This will be the first Christmas of my life I will spend without my mother. For sixty years she played an important role in how I celebrated the holidays.
When I was a child she worked so hard at Christmas. Mom cooked a huge turkey dinner, baked cookies and Christmas cake, decorated the house and sewed new dresses for my sister and me.
She played piano for the church choir concert, and organ for the Christmas Eve service. She helped us learn our parts for the Christmas program at church and rehearsed the songs we would sing or the piano piece we’d play at my paternal grandparents, where each grandchild had to give a little performance before getting their presents from our grandparents.
She made sure there were gifts for our stockings, gifts for us to give our cousins and grandparents and gifts for our teachers. She trimmed the tree.
She did all the laundry and packing for our biannual trips to Saskatchewan to spend Christmas with her family.
Mom always played the piano for the carols we sang at our family gatherings and over the years she was joined by my brother’s violin, my brother-in-law’s cello, my son’s guitar, my nephew’s clarinet or my niece sitting down at the piano with her for a duet.
It will be strange to have Christmas without Mom who took such delight in the gathering of her family and made Christmas so memorable for all of us.
This will be the third Christmas that we will spend back in Canada after living abroad for six years. We spent those Christmases in many different places.
One year we cruised a river in Germany stopping to visit all the Christmas markets. We stood outside a huge cathedral on Christmas Eve and listened to the bells play Silent Night. In 2004 our Christmas was spent in Phuket Thailand, where by a series of fortunate choices we escaped the tsunami that hit the region.
On two consecutive Christmases we went down under, once to New Zealand and the next year to Australia. We spent one Christmas in Borneo enjoying tropical temperatures, snorkeling and hiking. Although those holidays were exotic and enjoyable I missed being with our families for Christmas and I’m glad we will be together this year.
This will be the fortieth Christmas of my life that I will spend with my husband Dave. Together we’ve bought a tree, planned gifts for our children, gone shopping for holiday meals and attended numerous Christmas concerts and programs. We’ve also planned the adventure we’ll embark on immediately after the Christmas season is over. For the next few months my blog posts will originate from Ontario, Florida, Jamaica, Texas and Mexico.
This will be the sixtieth Christmas of my life. I’m looking forward to it. Merry Christmas to all my blog readers.
Other Christmas posts………