Yesterday I was in line at the grocery store and I could not help but eye the order of the man behind me. I could see what he had planned for Christmas dinner. It was loaded with delicious potential. Our own order, cockles and mussels and salmon and fresh parsley and basil plants and can after can of San Marzano tomato's... showed that we had lots of entertaining ahead.
"Everyone's choices are so much more interesting this time of year," I said to him as I nodded toward his order.
"I know! I have never bought a pomegranate!" he shared happily.
Even the talking in line is different.
I am thankful for the change in music on the radio and the lights in the windows and the smell of pine and the use of candles and the chance to cook and be cooked for. I am thankful for the Christmas decorations I have now had for years; especially the beautiful wise men and manger that were my Grandmothers. I am thankful for stockings hanging and the anticipation of filling them. I am thankful for the plastic placemats I found that smell the same as every doll I ever got from Santa Claus. For at least a few days out of the package I would smell that smell as I kissed my doll's face.
I am thankful for the memories I have of my older brother waking me up in the dark, and telling me that Santa had come, and then telling me what was in my pile because I was too sleepy to get up yet. Too sleepy because it felt like I lay in bed wide awake for hours trembling with excitement that Santa was coming. I am thankful for my parents who made those Christmas mornings so delightful. I am thankful for the overwhelmingly busy times making Christmas for my own children; even for the wrapping until 3 AM Christmas morning; what a treat it was to deliver the same kind of excitement I had enjoyed as a child. So much work but so much fun!
I am thankful for the memories of my grandparents at their houses, special things they cooked and certain dishes they used, that I now try to use the same way. I remember a pair of little red boots my Grandfather chose for me when I was eight, and then he died suddenly just after Christmas. Within two weeks his mother, my Nana, died of a broken heart. So there are those memories, too.
Yup peeps, my eyes and heart well up with love for family and traditions. We have special friends come for Christmas Eve... A special "Christmas Eve" family that I have celebrated with since I met Johnny K. Things are always changing. We would not appreciate the happy if we did not also experience the sad. Life is rich with feelings, always.
If things are good, this too shall pass. If things are bad, this too shall pass. So just enjoy. Enjoy this minute and what you have right now.
It seems like all religions have a celebration of some sort this time of year.. So whatever yours is, I wish you love and frivolity and depth of feeling and surprise...
I wish you the best of this life.