Earlier this year, I ran a series of posts regarding the subject of epiphanies and how those revelations visit upon us as writers and artists. For a complement to that series, here is my last post for 2013:
Christmas at our house is a time of family togetherness. Therefore, it is also a time of remembrance. Yes, we observe all the religious aspects of the holiday — we have our nativity scene out, we read Luke 2, and our gifts to one another are given in recognition of that Greatest Gift of All — Jesus Christ.
Aside from the religious meanings of this season for us, however, Christmas is secondarily a time when we recall family celebrations from years past. When I was very small, we spent Christmas Eve at my Aunt Doty’s house. Her “secret-recipe” chicken and dumplings were the festive highlight of the bountiful food table, and her modest living room was filled with cousins, aunts, uncles, friends, and visitors.
Today, my mother carries on that legacy of Christmas Eve at her own home. The scene is similar, and mom has even managed to figure out the hush-hush chicken and dumplings recipe. As a poet, I am grateful to have grown up in an environment where traditions, gatherings, and shared time played such a major pivotal role. Reflections on our family’s celebrations often drive my work, even if the pieces aren’t completely autobiographical.
As artists, when we think back on holidays past, be they Christmas or others, we find ourselves in the environments that have meant (and still mean) the most to us. As you go about your end-of-year errands, showing up at office parties and well-wishing others, take some time to think back on those past seasons of life. Reflection is still a prime epiphany-generator, and this time of year often provokes remembrance in the strongest ways possible. Merry Christmas, readers, and a very Happy New Year.