Monday, December 7, 2015

And the Holiday Train Moves On....

I’m sure many of you have spent a major holiday without one of your children who has moved far away, and the logistics or financial cost of it all just couldn’t seem to be resolved.

I had my first such holiday this Thanksgiving; my oldest child lives in Brattleboro, Vermont, and between his work schedule and the cost of airline tickets these days, we just couldn’t make that trip happen this year.

It was his first Thanksgiving away from home and my first not having my assistant chef standing next to me in the kitchen, absorbing all the chaos and fractious behavior that was rolling off of me like waves of steam from a boiling volcano that could erupt at any minute.

But my youngest son was here, manning the turkey fryer as is his job every year, and my parents were here as well. My mother, bless her, pre-made some of the ingredients for her special dressing and brought them with her, as well as she made a delicious dessert for us this year.  It all came together despite being minus some very important family members.

I made it through, and Josh celebrated with his new family of friends in Brattleboro, all of them preparing different dishes and making one huge beautifully put together buffet, which they all thoroughly enjoyed I am sure. It certainly wasn’t the way we would have rather spent this holiday, but everyone is alive, safe, and well, and nothing beats that – even 2000 miles away.

After Thursday/Thanksgiving, we rolled-on into Friday which consisted of Zach and I beginning the part of the inside Christmas decorations we could do alone. Then Saturday, when my husband returned from his annual Thanksgiving trip to South Carolina where the rest of his family lives, we began the decorating of the tree.

There wasn’t a lot of the usual fanfare this year; Zach got the tree down alone, and he and Ramsey began with stringing the lights. I’d like to believe that as I have gotten older, I’ve grown more mellow and I’m not as controlling as I once was – but both of my children will tell you quickly – that is not the case, ever.

Maybe the difference was the lack of the brotherly duo, who actually claim they work quite well together, and once again, place me as the head of the drama blame.

I just believe it must all look as perfect as possible. All the ornament placing takes a great deal of studying, even though the tree is stark with nothing but lights in the beginning; it is but a blank canvas, ready to be adorned with beautiful pieces of memories.

 My Mama said it  best years ago, and I have never forgotten her beautiful description: all the
ornaments should be dangling gracefully from each branch like sparkling, colorful jewels on display for everyone to see, just as if you had opened the lid of a jewelry box; and I think my tree is just that - magical and beautiful - less the tinkling music and the twirling ballerina.

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