1950 Christmas dinner - sm - © retro annon. - via Pintrest

Merry Christmas! I Hope Your Day Is Happy And Bright….

I know that title sounds like the cover of a Christmas card. But I really do mean it. If ever there was a day to find something to celebrate, amid the pandemic privations, the family lossess many of us have suffered, and the economic setbacks we have all had to brave – this is the day…

1950 Christmas dinner - © retro annon. - via PintrestJust like I remember from my childhood: The whole extended
family at my Grandparents’ place for Christmas Dinner…

I penned a post a few days ago sharing suggestions for making a solitary Christmas happier and less lonely for those who are in isolation by themselves over the Holidays. and I was just reviewing that a few moments again when it occurred to me: It’s not really the gifts, the lights, the cheesy seasonal music or the cheery glow of a fire in the grate that makes the day special. Without seeming too cheesy, myself, I have to admit the older folks I’ve known over the years were right. It’s the rituals involving the family members and friends who were traditionally part of my Christmas who made the holiday truly memorable for me.

The pivot of my musings was my little tree. Years ago, when I was a child, or even a young adult who spent Christmas at Mom’s or Dad’s, I felt special and magical that, when I arrived where my Christmas morning would be, the tree was already magically up and decorated with mysterious presents already under it. And I could look forward to a great Christmas morning with people I cherished, and a sumptuous dinner like I always remembered from Christmases past.

Now it’s all up to me

I am the last of my mother’s line and have been totally estranged from everyone who’s still left (my generation or older) in Dad’s line. I feel very old, very lonely. Like my Mom says frequently, no matter what the day, she feels painfully out of place in the world when she realizes that everything she remembers about the past and all the people she shared it with are gone.

When other people, younger people, tell me about their Christmases, I always feel strange: like I’m watching a movie or video about something of theirs that I can’t have, or never had. I can’t relate to their experiences because I wasn’t there, wasn’t part of it.

The magic is gone, because I have to make it, now, and I know how it all works. I am the old lady behind the curtain who makes the OZ-ness of Christmas come alive. For others.

But I do have one thing…

I can still relive the old days through old favourite family recipes and memories of those who gave them to me. Don’t ever let any old family cookbook slip through your fingers if some other member of the family doesn’t grab it first. Mother and Erin and I will have a few such recipes on our little table tonight. And we’ll make our Christmas live by comparing notes about the old familiar flavours and aromas – the and faces and voices they evoke.

See you on the other side…

~ Maggie J.