Turning toward the Light, My Sister’s Holiday Gift

By on December 18, 2012

Amidst expectations of the holidays, the very air around us is thick with grief. The devastation  of the Newtown tragedy is once again a bewildering mirror of the evil that could be delivered by human hand.

And in spite of it all, I’m inviting you to join me in keeping our hearts open, allowing the fountain of tears to flow, and then re-dedicating ourselves to joining the wave that  turns the tide toward hope; toward choosing the most life-enhancing next step toward the object of our desires.  For each of us, the desire for a far more child-friendly world has got to be at the top of our wish list.

In the spirit of resilience, the spirit of turning toward hope during these days of awe, I want to share a gift I got from my sister for Chanukah this year.

My sister Susan, two years older than I am,reminded me of a tradition from our childhood that I no longer remembered.

Since we didn’t have a menorah, the special nine-branch candelabra for holding the Chanukah candles, my mother took walnut shells, drizzled melted wax on the bottom of the shells and then atttached the tiny candles to the empty shells.  She then placed the walnut shells with the candles in a glass bowl filled with water, lit the candles,  turned off the lights and we watched our floating menorah while my mother told us the Chanukah story.

Rather than going out into the world in these next couple of weeks bemoaning our fertility challenges and wondering how we’ll “cope,” perhaps we could welcome the days, heartache and all, and think of one tradition from our childhood, or a tradition we’ve invented as adults that we can look forward to sharing with our children when they finally beam down to join us.

Is there a story, a gift from your family’s tradtion you could share with the rest of us?

I’m so, so grateful to each of you for opening your hearts  in our teleconference and on the message boards and for being part of our Visionary Mamas, fertility-game-changer-community!

May we all, in the upcoming year, re-dedicate ourselves to keep turning and turning and turning toward the Light!



7 Responses to “Turning toward the Light, My Sister’s Holiday Gift”

  1. Sharmini says:

    Julia, what a wonderful tradition!! Gifts keep coming if we look for them.
    A beautiful Sri Lankan tradition is to boil a pot
    of milk until it overflows on the 1st of every month especially
    New Year! Signaling prosperity & abundance!
    I like to think if it as celebrating the simple pleaures of a month gone by & a brand
    New one beginning. What a gift it is to be truly alive!

    Much love

  2. Faithmomma127 says:


    What a lovely gift from you sister and childhood memory.

    Ever since we were first married my husband and I started our own little family tradition of a special breakfast on Christmas day morning. It’s a treat we don’t have on any other day of the year. I make Belgian waffles and crispy bacon topped with maple syrup. Then we open our presies. We look forward to sharing this joyful breakfast with our child one day soon.

    Happy holiday and blessings. Txx

  3. tracy says:

    Christmas time always brings back memories. Santa always wrapped our presents in white tissue paper. I also remember how he left felt “footprints” so we knew he had been there. This year a family member had a house fire, so we arent’ able to gather there like we usually do. It will be the first time I will not be at our family home for Christmas. No one was hurt, so it was a wonderful opportunity to be grateful that we will be spending the holidays together regardless of location.

  4. Dana says:

    My mom started this Christmas tradition from when my brother and I were first born. Each year at Christmas time, my mom would purchase a christmas tree ornament that exemplified a special milestone, interest, or activity that was prevalent for each of us that year. Over the years, we all were so excited to decorate the tree because as we added the ornaments for my brother and I for each year, the tree started to tell the story of our lives. Now that we are adults, we love and appreciate the process even more. The best part is that once my brother and I each got married and started decorating our own trees, my mom gave each of us the collection of ornaments she had compiled throughout the years so we could use them to start our own trees and our own family stories. Now I continue that tradition with my husband and I, and our tree is telling the story of our life together. It is a gift from my mother that will live on with our family through future generations and I absolutely love it.

  5. Annemarie says:

    I remember how special and magical my holidays were as a child. I remember being excited every year to watch all of the holiday specials/cartoons with my sister. My Mom always had Elvis or Johnny Mathis Christmas tunes playing on our record player, and we always had a pretty Christmas tree decorated in our living room. My sister and I would knock on the wall between our bedrooms every Christmas Eve in our own Morse code to each other. It does warm the heart to think of all of those magical memories.

    When I first saw your beautiful photo, I thought ahhhh…how peaceful. There is a great deal of unrest in this world right now, Friday being one of the worst moments in American history. Your post started me thinking about one thing that we all can share in and embrace…peace. I wish for more peace and love in this world, and peace for those struggling to find there way in this world…whether it be the tragic loss of a child to violence, to those of us struggling with the fertility journey. You have inspired me to name 2013 the year of peace. I have been so very sad for a long time in my journey, and I almost forget what the feeling of being at peace is like sometimes. It is what I am going to personally embrace and strive for, and wish for others and the world. Have a great holiday, Julia….

  6. Robin says:


    That is a most beautiful gift from your sister – so precious.

    We actually celebrate at other times of year, but we started reading the Christmas story from the Bible at Christmas. We also started choosing a movie we would like and watching it at home. This year an experiment is planned to try to make chicken pot pie with a spelt crust.

    Blessings to you.

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