Absent Family, Friends, and Loved Ones
There was a tradition in my family, on Christmas Eve, to greet one another when we first got up to say, "Christmas Eve Gift!" and to say it first. I think this was a "tradition" in my immediate family, alone. I think maybe Mom made it up. But this tradition among the surviving members of my family that once numbered eight of us still survives. If I call one of my sisters today, and she sees that it's me calling, it will be a race to see who can say "Christmas Eve Gift" first.
|Christmas in the desert (hehehe)|
When my dad passed away on his birthday, on September 17, 2000, that which held the family on a steady course, mainly through his hard work, sacrifice, and undying sense of duty to provide for his family diminished us even more. The five of us who have survived since those three years ending with the old century have now continued for sixteen years. And here it is 2016 and I wish them all "Christmas Eve Gift!" If you're reading this Betty, Libby, Carlton, or Donna...got you first! May we all be blessed for another year.
|The center hall in my house|
My Christmas dinner this year will consist of Southern red beans (a gift from a neighbor), rice, homemade bread (a gift from my accountant in Las Cruces, NM), and in remembrance of that melancholy Thanksgiving in 1999, the year our Mother passed away, a turkey breast, instead of her home-cooked turkey. My leftovers will consist of sliced turkey sandwiches. Just that. Nothing more. But this year, as every Christmas I find blessings that get me through this season, also knowing that the New Year is just a week away. Although I fully embrace the "Winter Season" celebrations that somehow involve other religions, I am glad to see that Columbus has decorated its streets with Christmas trees and snow flakes (tree-symbols and snow flake symbols, that hang from the light poles down Main Street and Fifth Street). I remember driving through small Texas towns on the way from Deming, New Mexico to Waco, Texas, when our entire family was young and consisted only of Mom, Dad, my two older sisters, me, and one younger sister, and all the small towns were decorated for Christmas, which we would pass through at night on the way to Waco to spend Christmas with Mom's mother and her family. Some of the small towns might also have snow, which added to the beauty.
It's just that time of year for me to consider that Christmas Eve Gift, more special than anything under the tree on Christmas morning.