Sunday, December 26, 2010

Thoughts on Christmas Eve

As Christmas itself began to materialize, I found myself approaching the actual days with a mix of anticipation as well as trepidation. I was looking forward to the conclusion of the busiest retail days of the season as well as the treasured time with Keith's family. I was also dreading the first Christmas without Dad. On Christmas Eve last year, though, my mood was far more melancholy....I'd received several calls about the worsening state of my parent's well-being during an exhausting final day of retail madness and after arriving at our house, promptly set about to having a mini-breakdown before preparing to outrun the great Christmas Blizzard of '09. That year, my state of mind got a spectacular boost in the form of the Wonderful Winges, most especially Sierra and Tanner. This year, I was in far better fetter as we headed home for the holidays but the stresses and loss of the past year still smolder a bit. Keith's clan proved once again to be the perfect tonic for a minor case of Christmas blues.

We arrived on the Eve at an earlier time for a change, so for once we weren't all rushed as we often tend to be. That fact seemed to set the tone for the weekend as it was all blessedly peaceful. It was a white Christmas once again but this time only a picturesque couple of inches worth, not the pile we plowed through last year. The grandparents arrived and the traditional dishes of oyster soup, clam chowder and country ham were plated up along with a delicious apple salad and Kim and Dave's cracked wheat dinner rolls. Over dessert and coffee, we talked and laughed as the kids played and wrestled with Grandpa. Kim and Dave showed us photos and videos of the Colorado ski trip they had just returned from the day before. As I sat and listened to the conversation, I was watching Keith's grandfather and I noticed for the first time certain tics that reminded me of Dad. The voices around me were fading and my mind was flooding with Christmas Eve memories with Dad...the drives to look at the holiday lights after the candlelit Christmas Eve church services before arriving home when we would enjoy a slice of chocolate or pecan pie while opening one present. When my Memory Lane haze cleared, I was still at the dinner table with the Winges and found myself teary-eyed. I got a grip and rejoined the fun but the memories are still there; dancing on the outskirts of my thoughts.

The night would end as peacefully as it began with everyone heading home as Keith and I settled in with his parents. The next day would bring more Christmas cheer as well as a delicious twist on Christmas dinner.....


Anonymous said...

It is always a great Christmas Eve with traditions and merriment. We are so glad to have you as part of the Winge family.


Confounded Cook said...

Why, I'm so glad to be a part of it, Good Sir!!

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