Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Christmas day is always a big struggle for me. I really hate the pressure that the commercial Christmas dumps on us. Even the traditional brings pressure. The whole scene has become a series of trappings: the tree, the gifts the stockings to be stuffed, the turkey, the lights. I know so many poor people who can't live up to that and I've seen how it makes them feel. For many, the holidays are about sustaining a good drunk, at least until it passes. The whole scene makes me angry.
For Linda, the tradition of Christmas is where she's stored her very best memories. Ornaments that once decorated the Grandparents house are carefully unwrapped. Once again, for a couple of weeks they will remind us of what a special family time this is. Old family recipes play a role as well. Every detail is very important.
Over the years we have struggled together to find a balance. It's always been a swinging pendulum. This year the pendulum was just ever so slightly to Linda's view of the season. All the trappings were out. We did agree to be very modest in our shopping endeavours. We had a turkey. My Dad paid for it, I picked it. Linda took a look at it and asked, "what were you thinking?" Well, I was in a hurry. I guess I was just thinkin, gettr done. The bird was a monster. I think it must've grown up under the powerlines or something.
On Christmas day we all gathered around the table with my Dad and Rosemary too. We shared the holiday spirit, some old memories and we chalked another one up to a tradition of good memories. I think the high point of the day was having Marky sit on Grampa's knee. It was a sweet and tearful moment. We all remembered that it was only a few months earlier that Mark was struggling to stay alive.
We ended the day by putting all the left overs form birdzilla into two large plasticware containers and dropping it off at one of the homes that Sanctuary runs. That was a sweet moment for me. I've gone to the devil's doorstep and back with the man who recieved that gift. It was something special for both him and me to share Christmas this way.
Somewhere in this there's love.