Got up at 5:30 Christmas morning, packed up my stuff and went over to Mom’s. I haven’t seend the streets so empty in a very long time. There was heavy fog, as the earth breathed out some of the moisture left by the rains we’ve had this year. When I got there, the house was dark. I let myself in, turned on the
lights on the tree, the house Christmas lights and set to work. It took me an hour to clear enough space to get the turkey ready for the oven. Shopping and wrapping and all the other chores surrounding Christmas were just more than Mom could handle.
For a couple of hours, it seemed like we would be able to get everything done and all would go well. Then came the eggnog. Get down the punchbowl and the cups. Whip the ingredients together right now, because they have to sit for a couple of hours. I said ‘no’ and Mom did it herself.
Then the table controversy started. She wanted us to put together a table that Dad made so we could all sit together. Doing that means taking most of the furniture out of the living room, assembling the table for dinner, disassembling it after and moving all the furniture back before we left.
I know Mom is struggling to hold on, and having things be exactly the same as before would be comforting. But it seems like every year more things get added to the list of things to do for the Christmas celebration, but there’s less celebrating.