It’s the day after Christmas. This is Chicagoland and there is no snow and people are walking around in shirtsleeves because temperatures reached nearly 60 degrees yesterday. Christmas was snowless but still families feasted and children chilled-out. People like me, older and slower, made the best of the day.
There were empty places at my sisters’ Christmas dinner–lots of folks are gone– but later the “twenty-somethings” of the family added energy to the day. Three of them with faux reindeer antlers on their heads, probably didn’t know the words to “Silent Night” and might even have even stumbled on “Jingle Bells.” They had brought in from their cars casseroles of vegan food. But, as my youngest sister would say, “It was all good.”
Christmas dinner was still as noisy as past Christmases but that excitement came from the other table. We older folks sat at our table and listened, mostly.
I guess I want to say that our annual Christmas get-together was different than I remember it had been. New people, vegan main-dishes, no mistletoe. My sisters brought out the bone-china and crystal but these days younger people are used to serving themselves from a buffet, so there were no fancy serving dishes, the ones with red American Beauty Roses painted over a white background. Something friendly is lost when the serving dishes are not passed, I think. Small but not insignificant kindnesses are omitted these days because you serve yourself. So, it’s different, Christmas is, these days. (Strange sentence but that’s the way it came to me.)
Christmas is different because relatives have died or moved away. But, the new bright faces at our Christmas dinner this year were so welcome!
Some things remained traditional: Baked ham and trimmings were served and the Christmas tree was up and decorated. The stable scene with Mary and Joseph and the infant Jesus was under the tree, too. Oh, yes, one more thing: Before we ate, we prayed the “Our Father” and then “Bless us, O lord….”
It was a “really cool” Christmas, after all.