The first Christmas after my husband and I were married was a challenge. Not in that it was 'difficult' but that I actually made it a challenge. The FIRST Christmas in our home meant that we were on the Christmas Eve Tour! My family celebrates Christmas Eve and every year we would bundle up and walk over to my grandmothers house, celebrate, watch her open gifts and move on. We would head over to my first uncle's house. Celebrate, watch him and his family open their gifts and move on. We would then head over to my second uncle's house and so on, ending at my parent's house. Then all would go home. But this particular year, our house would be on the tour for the very first time. I was giddy. I would have to decorate and bake and be festive and......BAKE! My mother was the Queen of Christmas (she has since slowed down a little), she would bake every day for a month, several times a day, she would have a miraculous assortment of goodies. This Christmas I asked her how many different types of cookies she planned on making, just out of curiousity (so that I could make MORE.) I asked her what kinds of things she was planning (so that mine could be BETTER.)
Christmas Eve came and after following the tradition of YEARS before we finally came to our house, the fourth stop on the tour. Everyone oooohd and aaahhhhd and enjoyed the spread that we had prepared. I believe I had 14 different kinds of cookies/cakes not to mention the meat and cheese trays and other special treats. Everyone enjoyed and had their fill, as we opened our presents and shared the spirit. Then we all packed up and went to my parent's house. Everyone was so full from the stop at our place that they just couldn't eat a thing. Oh the joy to watch as my mother tried to get everyone to eat a little of this or that, or to try this or that. Nope. Everyone was full! VICTORY!!!
What do I remember most about this victory? It was one of the last times that we would celebrate this way. A couple of years later my Aunt passed away and there was no joy in Christmas anymore. My Uncle (her husband) and sons weren't up to celebrating Christmas the way we always had...for them, it wasn't the same. A few years later my Grandmother passed away and there was even less Christmas Spirit. Shortly after that, about a month before Christmas my Mother-In-Law passed. It truly felt that Christmas had completely changed, it wasn't fun, joyous or looked forward to. Challenging myself to winning the festivities really didn't matter. It didn't. It wasn't what we celebrated with or the display that we each had, it was the people that were there with us and now that they were gone....it wasn't the same.
Day 2 is about gathering and sharing during the holidays. Whether with friends or family, at your house or theirs. A plethora of baking and fancy cocktails or just a tetra-pak of eggnog and a slice of fruitcake.....share the season. Merry Christmas to us all.
the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling
and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came
without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled
and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of
something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come
from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more."
Until next time.