Snowmen on ice skates! A nice thought. HA! I know, I should just stop complaining and shut up about our 73 degree, sunny weather and pray for the families in this country who are still digging out of relentless blizzards, who are living in airports, desperate to get home to their beloved families and friends. This morning I stood in front of the bathroom mirror and talked to myself out loud, “Mary, what is wrong with you? Cheer up! Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, for goodness sakes!” I’ve been feeling up and down during this Christmas season. Today, I'm feeling melancholy.
After that little conversation with myself, I rounded the corner and played my favorite Christmas CD, Platinum Christmas. It boasts beautiful songs from modern artists and if you haven’t heard Christina Aguilera belt out “Silent Night”, please do. It’s a real treat. Gina gave it to me a few years ago and I can’t find the case to name other artists who shine on this collection. While I vacuumed the house, cooked, and did some laundry, I wondered about what’s missing this Christmas. My thoughts centered around lost traditions.
Miss wearing coats and gloves and seeing your breath rise? Yes. Today we’re wearing t-shirts and wiping the sweat from our brow.
Is my chest cold wearing me down? Yes.
Miss waking at the crack of dawn on Christmas morning, opening gifts, and scurrying off to visit about thirty family and friends? Oh, yes. For a few decades, we complained about the mad rush and wished to spend Christmas at home. Now we have it. Funny…how I long for years past.
Miss seeing Mom and Dad on Christmas Day? Yes, achingly so. Last year we didn’t travel to see them for the first time in our lives. Unbeknownst to us, it was their last Christmas together and one they enjoyed. Guilt. Regret. I haven’t talked with Mom since May and I miss her so... I missed selecting a new robe or nightgown for her this year and I miss my Dad enjoying Christmas magic and recognizing his children and grandchildren.
Miss the tradition in the Italian basement at 2pm? I do. Squeezing fourteen people around a two small tables for an Italian feast warranted three Advil, but those were the days. Michael’s parents are gone for several years and the kids have started their own traditions. We adjusted.
Now, we are far away from family and friends and have begun to create our own traditions and maintain some old ones. One of our old ones held true today as Michael and Gina shopped for my gifts. (Hope I get a new camera :o) Since Gina was a very young child, they ventured into the shopping crowds one or two days before Christmas and today was no different. And today I also kept a tradition of mine – to clean the house before the big day. Yahoo.
I call Michael the nit-picking, whining husband, because he is. The man will develop stomach ulcers over nothing, like a wrapping paper tube laying the middle of the back yard, or finding eggs past their expiration date in the frig. I get very annoyed and tired with his non-stop preoccupation with complete nonsense. One day, he will swing the refrigerator door open and there will be no milk. He’ll exclaim, “NO MILK!” and hit the floor. Twenty minutes later, the paramedics will be there… I want him to chill out but I don’t think it will happen. Italians are very excitable about anything that is insignificant. But he has a big heart and proved it once again today. Two weeks ago, Gina, who has been working hard and budgeting to establish herself well, paid a few hundred dollars to have her lap top computer cleaned up to rid a nasty virus. Last night, her monitor died. The nit-picking husband of mine treated her to a new lap top today. He is very generous when it counts and it made my heart warm.
Later in the day, the warm breezes beckoned me outdoors to listen to the birds sing, to feed the hungry Koi, and, yes, romp with my girls. I contemplated my “blue” day while outdoors and now I feel much better.
Lives change. Situations change. Traditions change.
But life goes on with a hoot and a holler, if you let it!