Christmas Eve, 2022

Christmas, a time of reflection. The memories and ghosts of family and friends who have shared past holidays swirl inside my head. Their presence warms the hearth and heart. I see my grandmother, Edna, accordion spreading back and forth in her arms, music pouring through the bellows, her laughter mingling with that of my brother, Gly, and sister, Claudia, as we dance in circles around the tinsel covered tree. Mom and Dad, cocktails in hand bustling to keep the drinks filled, the table ready for the holiday meal. Mom and her mom, Gretchen, and her mom’s mom, great-grandmother, Catharine, apron-clad, stirring gravy, pulling pies from the oven, the house steamy warm with scents of all things yummy.

As a child, the world was small, close-held, our gathering everything in the moment that counted. The giggles, the sometimes raised voices, the sense of love circling the room, our genetic connections, our shared histories. The piles of spent wrapping paper. The new kids games, books, maybe a bicycle. Fading black and white photographs beacons to a world long vanished, but closely held.

This year, it’s off to my son, Cooper’s home in Palm Desert. He’s promised street tacos for Christmas Eve, and I’ve made flan for desert. We’ll walk the dog, oooh and ahhh over neighborhood lighted decorations. Later, we’ll likely watch a holiday flick, and I know I’ll tuck in early.

My sister is under I have not idea how many feet of snow, and a nasty wind chill has her doggy wondering how to go outside and do her biz. Maybe next year I can coax her and husband, Jimmy, to Mexico, where it won’t be in the 80s, but decidedly will not be in negative temperature range.

The sweet faux palm “Christmas” tree, in the image above, my homage to the season. That and some bows and ornaments to perpetuate holiday spirit.

May your holidays be bright, and your celebrations be filled with love!

And then a blink, and it’s onward to a brand new year.

Be well. Stay healthy! Hold what you love close to your heart.

Catharine

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