As a child, I had a notion of what a perfect Christmas would be like. It didn’t involve gifts, but more importantly what happened and who was present. Keep in mind that I was about seven, and this was back in the 1960’s.
My perfect Christmas would begin by having Christmas Eve on a Friday night. That way I could watch “Wild Wild West” before going to bed to wait for Santa (in whom I did not believe at that time, but indulged, none-the-less.) Dinner that night would be Grandma Soup, and, of course, it would be snowing. There had to be a fire in the fire place. On Christmas Day we would wake up to a tree laden with toys and a yard laden with snow (still coming down.) All of my siblings would be there, and we would feast on pancakes and bacon. After breakfast, I’d sit down with my new toys while cartoons such as Bugs Bunny, Space Ghost, and Jonny Quest played in the background. Later that night we would watch Star Trek – funny how TV played so prominently in this vision of a perfect Christmas.
This, of course, never happened. Very soon after I had conceived of my notion of perfection we moved to a new house – one without the large fireplace that completed the scenario. Still, it was an ideal, and although I knew it would never be obtained, at least we could strive for it.
These days we still have our notions of a perfect Christmas. Like my childhood version, it involves more of whom and where rather than what. As I described about this time last year, we have a fairly set liturgy for our Taylor Family Christmases. Things proceeded pretty much along those lines again this year. We once again attempted to sing the Hallelujah Chorus. This time, we actually had the music. I think it probably went better and was more fun last year when we sang it spontaneously and tried to make it up as we went along. Regardless, it was fun. (Here’s an MP3 of the song – 4.45 MB)
We ate too much, and fought over presents, then went our separate ways to spend the actual Christmas Eve and Day with our own families. Things went well, but there was some doubt. This may be the last year we have Christmas at the Gray Court house, where we moved when I was seven. The pressure to make this the perfect last Taylor Gathering at Gray Court was pretty darn high, and several of us worried how emotional this might turn out. I personally think things will be fine. We’ve had our gatherings at other houses on other Christmases (including my own house), and we were still able to have a great time.
So, except for the thought of our home place being sold (which really does need to happen), except for the fact that Rascal has a broken leg, except for the fact that Amy’s home repairs weren’t finished in time and we can’t go to Florida, except for the fact that Amy has either the flu or food poisoning, I think this will still be a pretty good Christmas. We are all in good health (except for Amy and Rascal, for the time being), and we are all comfortable. That’s much more than can be said for much of the world’s population.
That being said, here’s wishing that everyone’s Christmas as closely as possibly reaches their ideal.