On Sunday I went and did my weekly shopping at the local Checkers, as one does. Two things tell me it’s Christmas – and I refer to the broad spirit of the season – carols, I love carols and Christmas music. Ask my friends, I play it ad nauseam over Christmas lunch. I would make everyone wear reindeer sweaters if I could find them in South Africa… Okay, maybe T-shirts. It’s hot here. The other thing is, the laughter of children.
There was a naughty little girl, cute as a button, who wanted a purple fairy for her tree, she had a whole debate with her mother on the value of a fairy and all the things she’d give up to have the fairy. I looked at the mother and thought, it must take will-power to say no to that face.
Christmas is here!
As I walked down the aisle I had a memory of Christmas as a child. My grandparents would always go shopping at the OK in Sasolburg, every week same thing and once a month they would go to the big Pick ‘n Pay out on this huge road… Christmas was special, because at Christmas that trolley would be filled with cool stuff. I remembered the excitement as a child of going to the big Pick ‘n Pay. First there was sitting in the shopping trolley, I loved it. Even as a kid I loved being pushed around. And the anticipation of walking up and down isles until you get to the sweets isle… I would memorize exactly what my grandma bought, because she would hide them when my parents, uncle and cousin came. They raided the pantry and then everything was gone. But I knew my grandma’s hiding places.
After she dies, when my grandpa still lived in that house, I would find myself at 13 or 14 going to her wardrobe to looking under her sweaters… There was nothing there.
I miss my grandparents. I miss Christmases when we were a family.
As I walked through the Checkers and ran my fresh memory through my mind, I thought of my cousin. We were my grandmother’s favourites. Because we were nice children. When he comes back from Sierra Leone we’re going to my grandparents’ graves to clean it up… I was wondering if we could look for the big Pick and Pay and maybe stop there… I wondered if I could still ride the trolley, but people will undoubtedly stare and it wouldn’t be as comfortable as it was when I was 4 or even 8…
On that note, I want to make a Christmas wish:
I wish for kisses under the mistletoe. I found this on the net, it makes my heart happy:
Mistletoe has a most compelling and influential history. According to ancient Druid tradition, Mistletoe was the most sacred of all plants. Mistletoe was used by the Druid priesthood in a very special ceremony; held five days after the New Moon following winter solstice. The Druid priests would cut Mistletoe from a holy Oak tree with a golden sickle. The branches had to be caught before they touched the ground. The priest then divided the branches into sprigs and dispersed them to the people, who hung them over doorways as protection. The folklore, and the magickal powers of this plant, have blossomed over time, although most are now forgotten. It was believed it had miraculous properties that could cure illnesses, antidote poisons, ensure fertility and protect against witchcraft. It was also a sign of peace and goodwill. When warring tribes came across Mistletoe, a temporary truce would be observed until the next day.
However, although Mistletoe carries a broad array of customs, and benefits in ancient times, the tradition which has lived on is that concerning fertility and love. According to most current day traditions, a young woman stands under the mistletoe and awaits her lover’s kiss. But from where did this tradition spring? It is considered that Mistletoe and kissing tradition is borne of a Norse myth.
The Norse god Balder was son of Frigga, goddess of love and beauty. She loved her son to such a degree that she had the four elements: Fire, Water, Air, and Earth- promise that they would not harm her son. However, Loki, an evil spirit, found the one thing that could defy this promise – mistletoe. He made an arrow from its wood, which was shot at Balder’s heart, and he fell dead, and Frigga’s tears became the mistletoe’s white berries. Balder is however, restored to life, and Frigga is so grateful that she reverses the reputation of the offending plant–making it a symbol of love and promising to bestow a kiss upon anyone who passes under it. (http://brighterblessings.co.uk/articles/yule.htm)
And to all my friends and readers I wish kisses under the mistletoe. May you find restoration and healing in a kiss under the mistletoe, and may your heart then be filled with love and gratitude. Love really is the biggest gift of all.