You know you are old when you are up, have started making home made cinnamon rolls, cleaned up the kitchen, taken your shower, and checked your email and have yet to open a present or even address Christmas at all. At 10 am any child at home is still sound asleep. I pine for the days of the girls up early on Christmas morning and the anticipation.
Of course, this is the second stage of holiday life - the doldrums. These are Christmases when our parents have passed away so we do not have them to spend time with. Married children want to have Christmas at their home (which I can remember feeling the same way at their age) and the younger children want to sleep in pretending a certain indifference.
We are just a year or two away from the third stage, the joy of sharing it with our granddaughter. So if we can weather the doldrums the holiday season will be joyous again.
Don't get me wrong, it is only a matter of hours when chaos will ensue. They will all be here. We will share a large meal. Gifts will be exchanged and the den will be flurry of paper and boxes.
As a child I always dreamed of a white Christmas (which I have yet to see) and something akin to a Courier and Ives print. I always felt cheated because my Christmases never included a sleigh ride, groups of friends constantly coming in and out of the house Christmas day carrying stacks of gifts, holiday parties every other night that required sophisticated clothes. But as I have aged I realize that is only in the movies of the 1950's. If it really happens in someone's life, spare me, I do not need to know - that would be much too depressing. Reality is hard enough to deal with, knowing someone else is living my dream holiday may just do me in.
Whatever your dreams, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, or enjoy whatever ilk of the season you prefer.