Still, it’s hard not to wish for the old days, when traveling over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house didn’t involve a strip-search at the airport. Oh, to be young again, believing that Santa really ate the plate of cookies, and “peace on earth, good will towards men” was possible, if only we opened our hearts.
If you were lucky, like me, you felt loved at Christmas.
They’re gone now, along with most of the people in the snapshot. Our branch of the family moved south. We haven’t seen the Ohio cousins in twenty years. We’ve made our own traditions, but still, I go through the holidays with a lump in my throat. Cards arrive from Up North, and I fantasize about a holiday road trip. (Do we even have snow tires?) Rascal Flatts’ version of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” is too woeful to bear. At the midnight service on Christmas Eve, the trick will be balancing a candle in one hand and a flammable wad of tissue in the other.
This season, I’ll cherish the friends and family who gather around our tree, and I’ll make a special effort to create new memories for the younger generation. One day, I imagine, they’ll sit down to brunch on Christmas morning and miss Aunt Alison, who made a scrumptious cheese soufflé and covered the placemats in wrapping paper and always got a little weepy at some point in the day.
The thought warms my heart.