Phew! Only one more holiday to go! But New Years is kid’s stuff compared to the Big Enchilada: Christmas. What a production! I feel like a Mack truck hit me, but, you know, in a good sort of way.
I wish I could be more relaxed about these things; having the house clean and not getting so caught up in making everything just right. But at this point, it’s kind of hard to change. My sister Irene’s the same way. Tidiness was passed down to us from our mother, who got it from her mother.
It’s worth all the hard work, though, seeing the family gathered ‘round, talking and eating and laughing, and eating some more. And me not diverted by some dust bunny lurking in the corner. It gives me a feeling of satisfaction and I go to bed thinking, This was the best Christmas ever!
You can scrub and clean all you like, though, and it still can’t make every Christmas jolly. There was the first one after my mother died. That was tough. Then there was the one where Charlie and me got a great deal on a Caribbean cruise, and I spent Christmas day in Jamaica, sitting on the beach, drinking piña coladas and crying my eyes out; I was so lonesome!
Then, of course, there was the year pork pies killed my grandmother. Technically, her gall bladder attack, induced by especially large quantities of pork pie, eggnog and other high fat-holiday treats didn’t land her in the hospital until January. But we still count that as one of our sorrier Christmas memories. And, we try not to overdo it on pork pie.
I honestly can’t say what my favorite Christmas was, growing up. They all blend together: a baby doll in a crib, a new tricycle, an aluminum children’s cookware set, my very first Barbie, penny loafers, an eye shadow kit, tickets for me and Charlie to see Jerry Lee Lewis in Bangor.
My Dad says his favorite Christmas was when we was five years old. He got a little lantern (just like his father’s, only kid size) to use when they went out to the barn to look after the animals. His parents also gave him a small axe, so he could help his Dad chop wood. Can you imagine: five year old with a sharp axe and a working lantern? Times have changed!
My nieces and nephews are pretty much grown up, now, but you know what? I miss having children around during the holidays less than I thought I would. I enjoy talking to their girlfriends and boyfriends. It reminds me how grown up it felt, going to mass on Christmas Eve with my new boyfriend, Charlie, holding hands in the car as we drove home from church, Mom and Dad in the front, Irene, Charlie and me squished into the back seat. Ah, maybe that was my favorite.
Well, listen, I got to get back to cleaning up the mess.
Happy New Year, everyone!
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side!
Upcoming Book Events and Performances
February 10: Book Reading: The Sweet Life, Boothbay Harbor Memorial Library Literary Luncheon, https://bbhlibrary.org/ 11:30, Boothbay Harbor, ME