While the Christmas season starts for most the day after Thanksgiving it doesn’t start for me until a week from the day. The first Thursday of each December our church holds their annual Christmas Bazaar. This fund raiser raises money for many different causes in our community and it takes a lot of work from a lot of people to pull it off each year.
Our church’s St. Ann’s Alter Society hosts a bazaar and luncheon. People arrive early to visit the craft tables full of wares that have been handmade and donated, and to visit the Cookie Walk that is full of festive homemade cookies. A raffle is held full of great prizes and door prizes are drawn while we’re eating our lunch.
I have been going to the Bazaar for as long as I can remember at least 25 years. I enjoy meeting people I haven’t seen in a year or more, but this time there was a little bit of sadness. As I looked around at people who as I grew up were my role models, I saw faces missing. It broke my heart. These are the people that taught me many important lessons growing up (remember it takes a village).
One taught me about local Native American traditions, another was a substitue teacher that always had a kind word and wise advice, she was also a good friends mom. I missed the mom or grandmother of the luncheon, thus called because she always directed traffic. Yes, she was bossy but in a good and loving way. And I looked into the hollow eyes of nothingness, with a women who has the fast and furious onset of dementia. While these memories made me sad I also tried to be happy because I KNOW the spirits that have left are celebrating in heaven and the woman with dementia? She is being cared for with love and devotion from her family.
But I meander from my original subject. The reason Christimas doesn’t enter my heart and home until the bazaar is done is because it puts the reason for the season in my heart. Everyone that works the bazaar is giving their time and talents to raise money for those in need. Everyone attendng in their festive attire are donating money and cheer to our cause. Christmas Carols are played, old friendships are rekindled and our hearts get a little lighter and open up. It’s the start of the Christmas Season.