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The Last Minutes of Christmas

on December 26, 2014

In this last half-hour of Christmas 2014, I can’t help but think of Christmases past. Why ruin a lovely day thinking of the very, very few that didn’t go well? Instead, I’m thinking of the excitement of finding the exact gift I’d hoped for under the tree (the play piano when I was seven, the Beatles album when I was thirteen, the sapphire earrings when I was…well, old enough to appreciate their purity and elegance). I’m thinking of the beautiful services I’ve gone to and sung in. I’m thinking of family and friends who’ve shared so many joys of so many seasons.

mom at the stove

My mother was a genius at making Christmas fun and festive. She didn’t spoil us the rest of the year, but Christmas was her moment to indulge us in whatever silly passion we had at the time. I only wish she were still here, so I could give her whatever her heart desires. Actually, I think she got it: her sister Nancy, her closest friend, died yesterday morning. I hope they’re up in heaven now, laughing and catching up on what they missed these last thirteen years.

mom nancy and dat

My husband knows how to keep Christmas well. He’s a wonderful cook and a terrific host: patient and generous. And he doesn’t discriminate in the music department: kitschy 1960s arrangements make him as happy as the angelic sound of the choir at King’s College, Cambridge.

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So, I hope you’re all mulling over (more likely, dreaming about) the holidays, including this year’s, that go into the plus column. Merry Christmas, everyone!

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