It’s Christmas night, and the guests have all gone. We took a hike up the slippery mountain, cooked a big meal, sat around and enjoyed our Christmas presents by the fire, and played a card game. Now the house is empty and the cat is back where she belongs, right by my side. She was banished due to an allergic visitor. The house is silent now after buzzing with so many people, and the fire is flickering. I wonder how many other houses have this eery quiet, this calm after the storm, this serenity?
It was a good Christmas. Why, what makes it so? Well, it was peaceful, and it snowed and my partner liked the gifts I chose for her, unorthodox as they may have been. Who else gives a subscription to the Greenfield Recorder and a ticket to a Downton Abbey Masterpiece Ball?
But the point is, it was a good one. Not all Christmases are good. We all carry around memories of the worst Christmases, the ones that took place right after a sharp harsh break up, or the death of a loved one. Those we’d just as soon forget, leave in the trash bin. But the ones that are good, boy they resonate for many years after. They come up again and again.
While I wouldn’t stack this Christmas up as the best I do remember my best Christmas ever. It was in 1978, the year we all went up to frozen Conway New Hampshire as a complete family to celebrate at my cousin’s house in the woods. Many of us made the journey on my cousin Chris’ old Greyhound bus, including my grand mother who wore her red pants suit in her nearly 80th year. Having the whole family, well nearly the whole lot, all of my cousins, all of my own family, and being up there in the remote woods with all of that snow, that’s a memory I’ll never forget.
Every Christmas can’t be of a 1978 caliber. But I’ll take this year’s, it was a good one, and that’s all that I can ask for.