Saturday, December 20, 2014

Auld Lang Syne

It's the weekend before Christmas.  I believe I have finished my shopping, after the last minute jaunt around Lancaster and Lititz today.  I've done some wrapping, and still have a couple of things to finish -- including making Carter's pjs to match his daddy's.  

My daughter in law, Jennie, brought the tradition of matching pajamas on Christmas day to our family when she joined us 6 years ago.  We shopped last night, and were able to find matching everything for everybody in the right size!  A Christmas miracle?  Probably going a bit too far with that assumption.

The tree has been up for almost a week, and the ornaments were added today.  Somehow, the song going through my head is Auld Lang Syne.

Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot, and old lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne.
And surely you'll buy your pint cup! and surely I'll buy mine!
And we'll take a cup o' kindness yet, for auld lang syne.
We two have run about the slopes, and picked the daisies fine;
But we've wandered many a weary foot, since auld lang syne.
We two have paddled in the stream, from morning sun till dine;
But seas between us broad have roared since auld lang syne.
And there's a hand my trusty friend! And give us a hand o' thine!
And we'll take a right good-will draught, for auld lang syne.

 Auld Lang Syne, my friend.

When I was in high school, my closest friends decided one year that we would make our gifts for each other, instead of buying them.  While I have no recollection of what I gifted to them, I fondly bring to mind (to keep those old acquaintances from being forgot...) my friends.   I treasure, in my sewing room, a colored pencil drawing of a purple castle and a brave knight.  (The artist is now serving her second year as president of Lafayette college!)   Pictured above is an ornament crafted by another.

 This is my first Christmas without Amy.  Every year, since 1976, I've hung this ornament on my tree.  Once we were in college and beyond, I'd make a phone call, snap a picture and facebook or text it, to let her know how much I treasure the gift of Christmas-ornament-me in my marching band uniform.  It seems weird, in a gut-wrenching, painful, sort of way, to have this emptiness.  I can't begin to imagine the canyon of emptiness in Amy's house this year.

I also couldn't imagine NOT putting the ornament on the tree.

I pray for my own high school students that they find friends as special and true as mine are, and make a gift or two, and treasure both the gifts and the friends for thirty or forty years.  High school will always be magical for me because of those friends, and paper castles and felt Christmas ornaments with tinfoil flagpoles will stand the test of time to serve as memories far into the future. 

There's no chance of "never brought to mind" in my world.  I am blessed by the friendships, and the memories.