(re-posted from 2008)
“I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know…” So the song goes, and having grown up in South Dakota and spending most of my married life in Wisconsin, I know all about white Christmases. No question, it is beautiful when the new-fallen snow rests on the tired and bruised landscape, bringing with it a quiet so profound that, as my daughter says, you feel you should whisper.
My husband and I agree, though, a white Christmas is a highly over-rated concept.
It is Christmas morning. The sun is peeking over the edge of the earth, illuminating the Texas landscape with its colorful palette running from pale oat shades on into dark grey and finally black. Live oaks make a valiant attempt at green.
Green is a valid Christmas color, I tell myself as I roll twenty-dollar bills around a pencil and attach the resultant cylinders to red bows atop the eight gift bags containing each grandchild’s annual tree ornament.
The grandchildren are growing up and quickly growing out of the trucks and dollies and even the CDs I might buy for them. The underwhelming enthusiasm they exhibited as they open these gifts in past years has persuaded me to cease trying to create magic for them and simply give them an ornament, the idea being that they would each have twenty ornaments to take with them when they established their own traditions. I doubt that any of them give much of a hoot now, but perhaps they will in time to come.
My smile is wistful as I recall when our children were young, and the frenzy of trying to make sure each child had the same number of presents as the other kids, and that the one item for which they were hoping most, would be there. We were never locked into any certain tradition, but our Christmases were always happy times. Good memories. Good times.
But those times are over. These are good times, too, and we’re making new memories. I realize, though, the main green of Christmas this year is on the White House side of twenty-dollar bills, and I can’t help it; I’m a little blue.