Ok.. on to the next thing.
My niece and future daughter in law are including me in a group text about wedding showers, having babies and when’s the next party. My cup runneth over but my energy runneth low. Even though I deeply admire their youthful enthusiasm and love for each other and for me, I want to text back “Ladies! Let me get Christmas put away first!”
So many things to look forward to in the new year. But before I go there I want to be here. I want to be here to put Christmas away. I want to look at all the ornaments I threw on the tree in such a rush between working, traveling and meal preparing. It all happened so fast and now it’s over.
I want to be in the kitchen once more with my three sons and my future daughter in law cooking Christmas dinner and laughing about nonsense while the two Goldens, Lua and Willow, gaze at the oven door with the 25 lb. bird inside, hoping to get a quick lick when Patrick opens it to baste.
I want to see Gramma Louise ask for refills on the Vodka Punch, all the while relaxing and enjoying the hustle bustle of her family.
I want to hear once again all the various conversations at the Christmas dinner table with all the guest glowing from the warmth of good food and wine. I want to reveal the secret ingredient in the stuffing and listen for the pregnant pause. (ok.. no more secret ingredients in the stuffing- I promise.) BTW Who guessed the baby Jesus?
I think this was the best Christmas ever.
Years ago, when I was in my early 20’s, I never bought Christmas paper on sale after Christmas. I didn’t anticipate there being another Christmas. You know.. it was the ’80s and everyone was talking about Jesus coming again and Revelations in the bible. Good Catholic that I was (still am but not as good) I took it all to heart. Existential angst had me wondering about the meaning of life and how my life was going to pan out. It became somewhat of a joke among my family and friends. After Christmas sales? You won’t see Rosemarie there!
Now I find myself looking forward to many Christmases to come. And to wedding, babies, celebrations and most of all to a life filled with love and belonging. I consider that progress.
But today I am content to take down the ornaments and unstring the lights. Open empty boxes. Nativity scene goes in this bag. Delicate ornaments go in the tins. Stocking folded with the little white hooks inside for easy hanging next year. One last deep inhale of the still fragrant tree.