The Spirit of the Day

Jan 25, 2011 | 1 comment

Belated Celebration

     Last night we celebrated our long-postponed Christmas.  It was the primary reason we drove the many miles from Oysterville to Los Angeles, the brightly wrapped presents tucked into the trunk along with our suitcases and other travel necessities.  But, anticipation and gifts notwithstanding, it just wasn’t the same.
     It’s not that we have never celebrated Christmas in sunny climes before.  We have – here and even in Mexico.  And it’s not that our family is diminishing in size.  That, too, we’ve been experiencing for some time.  I don’t even think it was the lack of our traditional baked oysters for dinner or the fact that our Christmas tree was an eleven-inch fake one instead of an eleven-foot freshly-cut-from-the-woods one.  And it certainly wasn’t a lack of  gifts.  In fact, I felt positively spoiled.
     Still, it didn’t feel like Christmas.  I couldn’t help thinking about all the people I know who have celebrated the holidays early because of a loved one’s illness or because of a spouse’s imminent deployment oversees.  I doubt that an early Christmas is any better than a late one.
       My grandmother, concerned about their financial straits in the early 1900s,  wrote of Christmas plans to her oldest daughter, Medora:  We must enjoy the spirit of the day, overlooking the lack of material things.  I think it was the “spirit of the day” that was missing last night.
     Even though we put on a CD of Christmas songs, ooohed and aaahed over one another’s gifts, and reminisced about past celebrations, it just wasn’t quite the same.  But it was better than not doing it and I would do it again if I had to.  I just hope it won’t be necessary,  Christmas is Christmas.  A trip to L.A. is a trip to L.A.  They aren’t the same – not in January, anyway.

1 Comment

  1. Nancy

    Thank you, Sydney, for reminding all of us (your faithful readers) that “Christmas is Christmas”. We each and all have memories of Christmases Past and Present. Your grandmother wrote about “enjoying the spirit of the day…..” each day of our lives could contain enjoyment of that “spirit of the day”…


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