All is quiet today.
The gifts were all unwrapped yesterday, the squeals of joy still echoing softly within my memories.
The food, copious amounts of holiday delectables, were all devoured, the leftovers packed & sent along, saving only a few, choice morsels for myself.
The hugs & kisses warm me when I think back, bringing a lump to my throat & a gleam to my eye, as I know it’ll be a long stretch before it happens again.
But yesterday was successful and merry, just what I wanted for my Solstice gift.
And today…I spend alone.
You see, I am Pagan. I don’t celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday. Mine happened days ago, on the 21st, the Winter/Yule Solstice. To me, it is a time of homemade, heart-made gifts, not all of the tangible & able to be wrapped in brightly -colored paper. Sometimes, it’s as simple as someone not-Pagan remembering to wish me a “Blessed Yule”. It shows they were thinking of me, & thoughtful enough to remember that my holidays are different, but are not forgotten.
Other times, it’s a child offering their help with preparations, without being asked, &/or just doing something helpful without my knowledge.
I do participate in the tradition of gift-giving, & my family has done this on Xmas Eve for many years. There are many reasons for this, but the simplest is that my children all go to their fathers’ on Xmas Day.
So, Xmas Day is my Quiet Day.
A day of contemplation & relaxation. One I usually spend in decadent repose, lounging in my jammies, hair wild from sleep & no desire to “fix it”.
A day of grazing on leftover treats…a little pumpkin pie for lunch, some fudge for snack…maybe some stuffing, veggies & mashed potatoes mixed together with turkey for supper.
I miss my kids, don’t get me wrong.
I loved having all 3 home again, noisy & raucous, leaving little messes lying around of drink cups & my grandson’s toys. It’s odd to not hear him saying “Gramma…you know what-uh?”
Speed Racer in his race car, complete with padded “helmet”.
But, last night, after all the hustle & bustle of the rituals of food & gifts… There was the chaos of the leave-taking. Packing items for travel, packaging leftovers for a long haul to Washington for EldestDaughter & her SO, for the shorter trek for YoungerDaughter back to her apartment, & getting OnlySon ready to go to his father’s.
And…when all had departed for their next destinations, I was left staring at the silent night, inside and out.
The silver Star atop my tree will join the jingle bells I had hanging next to the door – both will be put away tonight, clearing the holiday decorations swiftly, now that the revelers have fled.
And I spend today alone, watching the silent snow fall, content with yesterday’s success, mourning it’s passing, & hoping for the new year to be brighter.
Happy Holidays, all.
(EldestDaughter, OnlySon, & YoungerDaughter)
From our homes & hearts to yours.
EldestDaughter, SO, & Grandson. (Newest grandson also in picture, but not snuggleable till Feb. release date!)
May your days be Merry & Bright!