I'm waiting for my family to get here and commence the feasting of Baked Ham with Orange and Cloves, Roasted Corn Chowder with Dill and Bacon, Sweet Potato Casserole with Cinnamon Sticks, Broccoli Casserole, Sauteed and Herbed Vegetable Medley, Banana Walnut Amaretto Bread, and last but not least, a new recipe that may or may not be added to the traditional holiday menu...Bread Pudding with Brandied Cream Sauce.
I'm starting to realize that I don't particularly love Christmas all that much; it's the anticipation of Christmas I enjoy far more. The Day arrives, and phffttt. My dreams of dashing through the snow in a one horse open sleigh, roasting chesnuts on an open fire, and all the other fantasies I've created fail, yet again, to materialize. This year will be even more of a let down than usual, I fear. You see, I'm working on Christmas Day, and will be surrounded by people who will hate this Christmas even more than me. They are in Rehab, a stay brought about by their own failed dreams and fantasies crashing around their heads. Some have legal mandates to be there and participatory, others are mandated by the degree to which their disease has brought them to their knees. All are resentful, and fearful, and desperately wishing life could be different. I am trying very hard to focus on the things I AM grateful for, and while my list is a lot longer than I like to give credit to, I can't help but miss the idea of what Christmas SHOULD be a lot more.
I write this, not to complain, but to speak words of encouragement to anyone who is having a Christmas they'd rather do without this year: Make a list of what you hope your next Christmas to be like. Check it twice. Are these goals realistic? Can you substitute the actual things for other experiences that will bring you the sense of belonging, gratitude, joy, and love you wish you were experiencing this year? How much we enjoy our holiday is our responsibility, and how we celebrate is also up to us. If I try really hard, I bet I can get a sleigh ride in next year! And by the way, I've had roasted chesnuts. They were really gross.