Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

When I was a kid, every Christmas Eve we traveled the ~20 miles into Boston/Cambridge and had dinner at the home of my aunt and uncle. They were my father's oldest brother and his wife, both doctors with no children. For many years, they lived in Cambridge in a house near Harvard Square, with my aunt's sister and father also residing there. The house wasn't kid friendly, the food was extremely esoteric, including goose stuffed with oysters and chestnuts and a capon, and I had very mixed feelings about the event. Parts of it I enjoyed, such as the other friends and family members from around the world who joined the festivities, that I'd never have met otherwise. Other parts I dreaded, such as the part of the evening where we had to sit through my aunt and uncle opening every gift they received for Christmas (their tradition was to open presents Christmas Eve rather than Christmas morning).

When I hit my early 20s, I purposely started entertaining with friends on Christmas Eve to continue the tradition of a celebration that night, but one that would be more to my liking. During our years of apartment living in Boston and surrounding cities, Skip and I entertained a lot and liked having our home be a gathering place for friends.

When we moved into what had once been my parents' house in the suburbs of Boston, we continued with our Christmas Eve dinners. Over the last handful of years, with the increasing caregiving load making entertaining here more difficult, we began having the party at the home of friends, but I still prepared a lot of the dishes, including the centerpiece ... a butterflied leg of lamb, marinated in a Julia Child recipe my mother turned me on to 30 years ago, then grilled.

Christmas Eve is a party night in my world. But not tonight. I saw Skip earlier today, but had to come home in the early evening to free the pups from their crate. Tonight, my Skip is alone resting in her rehab hospital room and I'm chillin' on the couch with the pups by my side. This is our 29th Christmas Eve together and the first we've spent apart. As Skip would say, "it's just not right!" (I wish you could hear her say it in her wonderful Boston accent.)

Merry Christmas, Skip! And, Merry Christmas to you!


kmilyun said...

Cranky and Skip,

Sorry I have been neglectful in commenting here lately.

Your latest life trials hit too close to home. You two are going through what I would but on the top of my biggest fears list.

Know that even though I have never met you I so feel for you and care. I wish I had some magic wand that I could wave and make all this not right stuff go away for you and others.

How special that you hold Skip in your heart as she holds you. You are together tonight unfortunately not physically.

Merry Christmas to you both!!!!

Jan, KRP, Catfish, and Annie

jamie (aka afro) said...

everyone seems to have an aunt/uncle who is a doctour and serves exotic/interesting foods (i know my doctour aunt does haha). she's not necesarily a kid person, but i like her more and identify more with her as i've gotten older.

i'd be interested in knowing how your relationship changed/evolved as you and they got older... were they nicer as they got older, could you relate to them more as they got older?

lamb; now thats something i had every easter...

read about your blog on:
glad i stopped by, i'll definately visit your blog again

Merry Christmas!

Cranky said...

Kmilyun - thanks very much for your note. Merry Christmas to you, KRP and the pups.

Jamie - funny you too have a doctor aunt with exotic tastes in food. I saw both my aunt and uncle less as I got older, but I found them more interesting as the years passed because my interests were more adult. They were generous people with a vast array of friends who led good lives. Thanks for stopping by.

Anonymous said...

Hi Cranky!! I just wanted to stop by and wish you, Skip and the kids a very Merry Christmas and a happy and loving New Year!!!

Anonymous said... I was clicking on "publish" just now on your blog, I got an email notification that you left a comment on my blog!!! Talk about being in sync!!!

Herrad said...

Hi Cranky,
Hope you had a good day today.
Big hugs.

Peace Be With You said...

Poignant moments ... life seems to offer them up ... we go on ... live more poignant moments ... and hopefully fill in the gaps ... with helpings of joy. I feel for your situation and hope you can find solace and peace wherever you can find them. Merry Christmas.

Have Myelin? said...

It isn't right but you are doing what you can to make it right.

Cranky said...

Herrad, Judy and Sherry - thanks very much for your comments. Your support has helped during the holidays without Skip at home.