Christmas day 2010 is winding down. Many of our activities will be pushed into tomorrow due to the snowstorm. It has been snowing nonstop for more than twelve hours and it is forecasted to continue the deluge through tomorrow. Friends will come over another day, stretching the holiday over future evenings. The lights have flickered a few times and we’re hoping the power doesn’t go out. I suppose I should fill the bathtub with water for flushing the toilet as we have a well that is nearly five hundred feet deep and depends on an electric pump to get its water into the house; no electricity, no water. A few precautions get us through. Candles and flashlights are ubiquitous. Bottles of water for drinking are in the refrigerator. We have propane gas logs in our fireplaces and although the fan doesn’t operate without power, the heat generated is enough to keep the house comfortable. The snow makes good alternative refrigeration if the power is out for an extended period, and we have plenty of food cooked up already. Our gas grill on the deck has a side burner which is ideal for heating water. So I can rest well knowing we can survive a few days without too much discomfort.
This day has been very inspirational for writing and reminiscences. There are a lot of memories tethered to past Christmasses; those of my childhood when Santa was real, angel wings made of tissue paper covered cardboard and silver tinsel adorned my back in church plays, and we rushed from house to house exchanging gifts with both of my parents’ families; those of my teen years when I had beautiful boyfriends who brought tree ornaments and earrings wrapped in bright foil, the role I served in church was adult choir, and toys were replaced with cosmetics and hair rollers; and those of my son’s childhood. They are my favorite memories as I trailed bright strands of lights from his door to hiding places throughout the house where Santa would leave Tonka trucks and collector’s tractors. He might drop cookie crumbs along that path as he nibbled his treats that were laid out quite carefully on a silver tray. On the rare occasion when we had snow, Santa’s sleigh would leave long marks on the roof where the sled’s runners would land and tiny pocks on either side where the reindeer patiently waited as Santa made his way down the chimney. It was magic and now we have memories of my aged mother pouring red beet juice into the punch bowl, mistaking it for her red Christmas punch, and a family member’s ex-spouse who always jerks him around during the holidays, making him miserable as well as his children. They seem well adjusted though. This year the memories will revolve around the snowfall and the altered plans for entertaining. We’ll remember love and joy and walking through the woods in the deep snow to my husband’s parent’s house. We’ll remember this as the first Christmas without a beloved German Shepherd in thirteen years. We’ll also remember altering our exterior illumination plans due to the kittens who scale the holly trees and play with the dangling cords. I hope we remember that we didn’t overspend or put anything on a charge card, singing along with carols in French, and that without Christ, we have no Christmas. Joy to the world…He is Born, The Holy Child…Let there be Peace on Earth and let it begin with me.

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