It seemed odd this year. I was missing something from the spirit, that had always been there. We had and had attended all the usual parties and get together’s, but for some reason it wasn’t the same. I thought that I must be getting old and jaded, well the getting old part fits anyway.
On Christmas Eve, after dinner, I went and checked our mail, on the off chance we had a delivery and sure enough there were a couple of cards, but nothing else. I brought them home and opened them to find not only a Christmas Card, but a copy of an obituary.
It turned out that an aunt who I had known since she married into the family in about 1948 or 49 had died. Over the years, geography had separated our families, but we still managed to get together on occasion. The bottom line was that even though,she was 91, and in poor health at the last, it was a shock to hear of her death. She was a wonderful lady with a great sense of humour. We loved her dearly. It was a saddened night for me.
We were expected to go to our daughters place for a bit of breakfast and have a gift opening early on Christmas Day, and I was still a bit down, and not really looking forward to the do. We went however and had a lovely time exchanging gifts, and some breakfast along with some good humour. It had been arranged a while ago, that my wife was to cook the Christmas dinner that night, but that my daughter was going to provide the vegetables. Our group was to consist of my wife and I, our daughter, her son and her husband, along with my daughters mother in law and her brother in law. Seven people in all. Space in our condo is at a premium, but we felt that we could accommodate the group. Our son and his main squeeze were not able to be there. It was just the rest of our extended family.
As arranged the people arrived just around five for a drink or two prior to dinner, our daughter had done a lot of work and put together a salad, some cheese and crackers, several vegetable dishes, and her mother in law had baked a raisin pie, to add to the pumpkin one our daughter brought. We had food to keep us going for a week, I’m sure.
Our daughter and her husband with our grandson were leaving early in the morning for a ski trip with friends in around the Utah area, so they had to leave early to catch the plane, and her brother in law was driving to a town in BC where he had to be at work on Thursday morning. The weather had been terrible with snowy roads into BC, and so he had to leave early as well, he had a long drive ahead of him on Wednesday, about 14 hours.
Our kitchen was overflowing with food, the turkey smelled wonderful. Our kitchen is small and is suitable really for one person at a time, unless one can do the small kitchen fox trot, but my wife and daughter, did a wonderful job getting it all together without a hitch of any kind. I looked after getting the drinks and wine, and left the kitchen to the experts. And expert they were. The food was hot, plentiful with a lot of variety, and the turkey was perfect. This all led to a lot of fun conversations and laughter, and I was reminded through all of this that it was like an old time Christmas dinner with the family all around, kind of like an old TV show or movie. It was wonderful, and made me realize just how lucky we all were to have and share this moment, and for me in particular, since it changed my previous downcast view of the day.
My wife who had worked so hard on this was enjoying it more by the minute. We had not had Christmas dinner at our place for a good many years, and she was smiling all over the place, she enjoyed it so much. It was like the old adage, that one only gets out of something what they put into it.
After everyone had gone home, we filled the dishwasher with the first load and sat back and kind of revelled in the feeling of enjoyment, and decided the clean-up would keep until Wednesday, our Boxing Day. So what started out a bit badly turned into a total success and one we all enjoyed. Something like that old Christmas movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life”. It is for me.
Happy New Year.