Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Auld Lang Syne

The time between Christmas and New Year's was always a favorite time for me. Maybe it was because of the relief from the relentless charge towards Christmas Day, cooking, cleaning shopping. It's all done and there's something wonderful about the season of lights which will finally dim after New Year's Day. I can sit and enjoy the Christmas Tree and remember all those who are no longer with us. But it's not a sad feeling, it's more that I feel them there, our parents, aunts, uncles, siblings and cousins. I envision them sitting quietly with us, my mother feeling superior to my wrappings - hers were always works of art with beautiful paper and ribbons. My sister eating a Christmas cookie, she who never gained weight. My father somehow has acquired a whisky and water and a box of chocolates. My Victorian grandmother is there, too, rocking in the chair right next to the tree.Somehow my husband's family are present also, although in real life we celebrated separately. His father is enjoying his drink along with my father and maybe they are talking about a boxing match. His mother is working on an afghan. I feel the connection of family through the ages. Recently we learned more about my husband's ancestors and their life as early settlers in New York and Nova Scotia. Maybe they have stopped in, too, to see what life is like in 2011, as opposed to 1780. I wonder if they notice our tree is artificial, not cut down fresh from the pine forests?  One of his remote grandfathers has brought a bottle of the rum he distilled in Boston in the 1600's and he is going offer a glass to our fathers. Wonder what they would think of it? Then my mother's family arrive with their instruments and begin to play. It's a joyful scene, out of Charles Dickens. My aunt sits in a corner sketching them all. With the New  Year, they will quietly steal away again and our daily lives will slip back into their familiar groove. Time to look ahead.

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