Christmas 2011

26 Dec

The crown roast wasn’t done on time, so it went back into the oven. The main part of Christmas dinner was a bit late, but it was okay. When Christmas dinner finished and everyone went home, I asked my mom if she felt one of the people present seemed like he didn’t really want to be there. She agreed but didn’t know why he seemed that way; we know he’s working many hours and, every day, spends two hours in the car for his commute to Rochester. Maybe that was it? By the end of the day, I reflected back on the Christmas. The pork wasn’t done right (but the rest of the meal was fantastic). After opening presents, I found my little sister upstairs crying. My mom and I went up to talk to her, and we talked about much more than just her post-Christmas let-down, about how she feels like she falls through the cracks a lot as the youngest child. We talked it out and, by the end, hugged. I asked her if she felt better, and she said yes. I thought it would be fun this year to give my parents stockings, so all five of us kids shopped, wrapped and arranged it. Well, it was more like I did everything, and they just gave me their share of the money. We also surprised them with more Christmas gifts than either could have imaged. It was fun—a lot of fun—to see their expressions when they opened them. My dad opened books on the Civil War and my mom, Estee Lauder perfume, among other things. I got a book I wanted, “Storycraft” by Jack Hart, and a gift certificate to the outlet mall. My parents gave us all journals. They told us to write down everything we’re thankful for in them. By the end of the day, I realize the pork roast wasn’t done right, but there was a microwave to fix it. My little sister cried on Christmas, but because of that, we had a really good talk. And someone came to the house who didn’t seem to want to be there. Life isn’t perfect. Family isn’t perfect. Despite what Hallmark tells us, Christmas isn’t perfect. But you know what? If life was anything but messy and sometimes uncomfortable, it wouldn’t be real. We wouldn’t have love. And today wouldn’t have been one of the best Christmases I’ve ever had.

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