On the Second Day of Christmas…

I settled my brain for a long winter’s nap.  Actually, I “took the day off”.  I slept until almost 11!  (Ok, so I did wake up when the trash collection truck came by clattering the neighbor’s trashcans around, but I was successful in ignoring it and going back to sleep!) I didn’t clean anything, I didn’t decorate anything, I didn’t bake anything.  I put the digital Christmas music station on the TV and finished one crochet project (a Christmas gift) and started another (another gift).  I ate some cookies.  I had leftover pierogi for lunch.    I had a “jammy day”.

It was great. I feel relaxed.  I feel refreshed.  I feel ready to go tomorrow!  But, as I’ve said before, tomorrow is another day and you never know just what comes with it.

While I listened to favorite Christmas songs, I remembered with some melancholy, the “after Christmas” festivity that we enjoyed when I was growing up.  I may have alluded to it in one of the 25 Days series…I’ll have to go look.  Anyway, here’s how it would work.

Christmas 1969

On Christmas Day, we would do the whole family gift opening thing, followed by Christmas Day Mass.  Then we’d go home and the turkey dinner fixins would go on the stove (and into it!) and Nanny & Aunt Flossie would come up from their downstairs apartment to have dinner with us.  I would take a picture of everyone as my mother would say “Hurry up your dinner is getting cold!”  Yes, there was snow on the ground in the background.  I’m surprised there isn’t also a gallon jug of apple cider.

Eventually, we’d get in the car and head to Uncle Tommy’s – my dad’s youngest brother – For a while, he lived in an apartment building too, with my Aunt Peggy on one floor and Uncle Joe on another.  We’d go to see all three before home for the night.

We’d go to the Trezza’s one night and the Fraleigh’s one night.  Sometimes some policeman friend of my dad’s that my parents were friends with would invite us over one night.  Then one night we would have everyone over to our house.  There would be drinks (highballs, screwdrivers and beer mostly, and sodas for the kids — fully leaded!), finger food and snacky things, followed, of course by coffee (decaf?  G’wan… gedouddahere.  REAL COFFEE at night!) and probably some of Aunt Flossie’s Christmas cookies.  Everyone would see our tree (which I always thought of as the best out of everybody’s) and what we got (before New Year’s… after New Year’s the gifts were always moved to our own rooms) and it was just the best time. 

So, for four to six nights during the Christmas holidays, we’d go ‘a-visitin’, which still remains, to this day, one of my most cherished memories of my most favorite season.  As I think back about it, I have a smile on my face and a tear in my heart because that doesn’t happen any more.  Even with friends, there’s rarely any interaction after December 25.    It seems that Christmas Day ends the season that has been building up since Halloween (well, any more it starts then). 

But as far as I’m concerned the weeks leading up to December 25 are just the preparatory days to the real celebration.  When everything is done and decorated and shopped for and wrapped (and unwrapped) and now it’s time to celebrate and be together with family and friends.

Every year, I miss it.  This is the reason I started hosting my group’s Red Hat Christmas party.  I think I explained this yesterday.  Quite well too.  Go back and read the reference.  It gives me the opportunity to have my part of the ‘party’ even though there are a lot of gaps around it. 

By the way, on the 2nd Day of Christmas, his/her true love gave to him/her, 2 turtle doves.  This is the best description I could find for the significance of turtle doves — Eat up!

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