It’s finally here! Christmas Eve – when visions of sugarplums dance in everyone’s head and you can’t help but be caught up in the excitement of waiting for Santa Claus. I do love Christmas, despite the fact that many of my memories of it are difficult ones – of hospital visits and people lost, of wanting only one thing for Christmas and that being the continued existence of a loved one. But for every difficult memory, I have a wonderful one to replace it. Memories of the handwritten letters I received every year as a child on Christmas morning from Santa, deep snow on Christmas morning, huge family gatherings in Canada where the laughter was so loud you could get lost in it, baking cookies with my Mom, laughing with my parents as we peeled pound after pound of shrimp on Christmas Eve ready for the family feast the next day, my first Christmas with the 21st Century Husband, our first Christmas with our little boy, and our second Christmas with him spent in Florida with my parents, our son’s face every Christmas morning, Christmas 2002 in our home in Derby with my Mom and Dad and our friends; there is always something I can remember to push the sad things away.
So many of us have so many blessings we take for granted – a home, our health , family, friends, food, clothing, presents under the tree – all things that so many people just do not have. Thousands of people will be eating Christmas dinner in shelters this year – and so many people won’t get to eat it at all. For most of us, there is everything to be thankful for. And anyway, Christmas is about hope. It’s not about everything being perfect, it is about reminding us of the hope that exists even when they are not.
Here in the 21st Century Household, chaos reigns as usual – my to do list is a mile long, there are presents still to be wrapped, more baking to be done, buttons to be sewn on, clothes to be ironed and things to be sorted through. But we are all together the three of us (okay the 21st Century Husband is working, but he is here!) and aside from a few little niggles that really don’t matter, all is right with the world. I’m incredibly grateful, and I hope that you are experiencing something similar in your household too.
So don’t worry about the turkey, or Great Aunt Mildred getting into the sherry, or whether someone is going to say something that will upset Uncle George. None of that is important in the grand scheme of things. Whatever is going on around you, however chaotic it might be, in the words of my much missed Dad in his speech at my wedding nearly twenty years ago, “Have some fun”. It’s incredibly good advice for life, and especially for Christmas.
I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas – one full of happiness and laughter, family, food and friends - and full of fun too!