Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Dinner

Our family's Christmas dinner was tonight. It was orchestrated by TJ and I. Everyone pulled together and brought food. It was grand. There were only 52 'peoples' there. There were 10 people missing due to work, being sick, being out of town, and being out of the country. That is the brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces, and grand nephews and nieces. The company was great and the food was marvelous. We arrived at the fellowship hall of a church pastored by a dear friend around 3:30PM and we walked out around 10PM.

This is what I wrote for the occasion:

Here we are at one of the most tradition filled holidays of the year. We have, over the years, embraced our tradition as if they would always be, while in the back of our minds we knew we were tempting time.

This year, our traditional Christmas family hoe-down is not on Christmas Eve as usual. We are missing some folks. We are always missing one or a few folks due to the family getting more and more spread out, but always, the core of our get-together was Mom and Dad. This year, we celebrate our second Christmas without Dad, and our first Christmas without Mom.

Mom said, when she was telling me about spending her first Christmas in 55 years with her family in Germany, that we “need to make our own family traditions.” I wanted to say, “Mom, we have made our own and it is what we have done year after year,” but I didn’t. Then I thought about it. I thought about our Christmas tradition.

Yes, it has been the same, basically, year to year. However, it has evolved each year as well. I remember, very vaguely, the early Christmases. It was just Dad, Mom, and the kids. Then Barbara got old enough to date, and a boyfriend came. Then a husband was added. Then more boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives, and the grandchildren began to appear. Even though our basics remained, our numbers grew, and grew, and grew.

As much as new lives and new births affected our tradition, it was inevitable that death would affect us as well. Two Christmases ago, we felt the effect of its uncaring touch.

This year, a healthy decision to continue to live her life, has Mom in Germany for a short while. We have not broken our tradition; we have simply allowed it to evolve as it has for the past 56 years since Barbara changed Mom and Dad’s lives and traditions.

So here, with my family, I continue my ever changing, ever evolving, family tradition. I invite all of you to continue yours as well.

Here is to family, and Christmas, and traditions.

1 comment:

Willow Tree said...

How beautiful! Thinking of you, your Dad who is celebrating Christmas with our Savior, and your mother who is connecting with those still here.

Blessings, Carolynn