Saturday, December 24, 2016

I Bid You Pleasure and I Bid You Cheer

And the families scurrying to their homes,
As the sky darkens and freezes,
Will be gathering round the hearths and tables,
Giving thanks for all God's graces, 
And the birth of the rebel Jesus.
-Jackson Browne

Today, for the first time since Christmas, 2016, the Missus and I shall occupy the same space as our adult offspring and their spouses.  If you had me in the Secret Santa, then feel free to return whatever it is you purchased for me to its store of origin, I have all that I want for Christmas.

Margaret is Italian.  For the past quarter-century-plus, Christmas Eve has been the focal point of our little family unit's Christmas celebration.  Once upon a lifetime ago, Margaret used to provide tactical support to her mother and her grandmother as they spent what seemed to be forever putting together a menu that would be summarily devoured in mere minutes.  Neither of them ever seemed to mind a bit.  In fact, I think both of them enjoyed just how quickly all of the food they had worked days to prepare simply disappeared.  

In the seven years since Suzy B. died, her death occurring only ten months after Nan's, the Christmas Eve celebration has taken on a bit of a different vibe. As the generation of Bozzomo grandchildren got older, they did what young people tend to do - embarked on careers, got married, and - in some cases - started a family of their own.  The past two years, we gathered at Frank's restaurant so that all eight grandchildren, their children, and their spouses, could spend Christmas Eve together in a space large enough to accommodate the ever-growing tribe. 

Life has progressed to the point, for all concerned, where Christmas Eve had become the only night of the year in which all of us saw one another.  It has also progressed to the point where the adult grandchildren, including those with children of their own, find it increasingly difficult to all be in the same place on Christmas Eve.  Logistics trumps love.  

This Christmas Eve, the Missus, Joe, and I shall be home on Howard Avenue.  Suzanne and Ryan (and Leo) shall be with us.  Rob and Jess shall be with us too.  While I shall miss not seeing Frank's branch of the Bozzomo family tree, I am very excited that Jess's parents, Denise and Joe, and her brother, Joe, shall join us.  Family is family, whether by blood, by marriage, or simply by Life's circumstances.  We are, tonight, where - if the world would even pretend to be fair for just a moment - everyone could be, whether celebrating Christmas Eve or the first night of Hanukkah, which is home.  

For me, I am fortunate enough to be precisely where I am supposed to be.

May you, too, be so fortunate.   



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