While it was snowing furiously a few years ago, I was riding the bus from South Campus to North Campus, and was discussing the snowstorm going on with a few friendly patrons of the bus. One of them was an older woman who talked about the blizzard of '77. She smiled and said that she had been planning a dinner party for a large group, and therefore had a ton of food and good wine in her home. She invited some neighbors and they ate and drank good food and sat by the fireplace for three days while the world went white beyond their windows. She said " I loved it. A big blizzard is nothing when you have good food and good company."
Well, you see, there it is. And if we've no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.
This is my idea for the best Christmas I will never have.
A select group of close friends, coming together in a lovely wintry locale- since I'm dreaming let's say a big ski lodge with cabins for privacy for each couple/person. The lodge itself has a big beautifully stocked kitchen, and we cook together, enjoy the fire and each other's company.
Lights and trees and all sorts of lovely decorations grace the log walls. We cook whatever kind of meal we want- a classic British Christmas, a hodge podge of our very favorite dishes and cookies, whatever we choose.
For a few days, we make our own traditions and make our own Christmas, making and remaking for each other and for ourselves.
I grow weary of the "supposed-to's" I learned a long time ago that my family can never deliver the Christmas I hoped for. The togetherness and the love and peace and joy?
Try emotional and verbal abuse at it's extreme, an overall feeling of rejection and loneliness at it's best. I never fit in, not to one side or the other (of my family). The more people there were, the greater the feeling of being a misfit, and being lonely. At least on my father's side, I knew everyone else felt that way, too.
So when I made good friends in college, when I fell in love with my Dear Fuzzy, I found home and I found the exact scene I wanted to enact around my Christmas tree.
I realized that not everyone's family make them feel like this. So, to all my friends (and my husband) who love their families, love what you have, and value it. And think about one year, maybe, having a dinner party with your friends. A close pleasant gathering where we have a chance to remake our favorite traditions for each other.