Can’t I just fly through December??

I plan on taking the kid’s picture today for our Christmas cards. I have the camera and tripod all set and ready to go, the kids new white, long sleeve, button down shirts and jeans ready for them to put on, but no kids. They’re playing Play Station and don’t want to stop for pictures. Austin had decided to play the “ADD” card and said there is just no way he can sit still long enough to have his picture taken. I, of course, gave him the “you’d-better-run-before-I-catch-you-and-cause-bodily-harm-to-you” look and he quickly half ran, half walked backwards out of my view. So what am I doing now? I’m sitting at my computer, gazing out at the too bright and beautiful day pouting. Yes, I said pouting. So what if I’m 43? I do it and I do it well. (So I’ve been told). I’m trying to get into the Christmas spirit and it’s just not happening. It hasn’t happened in a long time. I know, do it for the kids. Yeah yeah. I said I was trying, okay? It stopped being fun when my brother died. He was the glue of our family. Together, we were the pranksters and jokers and were known for our antics. It’s not the same when one half of your comedy routine checks out. Now, for those of you who are put out by how I just worded that, that is exactly how my brother would have put it and the two of us made jokes about everything, even his cancer. When he was alive, he and I called him “Cancer Boy”. To the disdain of my mother, of course. She hated that we joked about it like that. Hey, it worked for my brother, and if it was good enough for him, then by all means it was good enough for me. But I digress….
Christmases haven’t been the same. Our family, which was quite large, got together every year. My brother and cousin were in a band and would bring along their guitars and there would be singing and so much laughter. It’s quiet now. There’s no more laughter. The family that was once large is now smaller and spread out. The younger family members have married and moved to wherever they can afford housing, which in California is usually the high desert where it is not too highly populated yet, or off to Arizona. The ‘elders’ of the family, all over 85 and there are 5 of them can’t travel much anymore, if at all. I have 5 cousins that I am close to. My brother, who just loved Christmas so much and loved getting together with his cousins every year, made us all promise to keep the family together and to continue on with our Christmas traditions. He said he didn’t want his death to stop us from celebrating. We did continue for a couple of years. Sadly, it was never the same. Me, the sister of this sister/brother act, wasn’t enough. Everyone has moved and gone their own ways. Every Christmas Eve, I try to find somewhere to go, something to do so we don’t have to be home. I start to panic if I don’t have something for us to do on that night. When you come from a really large family, and I’m talking 60+ people size gatherings that were average for us every year to no gathering, it’s really difficult. If I could, I would travel for that holiday with the family, but my it would kill my mother if I weren’t here on Christmas Day. I’m all she has left now. I’ll get through it. I have to for my kids sake. I try not to let them know how I’m feeling. That wouldn’t be fair to project that onto them. So in the meantime, I’m going to try to figure out how to hyper-speed through December right through to the New Year. If I do figure it out, I’ll be sure to let you know. For the rest of you, when you start dreading those yearly family get together’s and would much rather stay home this year, try to see it differently this year. When you go, sit back for awhile and just observe. You may notice something different. Maybe this year when Aunt Sally dances around with the lampshade on her head or Grandma Betsy falls asleep in her food, try to see the humor in it, because maybe next year there won’t be an Aunt Sally or Grandma Betsy. (I only use these examples because this has happened in my family. I have changed their names to protect their identity). Now, I’m going to play the mommy “guilt” card and get my boys dressed and ready for their photo shoot. For the rest of you, go make a great day!


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