I hope you had a good Christmas yesterday. I hope you spent time with loved ones, and ate too much turkey and had too many sweets. Christmas is, after all, a Feast day and it does only come once a year. I really hope you feasted well.
Dinner yesterday at the Ashbury household was a simple affair. It was just the two of us and our daughter—and her three Chihuahuas. Grandpa puppy enjoyed visiting with the grandbaby puppies. Yes, that is how my daughter talks to and of them and us. The puppies all adore their grandpa, of course.
Mr. Ashbury is a very soft touch when it comes to the animals.
We finished all of our running around before Christmas Eve. In a change of pace, we had breakfast out on the 24th with our son and his family. Our two oldest grandsons have schedules that keep them busy, and it’s hard finding time when they’re available to join in family gatherings. At 19 and 20 they’re becoming adults and beginning to build their own lives. Our son said it was the first time they’d had both boys join them out for breakfast (which they like to go out for quite often) in a long time.
They’ve grown up so fast!
But then, so have my own “children”, who aren’t children at all. Of course, at this time of year, I always find myself remembering those earlier times. My mind fills with images of Christmases past. I think my favorite photograph is of my pajama clad babies, sitting on the stairs, vibrating with excitement as they wait for the word to come down and see what Santa brought.
Mr. Ashbury and I would have made it to bed quite late on Christmas Eve, something I’m sure most of you can identify with. The rule for Christmas morning was that the children were to wake us up and then let us go downstairs, and make our coffee. Then we would take our places, cups in hand, first sips ingested—and only then call them down to rip into their bounty.
This was all, of course, so that we could be awake enough to fully enjoy Christmas morning through their immense and boundless joy.
It’s inevitable that as you get older, you look back on the life you’ve led with a regret or two coming to mind. One thing I absolutely don’t regret is the Christmas mornings we gave our children. Though times were tough and our means were spare, everything went into giving our children the best Christmases we could. That involved a lot of sacrifice, and a lot of post holiday bill scrambling and balancing—we never used credit cards, but we did sometimes put other things off—so that we could give our children generous Christmases.
Not for anything would I have had them understand the harsh realities of life as it was until it became their time to do so.
Now, of course, we have no small children in our immediate family. Our youngest grandchild is 10. It’s been a long time since we’ve experienced that particular kind of magic at Christmas, watching children’s eyes light up and go wide with joy.
Our Anthony once told us that the presents we gave him weren’t all that great, but Santa’s were always awesome! I didn’t mind that one bit.
These days, we content ourselves with giving quietly where we don’t get to see that joy, but we know it’s there—and that’s enough.
And we visit with family and friends, ever mindful of how lucky we’ve been, and continue to be, in the things in life that really matter the most.
Mr. Ashbury and I wish you all the very best in the coming year. We hope it will be the best year, ever!