There wasn’t any
– early morning excitement with little feet crashing down the steps towards the pile high of presents
– long, tiring cooking marathon in the kitchen and frantic setting of table in anticipation of company
– tearing sounds of paper accompanied by ooos and ahhhs or occasional shrieks of excitement while opening gifts
– smell of roasting coffee that would soothe the tired wrapping hands and warm an empty belly all the while giving that little wake up jolt after a few sips
– the ringing of the phone bringing Merry Christmas wishes and reminders of what to bring or discussion of when to visit throughout the day
– the sweeping sound of the broom cleaning up the oodles and oodles of crumpled paper left on the floor
– eventual quieting of movement as everyone tried on their clothes or started playing with their toys
– amazing smells emanating from the kitchen as everyone rushes to the table, pulling out chairs and arguing of who’s going to sit where as we sat down to a traditional holiday brunch
– the final, restful sound of silence as everyone dispersed to play with their newfound toys or put on their new makeup to get ready to go somewhere
– the sound of running water as the first round of dishes are washed in preparation for the next meal and visitors or visiting others
Rather it was
– a slow awakening to the sound of the fan whirring overhead
– a gradual opening of the eyes to let the daylight waken your mind
– a realization that today wasn’t supposed to be like any other day but wondering what it would really be like
– slipping into fuzzy slippers and a warm robe to still the shivers of the morning air and shuffle to the kitchen
– grabbing a warm cup of sweetened tea with lemon to soothe a grumbling stomach
– patting the pooch on the head while giving her a treat and letting her out for her morning potty call
– settling into the rocking chair with the phone in the hopes you’d get a morning holiday call
– reading a chapter of a self help or inspirational book on your Kindle since the holiday seemed to warrant something deeper than a fictional story
– catching up with the world through social media or email
– answering the call for a quick FaceTime to watch presents being opened and quickly chatting about your grown up son’s agenda for the day (modern technology certainly helps to feel included but not always enough)
– ditching the traditional brunch for a quick reheat of a leftover or bowl of cereal
– catching random Xmas specials or replays on TV
– catching up on podcasts
– reminiscing on holidays of the past
But it’s all okay.
For life moves on. Children grow up, loved ones pass on, our worlds as we once knew them change. So how we spend our holidays change.
Sometimes they aren’t always a big, happy celebration, but a quiet remembering. AND THAT IS OKAY.
Some years are easier than others. AND THAT IS OKAY.
Some years they are not always what we wish for. AND THAT IS OKAY.
This year I was happy to
– use modern technology to share in the opening of gifts with my two sons and their families
– see the huge smile of a 5 year old as he holds his heavy lego toy overheard and exclaims ‘This is my favorite!’
– take a nap in the middle of the day
– connect with friends miles away via Facebook
– get a quick call at the end of the night to say ‘Hey Mom, thanks for the presents. I love you.’ PRICELESS.
– not feel so depressed I wanted to hide under the covers
– wish the day away
AND THAT IS OKAY.