As long as I could remember, it had always been “us” on Christmas Day. My mother, my father, my older brother, my younger brother and me. My mother passed in 2003, and since then the four boys continued on. But then my younger brother and his wife had a son, and who could deny a child the joy of Christmas morning at home? Not me, not when those were some of my favorite memories.
I was in search of a new tradition.
My wife and I decided that we would take my father out for breakfast. That would be the new thing. We did that a couple years, and now… my father is gone. From his passing on the 28th of November to now the time just slipped away. We’ve made no plans. Christmas morning will just be us and the dogs.
Just before he died, just after Thanksgiving, the last time I saw him in person, I was getting him to sign checks for Christmas gifts. Every year he sent money to the children from his first marriage, my half-brother and half-sister, and he gave my brothers and I money with which to purchase gifts in his name for our families. In my case, for me to purchase something for my wife, and for my wife to purchase something for me. Christmas morning we will be opening the last Christmas gifts from my father.
As if that were not enough, two years ago, one of my best friends died on Christmas Day. This year, much like last, I can only assume he will be heavy in my thoughts.
This evening we will join with the rest of my family for some gift exchanging and such, and I am certain there will be merriment and cheer, yet a pall will fall across the whole of the day.
I expect, however, that many of you are not weighed down with sorrows so fresh. So, though my heart is heavy this year, I wish to you all, sincerely, a very merry Christmas.