What is Christmas?

To me it is about change and memories of days past. I was sleeping while Santa was in the basement putting together my pink metal kiddo kitchen and my sister’s bicycle.

As to change, my husband and I do not “do” Christmas, except for a lovely dinner I’ve yet to plan. Change. Maybe back to my mother’s prime rib (never made it) and Yorkshire pudding and mincemeat tarts, perhaps not. But I did go out and buy mincemeat filling.

We took a tree given in my father’s memory and made it a Christmas tree. My husband strung popcorn and cranberries. I spent $3 on construction paper and made paper chains of red, green and white. Then I hung ornaments from my childhood and from our marriage. That was a change that we may or may not do next year.

I took a floral tying class last weekend and the spray roses died overnight. I improvised with red carnations, not a real carnation gal but they’re sturdy and the arrangement will last a week. I changed a few things and added a bit of bling from former arrangements (yes, I keep this stuff) so if we don’t get each other gifts, with the poinsettia, flower arranging class and construction paper Christmas has cost us under $50.

There is no Santa, no basement, no “some assembly required.” I might make bacon and cheese biscuits for breakfast, but have everything on hand. Eggs? Yes. Last night we drove around the neighborhood to see the lights. Very pretty. We even saw our tiny tree flickering from the street. I keep making changes to it. The silver wire bows I placed atop accentuate the star my husband’s grandmother, mother, and cousins gave last year with the tree to memorialize my father, who they never met.

Talking about change, Dad is buried near a noted criminal and several presidents, probably also criminals!

We will have a quiet dinner. I’m getting the dog’s food delivered today that will take her through to the new year (that’s her holiday gift as Michael will visit) and I may even get my husband a birthday card this year though he forgot my birthday last month, even had me inscribe it into his wedding ring many years ago and still forgot. I asked him what day it was, and he said “Monday.” Yes, dear. Later, he said “it’s your birthday!”

For Christmas we’ve had family, pushed cars out of the snow, and probably the best things my parents concocted, with Santa, were a family gift and minor personal ones like a sweater or socks. Also we kids had to choose a stocking from a hat and fill it for under $20, I always went over the limit, after all I was the eldest. Family gifts included basement items like a ping pong table and air hockey.

Ornaments. We each got a theme, every year, to hang on the tree, with our initials and the year on the back. Today I only have a few from the past, but started our wedded future with paired ornaments from wherever we loved, visited or lived. We’re putting the leg back on to my mountain reindeer carrying a tray of cookies. I found the leg yesterday. After our door wreath fell, I’m still missing my husband as a Texas snowman with a lasso and cowboy hat. I’ll work on that. Memories, family and changing traditions when the parents are gone. I preserve the memories in my own way.

As to memories my Claddagh ring fell off my finger as I slept the other night. I looked everywhere for it because my right ring finger was bereft. He found it by my pillow. That is my Christmas gift. Now I have to go and create a menu. Cheers and happy holidays to you and your family! Dee

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