My favorite day of the whole year, the day after Christmas tops them all. Perhaps it is only an illusion, but this day seems to be such a clean and fresh 24 hours. It is a reward for the frenetic pace that we are forced to keep right up until Christmas day, sometimes long after midnight, at the finish of Christmas Eve.
As the mother of 5 and a real “Christmas lover” I threw myself into holiday preparations with my whole heart. It was an enormous undertaking, and no one else was really able to help me. Later I had helpers for wrapping presents and cooking meals, but in the beginning I did everything. All the time, visions of sugar plumbs danced in my head. I always had a mental image of what I thought should be the “Picture” of a happy family day. It was all Norman Rockwell family happiness, but with a great deal of money spent to make it fall together. And of course no one else besides myself knew what was involved in my vision of the entire holiday package.
In my imagination everyone was happy and grateful. In these visions, everyone was in the mood for Christmas and all the trimmings. Yes, the reality was less romantic. Over the years many things interfered with the sweet images in my head. There were bills, often big ones. Nature combined with power outages, from snow or wind storms which stole my peace of mind. Other mishaps or missed packages, sick horses or dogs, more than once the Christmas tree fell over, but all was patched up and righted. And of course there were family squabbles and hurt feelings. Awkward, family relationships and unequal family situations. All this was made worse by the fact that no one else shared my personal idea of what should be happening. The beautiful image was only in my head. However as my children grew the image began to be shared by them. That made me so happy. I loved the fact that they knew our family traditions and helped perpetuate them. They knew where the Santa was supposed to go, which mantle held the Lladro angels, when this decoration or that one, was bought, made or given and the story behind each of them. They arranged the Christmas Creche and cherished each piece, putting the baby Jesus in last.
And Christmas was a happy time for my family. Not perfect, but happy. Some memorable things have happened on Christmas Day in our history. The last day of alcohol for one, the birth of a grand-baby on Christmas Eve, and even one on the day BEFORE Christmas Eve, and later a baby that waited until December 30th to be born, the first day of all sorts of resolutions and prayers for the future marks it as fruitful. One year I gave a horse as a present to my husband, one year a pony to a daughter, and on two Christmases that I remember I received puppies from my family. Serena and Lord Byron many years apart but among the great loves of my life, thank you my dear children and Charley. Christmas has been magnificent.
But now I am more than 3/4 of a century old. Christmas is more for my children and grandchildren than ever before. I feel like an observer, rather than a participant. And it is restful to have done such a good job for so many years. Now I can watch my family with their own traditions, incorporate some of ours.
Now hearing the worlds Peace on Earth and Good Will towards Men resonates on a different level. This year 2018 has been a very intense year for this country and the world. It has been eventful for me and my family, as well. Over all it has been a very important and beneficial year. I wish the same for everyone out there. Happy New Year! 2019
Copyright?. 2018 Bonnie B. Matheson