It’s November 2nd and my Christmas Decorations started going up yesterday. I catch a lot of flack every year since I started this tradition in my home. November 11th is Remembrance Day and many feel that decorations shouldn’t go up until after that day. When I start to explain my reasoning behind why I do it and how important it is to me they start to understand. I’m not doing it because I feel Christmas is more important than Remembrance Day. I am doing it because it is my way of remembering.
My Paternal Grandmother passed away 3 years ago. She was a bit rough around the edges, honest and blunt (sometimes to a fault). She was 1 of 6 children, she was also a divorced single mother of 4. She worked a few jobs over her life and I realized that they were jobs of servitude in some form. She was a housewife for a number of years, she was retired airforce, as was my paternal grandfather, she worked in Recruitment for the RCMP for awhile she also worked in an airport kitchen serving airport staff and airline travellers some pretty tasty food. When I was young she came to live with us. Both my parents were very busy with their jobs and she was their cleaning house and preparing meals and making sure we were well taken care of. She didn’t always smile but during the holidays she had a certain twinkle in her eye. She loved the holidays and cooking turkey dinners with all the trimmings and baking pies and cookies and cakes. Nothing is the world meant more to her then her family and making sure that they were taken care of. As much as she angered me sometimes (we didn’t always see eye to eye) I never felt unloved. I am forever grateful for the times we had together. This woman who served her country always started decorating November 1st and after she passed I inherited some of her decorations and decided to continue on with her tradition.
My Maternal Grandmother passed Away Just last year on December 1st. It was a difficult time for everyone. She was a kind hearted Devout Lutheran who would give you the shirt off her back if you needed it. As she was getting on in age and starting to suffer from terrible things like dementia and Alzheimer’s the family was becoming more protective of her. We were telling her one time not to answer the door when Grandpa went out unless she checked to see who it was first. She said, with a smile, “well we have so much stuff, if we were being robbed we’ed have to help the robbers carry the stuff out. They obviously need it more then we do.” She was 1 of 2 children, a devoted wife and mother of 3. She also lived a life of servitude. She was a retired nurse, she knitted and quilted items for various church charities and was active in a prayer program for young members of the Lutheran Church. She was also a lover of Holidays. She also enjoyed cooking and baking and sharing with family and friends. Her home was always warm and inviting and you could feel the love as soon as you walked through the front door.
Our family has a long history of Military service. My great uncle died in the 2nd World War, My uncle was in the armed forces, later joined the UN and now aids in disarming mines and missile for a living, I have had members of my family do tours in Iraq, Kosovo, and Afghanistan and my father is a decorated Veteran. In our family we remember every day. This time of the year we wear our poppies with pride. I am grateful for all those who have served and continue to serve our country and fight for our freedom to celebrate as we choose. You don’t have to agree with another persons choices but thats one of the wonderful things about our country. We have amazing freedoms here in Canada that many other countries don’t have and if my choice of how I remember offends you then I feel that you have bigger issues and need to re-examine your priories.