Friday...but there is the emptiness and helplessness to feel..hugs

Leah said...

Beautiful. And I love the ornaments.

Jenny said...

Your Mom keeping your ornament all these years is the sweetest thing, and your little initials on the inside, awww. I love it :)
Oh the chocolates...look. soooo. good!!

And I agree with your first paragraph. My heart continues to be broken for those poor families...For the first responders who had to see what they did...For everyone who was shattered by the events of last Friday. But I can't read much more about it. It's always on my mind through out the day...But I find I can't read article after article on it. I vented my frustrations out in one post and now I am done. I totally get where you are coming from...On I go too...With continued prayers for those families.

Anna said...

Given where we live, I never knew such chocolates existed! Thank you for enlightening me on the topic! Now I feel shortchanged once again. (Just kidding! )

Becca said...

Anna - not sure if you noticed, but they're actually made in Florida! (Naples)