Christmas will be different in my home this year. My son and his wife, the newlyweds from earlier this year, are hosting the family Christmas meal. It is strangely quiet in my home. Usually I’m in the throes of a three day cooking fest but not this year. We will have a family meal at my place in the first week of 2020 when my daughter’s partner is home from his FIFO (fly in fly out) offshore work.
Christmas in my home is all about family, about laughter, food and being together. I usually give one of the young adults a joke or riddle book or a board game and against the background of loud laughter, I put the finishing touches to the meal. This year I’m relaxing and will be relaxing at the couple’s home tomorrow. I’m slowly giving up the reins for the young adults to carry on tradition. There is a special joy in this transition as they emerge and become who they are meant to be.
After all the decades of living in a country where Christmas is celebrated in summer, I still yearn for a cold Christmas. It is a fond memory from childhood in India. We would each hold a candle skirted in cardboard paper, while attending Midnight Mass outdoors under freezing clear night skies. The emphasis on gifts was minimal. But, there was a huge focus on visiting family and friends between Christmas Eve and the Feast of Epiphany in January and that tradition continues to date in my life here in Australia.
This year the gift giving in my home is remarkable for reasons I’ll share with you. I hate shopping centres. The crowds, the parking woes, the queues. The trolleys filled with useless gifts generates a sense of despair in me. I hate it all. So from a very young age I would encourage my children to give me a list of what they wanted and I would choose something from it. I would avoid browsing and I liked that. As they grew older, their taste in gifts changed as one would expect and I had to accommodate their preferences.
My beautiful daughter, who embraces life with unfettered enthusiasm, has always asked for two tickets to the music festival which takes place in January. This has been the only gift she has requested for about ten years now. As much as I disliked her attending the festival where recreational drugs are rife, she would assure me she would be there for the music alone. (Yes, I know!) I would give in, stay awake until she would text me she was home again. Sigh! This year she requested pots and pans. Pots and pans! She and her partner moved into their own home earlier this year and nesting, it would seem. He would love a voucher for the local hardware shop so he can get on to landscaping the backyard, she tells me. I’m still reeling from the shock!
My son on the other hand loves video games and I dislike buying those too. There’s so much more to do in life than a controller in hand, I say to him. But it is part of their social life where a game night means visiting each other, ordering food in and playing games. This year he and his wife wanted a dinner set. He told me they have an assortment of plates and cups. “We would love a dinner set where everything matches, mum!” This heartfelt request from a gamer!
So I’ve returned from a day’s shopping with pots and pans and a dinner set and a voucher for Bunnings. It would seem that the young adults have become adults while I was sleeping.
This year has been different on many levels. I can feel my world changing. At times listing, at times balanced, at times blurry, but there’s an air of celebration in my world. An undeniable feeling of anticipation and hope that the birth of the Christ Child symbolizes.
Whatever your belief or faith, may you experience celebration in your world, too. May your heart and home be filled with the love and laughter of family and friends. This is my wish for you.
Merry Christmas and peace!
a dawn bird
In response to RDP – Tuesday – Candle