I Believe

In the last few years we have not had the Christmases I usually like to have. Last year the three of us had Covid, the year before the world was in lock down, before that my father had not been well. The worst Christmas ever was the one I that started Christmas Eve with my father almost dying and the ambulance coming first thing Christmas morning to take him to Duke where I had to stand guard for two weeks to keep him there. Despite that string of bad Christmases I still believed we would once again have a joyous holiday.

Today was the Christmas I dreamed we would have. After a wonderful Christmas Eve we slept late this morning. Carter eventually woke us announcing that Santa had come. Those whom Santa brought presents for opened them. There were lots of games and arts and crafts to keep everyone busy all year. Russ got more hot sauces than there are breakfasts. We will see if any one of them is hot enough for him.

Late in the morning the sleigh carrying Janet, Sophie and my Mom arrived filled with more presents than I have ever seen. Margaret and Pete couldn’t make it at the last minute with all the weather. If they had come there would not have been room for us all and all the presents.

We exchanged gifts for a while, but after hardly making a dent we decided we needed to eat lunch to recharge for more opening.

Salmon, mushroom and leak bread pudding, asparagus and arugula salad refuled us for another afternoon session of opening. My favorite gift was the hand made museum quality Mah Jongg racks my father-in-law made for me. That was followed up by a custom made 2000 piece puzzle of a photo of Carter, me and Shay that Sophie and Janet gave me, but it was really Sophie. All my gifts revolved around Mah Jongg, Needlepoint, Christmas ornaments or Puzzles. Why fool around with anything else.

Eventually we depleted the pile of gifts. There were no moments where someone awkwardly did not have the words when opening a truly odd gift. There were no bad gifts. There was no fighting. No discussion of anything unpleasant or political. No one said they did not want to eat what was being served.

We enjoyed our Christmas peppermint ice cream at five o’clock and did our Christmas crackers. I looked around the table at my family all in their paper crowns and I thought this was a royally good Christmas. I believed it could happen again as magical Christmases had in the past. I knew we could break the streak of disappointing, sad sickness filled holidays of the last few years. Even though every year I said that would be the one that broke the streak.

We did miss my sister and my Dad, but we had a jolly old time just the same. I will continue to believe in the magic of Christmas. I believe in the good that the birth of the baby Jesus brought to the world. I believe that people are mostly good and that in the long run things will work out. Sometimes you just have a bad streak, but streaks are made to be broken. Merry Christmas to all you believers.

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