Memories are the mind’s way of reliving magical moments of the past. You can almost feel like you’re right back in that moment, the people, the sights, the smell, and the feel can be very real. And no memory is more vivid to me than my memories of Christmas’ past. I guess it’s because Christmas had so many layers for me, and still does.
As a kid, of course, it was that anticipation of gifts, the kind you were told “wait ‘til Christmas” for. But the layers included food, family and an overpowering feeling of love and belonging to something very special; my family. But I think the greatest gift of all is that until she passed away, I got to spend 55 Christmases with my Mum. No matter the situation or where I was I always found my compass pointing to Montreal and home. There were times the timing was difficult and involved icy roads, airports, and crowded trains but always I found myself at Mum’s table for Christmas dinner. And I guess the most poignant was her last Christmas on this planet. We were so fortunate that we were all together that Christmas of 2000, myself, Sandy and her two amazing sons, Graham and Ian. We weren’t positive that would be her last but we had an inclination. What a blessing to have the joy of that day as an indelible memory.
And now Sandy has picked up the mantle of Christmas tradition and so on December 25th the closest I can get to Mum’s love of the season is sister Sandy’s beautifully decorated home, complete with a retro tree and decorations and warmth and love. And the bonus is the Christmas meal is served on Mum and Dad’s old dining room table complete with the gold cutlery that she was so very proud to have.
So I would like to wish all my friends and associates a very Merry Christmas and remember, it’s not the presents it’s the presence.