DECEMBER 17th, 2014
By LANA CARBON & JOHN LILIES
[Lana] John and I thought it would be nice to reminisce about some of our most memorable Christmases from years gone by. ‘Tis the season after all. So I sat and pondered for a while just which holiday was dearest to my heart. What criteria should I even base my decision on? Do I go back to my childhood when belief and imagination always put a smile on my face as I pretended to go to sleep early but really waited as long as I could to hear the sounds of jingling bells, hoof beats and the laughter of a jolly old man. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the presents that I always found under the tree that next morning but there was something about that anticipation of that night filled with magic which was like no other.
Perhaps I should look upon my teenage years when I received the best gift any 16 year old could possibly hope for as my brother passed down his vehicle to his newly licensed sibling. The look on my face was apparently priceless as I opened a huge box, revealing a smaller and smaller one until I eventually got down to the key. I had always been a spoiled child…this I can admit but nothing before or since would ever compare to this in the form of a material gift.
Maybe I should jump even further ahead to the holiday season when I met John for the first time and realized that this was the person I wanted to spend every Christmas with from that point forward. Initially, we had agreed to meet in a strictly platonic manner but that spark was there which we couldn’t deny. We couldn’t be together that Christmas Day but we haven’t missed one together since then.
No, I know the one I should choose, the year my family decided to plan a series of family events instead of giving gifts. We would actually have days where we could spend time together doing something that would provide memories for years to come. It was a great plan in theory. Then we realized it was nearly impossible for those of us who still work to get time off at the same time. We were moving in the right mindset at least.
What I finally decided on however is to choose nearly every Christmas I’ve ever had. I know, I know…it is a bit of a cop-out I suppose but I honestly believe it is the truth now that I’m looking back on it. I have been lucky enough to share every Christmas with my family and I have discovered just how very important that is. It isn’t about gifts (whether given or received) or some saint in a red suit…it is about spending time with those you love and expressing how happy you are to have them in your life. Perhaps we could even do this throughout the year instead of waiting for a holiday to say how much you love and appreciate them. This is something I have been guilty of in the past. That is changing as of right now.
So to all of my family and friends (including our extended Carbon Lilies friends and readers), if I don’t see you, please know I’m thinking of you and sending my love. Happy holidays everyone.
[John] I think I’m going along the same pattern here… I’ve been trying to figure what story or specific Christmas to recount but all I can come back to is the feeling of Christmas.
I remember as a child, after learning about the ‘truth’ of Santa Claus, knowing I shouldn’t believe but still thinking, “what if he really is real?” I remember lying in bed, knowing my parents were finishing the gift-wrapping and getting everything under the tree and I could hear the Boney M Christmas Album playing in the living room. I had left out the cookies and milk because I wasn’t quite ready to give up that tradition yet, and as the music ended and I could hear my parents heading to bed, I was positive that I was also hearing noises on the roof.
As a child I lived in a townhouse. I was sure that no one would have been coaxed into walking along the rooftops pretending to be Santa but I was absolutely certain that there was someone on the roof. I dared not leave my bed and tell my parents that I could hear someone on the roof… they would either tell me I’m imagining it or they would get me straight back to bed so that “Santa” wouldn’t be upset with me. To this day I don’t know what I was hearing. All I know is that I was convinced there were footsteps on the roof.
I would eventually fall asleep, thinking of all the aunts and uncles and cousins that would be at the house the next day for Christmas dinner. All the kids to play with, the music to listen to and that warmth and comfort of having the tree lights on and everyone around being so happy and loving towards each other. What a feeling.
To this day, the magical feeling that fills the room once that tree is up and decorated… the Christmas lights on and the Boney M Christmas Album playing in the background, being with my family and seeing friends, all the people I love… what an incredible feeling that is. If I happen to hear ‘footsteps’ on the roof… perhaps I’ll close my eyes and imagine Santa up there with his reindeer pals, munching on some shortbread cookies and drinking milk while feeding carrots to his furry friends.
I love this time of year… and to all of you… friends, family, supporters and all… enjoy this time with your loved ones and if your loved ones are not around, know that Lana and I send you the warmest wishes for happiness and health and all kinds of greatness in the coming year.
Merry Christmas everyone… and happy holidays for whichever holiday you may celebrate.