Merry Christmas! I hope that you find yourselves now at the end of a warm and wonderful Christmas day!
At last we are well, or something like it. (that’s right, WE… two of my guys got sick too)
I got teary eyed, more than once, over all the well wishes that poured in from you all. Thank you, so much, for your notes. They were a particularly potent brand of medicine!
Not that I’d wish for it again or anything, but there are some distinct advantages to being sick just before Christmas. It sets the bar pretty low.
A lot of the stuff we “do every year” got skipped. We didn’t make it to Christmas Eve service. I didn’t bake for neighbors and friends. I forgot to read the “Night Before Christmas.” We never made it to Marble Falls for the Trail of Lights. I didn’t make an elaborate Christmas morning breakfast. I didn’t even send out Christmas cards this year.
Somehow though, all the stuff I didn’t do, made the stuff that did get done, kind of special, and sweet, like a small triumph.
I made Momo’s (my great grandmother’s) chocolate pie.
The boys and I watched lots of cheesy movies and made “gingerbread” houses (okay, my oldest, the purist, made a house… Ryder wanted a truck, and James a rocket), in between doses of medicine.
When the big day came, everyone had a little something special under the tree, even though I didn’t manage any shopping until Saturday. (I will NEVER do that again.)
Everyone had their fill of Nana’s famous ribs, and momo’s date cookies (I know you stayed up late to make them on Christmas Eve, Mom, and I’m so glad that you did!).
I wore my great grandmother’s pin today, like I do every year, and thought of her going to midnight mass, then waking up early the next day to bake, wrap, fuss and otherwise do everything in her power to make Christmas memorable, as mothers do. I think she would be proud to know that when all is said and done, when lot’s of “must dos” turn into “just can’ts,” the things that make it really feel like Christmas are largely hers…. her pin, her cookies, her pie, her memory, her love.
Next year, I will not try to travel across the world just two weeks before Christmas. I will double up on the vitamin C and zinc. I will also try to remember the lessons of this year… keeping it simple is actually kind of wonderful.
Wishing you warmth and joy this Christmas Day!