happy december first

It’s hard to believe in December this year because the weather continues mild and snow-less. Still, the TV meteorologist I watch is almost - almost - promising a white Christmas, a pleasure we have not had for several years. So I guess we’ll go along with December and see what happens.

I’m still going along with Christmas. I think the biggest anachronism is the list of Christmas card recipients I write to each year, dwindling each year. It’s something I used to do and still do out of habit. For several years I have been reminding my friends that we keep on keeping touch just to assure each other that we are still here. Every year I get at least one letter from a relative of someone I have sent a card to, informing me that the person has died. That’s the hard way to shorten a list.

I don’t have any Christmas decorations left. My children were still at home when Bill died; they were 12, 14, 16 and almost 18. We were all caught in the midst of our lives, or maybe I was caught in the midst of theirs. I kept on trying to maintain a family and family traditions until they finished growing up and dispersed and started families and traditions of their own. When we moved into Toronto for our first Christmas there, Liz emptied all the boxes of decorations and mementos and strewed them around the entire apartment. We got home from church and she greeted us:

“Merry Kitschmas, everyone!” she said.

That’s when I began to divest myself of the past. As they all established homes of their own, I stopped producing Christmas for my children and went where I was invited. By the time I was living in Muskoka, there was no point in putting out decorations at Christmas time because no one was there, including me. I put a string of bells on the door, was all.

But I still look forward to a white Christmas, with authentic snow.