Each of us has our own idea of what Christmas should be like.
Some of my sweetest memories are of Christmas. I don’t remember many of the gifts I received although my mother had a way of making them memorable. It was the happiness in our house. that I remember – the hustle and bustle of having everyone coming and waiting with anticipation for them to show up. For some reason the family – aunts and uncles, grandparents, and all the cousins – came to our house for Christmas. It was the wonderful smells coming from the kitchen, the gifts under the tree, and always the laughter.
We usually unwrapped gifts on Christmas eve and on Christmas the children played non stop while the adults talked, cooked, and simply enjoyed each other. There was no TV. The house was filled instead with the sounds of rich and pleasant conversation sprinkled with laughter, guffaws and giggles. Often the day ended with card games that everyone got to play, even the children. Everyone was included. Everyone was loved.
I miss those times. No, it wasn’t the gifts. It was the love.
I thought everyone had family like that and I though everyone enjoyed Christmases like we did. As an adult I always wished for it to be that way again and for years I felt the disappointment when it wasn’t. Oh, we had gifts but it was the fun, the camaraderie, the “everyone pitching it,” the laughter, the kindnesses. It was the love I missed.
We weren’t a religious family but we were a family in the best sense of the word. Oh, yes, we were quite dysfunctional but it did have the FUN in i – especially at Christmas.
We learned the Christmas story in school (yes, in public school) and sang the wonderful old carols. But at home it was a celebration of family. It was a celebration of love.
I think this year will be more like that. My grandson spent the first week of his vacation with his mom and we will pick him up on Christmas morning. He’ll be with us for his second week of break from second grade. On Friday, my son and I wrapped gifts together and got things ready in anticipation of having Jack with us. It was a good time – just me and my son. It was peaceful and funny and we laughed a lot as we wrapped and talked.
Our family is scattered now so it won’t be the gathering of the clan. Today we will have friends over for dinner and celebrate family and friendship together.
But we will have Jack with us and it will be a grand celebration of family. It will be a celebration of friendship. Most especially, it will be a celebration of love.
I wish you a loving, wonderful, exquisitely beautiful and very loving Christmas.