A good Christmas – no matter when

Hey, I said to myself sternly. Get a grip.
By Joanne Peterson | Feb 28, 2013

Two months after Christmas, my son and his family drove from Idaho to celebrate a belated holiday at my home, a celebration to be shared with my daughter and her family from West Seattle and their Uncle Warren.

As is my custom, I spent way too much time anticipating the weekend and all it might entail.

I’ll say up front that when I’m looking forward to something significant, I possibly (just maybe, perhaps) give my imagination too much freedom.

I always get almost as much out of anticipation as I do out of an actual event or trip. The possibilities!

How could a time turn out to be all that I imagined? Often, a different scenario plays out, which—I am pleased to say—turns out to be fabulous in its own right.

We are so far past Christmas that it’s Lent. Lent: a somber time of reflection, silence and meditation, leading to the joyful celebration of Easter.

My feelings about Lent made it seem really odd that we were celebrating the family Christmas, but families take the opportunities they are given.

This is what I envisioned: my son Brad, my daughter-in-law Debbie and granddaughter Annika would arrive Friday evening. We’d share plenty of hugs, I’d show off my condo—which they would be seeing for the first time, as I rented the unit in October, and they’ve not been to Edmonds since then.

I’d have homemade soup simmering on the stove all afternoon, in case they arrived in time for dinner. After dinner, we’d sit by the fireplace and visit.

At bedtime, Brad and Debbie would sleep in my room, while Annika and I would sleep in the living room—or perhaps Brad and Debbie would accept my offer of a night at the nearby Harbor Inn, leaving Annika with me.

What actually happened?  My Idaho family arranged for a hotel in Queen Anne (WHAT?), arriving in Seattle in time for Friday pizza in West Seattle with Lisa and Eric and the little ones.

OK. It was a lovely opportunity for their two families to be together, and my soup kept nicely until Saturday evening.

When I went to bed, though, it took me a while to go to sleep. I wanted my family here. Now.

Hey, I said to myself sternly. Get a grip. You’ll have all day Saturday with both your kids and their families. It’s all good.

And it was. Saturday was a great day for this grandma!  There was brunch, then gifts for the children, who all seemed delighted with everything they opened.

The adults visited and watched the antics of the little ones. The women—and wee Abby-- walked to Ordinary Things, 610 Fifth Ave S, one of my favorite local shops, where Lisa and Debbie found treasures to buy.

Late afternoon, after Lisa’s family went home, Brad and family and I walked to the beach—a lovely cold happy time together.  It was a good Christmas day.


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