Time to wrap up Christmas, now that the new year is almost upon us. It has been a hectic few weeks, and the school break has passed much too quickly. As we sit here in front of the fire enjoying a lazy last day of 2009, I am trying to find a way to put into words the way I feel about the holidays and I keep finding words totally inadequate. But what it comes down to is this: as much as we are all enthralled right now with our new things, it really isn’t about the “stuff” of Christmas. What I remember most from the holidays of my childhood is not the gifts I received. I remember Christmas Eve fondue and new Christmas pajamas, sitting on the stairs with my sisters waiting to be allowed down to see the tree, fried country ham and grapefruit at my Grandmother Kathleen’s house. I remember Hanukkah dinner with my father’s parents, eating enough latkes to make me feel like popping, watching my Grandmother recite Hebrew while we lit the candles of the menorah. But I don’t think I could tell you a single gift I received, though I know there were many, and I know I loved them at the time.
I know right now Fletcher & Lola are in love with their new toys, and I am so glad that they are happy. But I hope these are not the things they will remember when they look back on this Christmas. I hope they will remember making gingerbread men with Grandmama, being in the Christmas Eve tableau at church, seeing snow for the first time, and sledding at NayNay & Grandaddy’s house in Roanoke. And I hope they will remember days like today, all of us snuggled together on the couch playing games and listening to the pop of the fire, and enjoying each other’s company.