Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Take that, you ghosts of Christmas

December 26, 2017

I heard a bird sing in the dark of December.
A magical thing and sweet to remember.
                                   - Oliver Herford

The ghosts of Christmas past kept me awake last night. They came to remind me of how very blessed I've been in my life and how life changes. 

The ghost of Christmas present was absent and no wonder. We didn't have our traditional Christmas.

The ghosts of Christmas future are pouting because we're not buying into their little Ponzi scheme. 

We had a remarkably quiet Christmas. My partner's parents are gone, as is my father. My mother has Alzheimer's and is in a care facility. My partner isn't all that close to his children due to geography. For the first time ever we had Christmas dinner for just the two of us. 

We could have gone next door to my cousin's home. We had the invitation and I would have enjoyed sitting at their table, but we decided quiet would be a good thing for us at this juncture. Perhaps, I very much hope, the invitation will be extended again next year. 

Our gift to each other is parked outside. Christmas came in September when we got the new-to-us Silverado. We each pulled a couple grand out of our individual slush funds for that and so neither of us felt the need for additional gifting this calendar year. As for Deuce, his toy basket is overflowing and since he got a few gift cards it will stay that way for months. 

I used to wonder at my grandmother and mother's waning interest in all the trappings of the holiday season. I understand it now. The amount of Christmas decorating I want to do decreases every year. As decorations become tattered they are not replaced. Not even the ghosts of Christmas past can make me sad about that. 

It's the way of things. The world changes. The need for extravagances is dwindling, at least among those in my circle. My cousins and his siblings all seem to be embracing a simpler lifestyle. I proclaim it to be a good thing as it is not a reflection of dwindling resources but a philosophical shift. It seems to me that as I mature the real heart of Christmas is more evident. It's the people around us, not the stuff. 

The ghosts of Christmas past are fine visitors but it is the ghosts of the future that pique my interest. The signs are there. The shapes of those imaginings of new memories are changing. 

It feels like a good thing.

KC Kendricks

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