There’s a few hours yet until Christmas and in some rooms in our house
there’s no evidence of dust bunnies, cobwebs or even that pesky mouse.
These rooms have been prepared for possible viewing and examination
by family and friends and others who might drop in for a short visitation.
The Christmas card lines are rapidly filling with greetings from far and near,
coming from reliable correspondents who keep in touch at this time of year.
There was a frenzy in late November when greeting card boxes were missing
from shelves of local shops, deliveries late and shoppers hopefully wishing.
Finally some boxed selections appeared, with Santa and angels and bells,
even reindeer and Snoopy with Charlie and carollers wishing us all well.
This year’s family letter was short, with non-pandemic news hard to find
and we refrained from listing all our other aches and pains, just to be kind.
It was fun to receive newsy letters from friends we haven’t seen in awhile
but someday soon hopefully we will see them again in the grocery store aisle.
Buying suitable Christmas gifts this year has proven to be quite a chore
but we persevered and now hope the recipients don’t wish we’d shopped more.
We’ve been out to see the lights, going east and south and then north and west
until we’ve seen many Santas, and reindeer, Mary and the Baby and all the rest.
Santa drove some of those same streets and gathered food so families can feast
on turkey and chicken, ham with a yam, maybe even a roast from a bovine beast.
Christmas music plays non-stop on the radio and carollers still go door to door,
where they receive egg nog and chocolates but are too polite to ask for more.
As the days go by and time slips away, floors are swept and new towels put out.
The best dishes are prepared and brown stains are washed from that teapot spout.
Christmas cakes have aged a few weeks despite a friend’s hint for an early bite.
Patience, he was told, is a virtue and so he will wait until Christmas Eve night.
Christmas tables will groan with all sorts and varieties of traditional food
but empty chairs for much loved deceased family members dampen the mood.
But we keep their memories close and remember good times of years gone by,
thankful we had them for awhile and realizing life can change in a blink of an eye.
So dear readers, friends, family, strangers and all: my best wishes go your way,
Merry Christmas, festive blessings and Happy New Year is what I say today.
Last year at this time we were reconciled to the orders that our Christmas celebrations would be reduced in size and limited to our own homes. We grumbled and mumbled about the restrictions but followed directions because there was hope that 2021 would bring an end to the need to keep our distance from family and friends.
Now a year later we are still governed by some limitations and remain cautious about what format Christmas celebrations will take.
Regardless of the format, the true meaning of Christmas cannot be quelled by world affairs and inevitable shopping frenzies. We hold family and friends close to our hearts and embrace them when we are able. They bring us joy and that joy awakens memories of Christmases years ago when we gathered in large groups and held our doors open for anyone dropping in to exchange greetings.
However and wherever you observe this special day, may you have a very Merry Christmas.
Joyce Walter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication.