Christmas with my Disjointed Family, by D. B. Mauldin
Christmas is only 5 days away. As usual I have procrastinated about wrapping presents and cooking for the festivities. I think I work better under pressure so I leave everything until the last minute. So here I sit in my usual recliner with my laptop, music playing in the background (not Christmas music yet), looking out my large windows with the lake in full view.
Today it is raining and supposed to be turning cold later in the day. Maybe then I will feel more in the Christmas mood and get some things done. For now, I just sit, listen, and type. Listening to the 90’s songs I love so much, listening to the rain falling sometimes softly and sometimes heavy. The wind hasn’t started yet. I listen to the variety of birds that live about my home; the ‘hoot, hoot’ of an owl that I’ve never seen but know it is there somewhere, the scream of one of many hawks that stay close by, and the sweet sounds of the many songbirds.
I’m thankful for my small home on the lake. There is seldom any traffic to hear, mostly just the nature sounds that I love, and lots of nature to see. Just sitting and looking out my large window I can see the loons swimming in the water, ducks coming to eat the corn I put out for them, squirrels coming down the oak tree to their feeding post, and some of my many outdoor cats slinking around when the rain is slight.
There are no fishermen or boats on the water today, no birds flitting around the many bird feeders hanging in my front yard. My flower beds lay shriveled up for their winter sleep. My two terriers are piled around me sleeping and my one house cat has disappeared somewhere to take her morning nap.
So, I sit and wonder what I can write about Christmas? Ours is a disjointed family which brings multiple holiday gatherings. Two of my daughters aren’t speaking to each other this year and we will have to work around that. My parents divorced years ago and our middle daughter lives 248 miles away. So we will celebrate Christmas Eve with my husband’s father, step-mom, brother, sister-in-law, niece, nephew, and their families which brings 4 girls, and 1 of them is married, so there will be a spouse, and she has a 1-year-old daughter, and another 1 of the 4 is not married and due to have her baby any day now.
Then we will go to my oldest daughter’s home and spend Christmas morning with her and her husband, along with my mother, and 3 of my granddaughters. Usually this would include my youngest daughter, but not this year. We will spend Christmas night at our home with my mother, my youngest daughter, her fiancée, and his 2-year-old daughter, which I consider one of my granddaughters.
We do not yet know the date our middle daughter will arrive with our grandson, and hopefully her husband (if he doesn’t have to work), but we do know that it will be after Christmas. We will again have a Christmas gathering that will include my mom, my husband’s father and sometimes his wife (if she is feeling well), and my youngest daughter, her fiancée, and his 2-year-old daughter.
Then on the 29th we will go to the community house of my dad’s church and celebrate with him, his wife, my only living grandmother, my step-sister, her daughter and her husband, and their daughter and son. Depending on when our middle daughter gets here and when she has to head back, they may be celebrating with us. My oldest daughter and her 3 daughters may come, but not if my youngest daughter is there. Depending on work my youngest daughter, and her fiancée and his 2-year-old daughter (if it is his time to have her) may come.
That about wraps up my Christmas story, but I want to say that even through all the disorder I love every minute of it; time spent with family, watching the excitement of my grandchildren, and loving each other even though we are a disjointed family. I’m thankful for it all.
Hope you all have a wonderful Holiday Season!