Yesterday, as we were going over the river and through the woods by New York State thruway, to Syracuse, I kept pondering what I might say to you here, about this holiday. I sat in the back seat with Crafty Girl, Tall Son was driving, DH co-piloted. I was knitting (a gift that still needed to be finished on the way). We were hollering chistmas songs and carols, from "I want a hippopotamus for Christmas" to "Frosty the Snowman" to "Jingle Bells Rock" and "So this is Christmas". (Dear Husband had made this crazy compilation CD.)
I took pictures all day, of snowy roads and my sister-in-law's cozy home. All of us together. None of which I will post right now, except for the one above, because I am getting this feeling that none of them really captured what the day felt like...especially since there was so much sincere gratefulness. It was apparent when some jaws dropped over an unexpected gift; it was obvious when the kids, who are growing up so fast, reached over with open arms and gave hugs of thanks. Food was abundant, as were the cookies.
Kids, grandparents, good food, christmas distilled. I could say it was one of those really good ones, that I want to remember for a long time, and I will. But there is something else I am trying to get at. It wasn't just that we managed to get the right gifts. This past year, we had all gotten together more often than usual, and had celebrated other milestones. My parents had been here (let's not talk about my homesickness at this point); we had a graduation and then a son sent to college; my niece turned 16 right after she got her appendix out - she is well; and a fine young lady. My other sister-in-law lived through a hurricane that blew through Houston. My mother-in-law also had had a little surgery to take care of some things, and she is fine. All this passed and we were there for each other, calling and making sure; getting together when possible. Getting together for this holiday was a coming together and an appreciation of each other.
Maybe it's always been like that, and I am just now waking up to it. Hopefully you had somewhere to be, or you had folks over to your house, and you got that hug, and someone looking at you with sparkle in their eye and saying "Thank you!!"
To all of my family and relatives in Europe, I miss you terribly and I do wish I could be in two places at once.