Like a lot of parents, Christmas mornings every other year mean the absence of feet running down the stairs and squeals of delight when the presents are spied.
Santa has never once been seen in our house on Christmas morning, but he does get to take it easy in those alternate years. He can make a lot of other rounds before circling back to come to us.
This is one of those years when he can cool his jets–or the reindeer can–and take a more leisurely route. I suspect he arrives while I am in the shower.
The combination of no kids on Christmas morning and no parents to visit, means a more leisurely Christmas day.
It also means time for reflection and nostalgia. With both parents gone, I often think of the things on Christmas that made me happiest.
Oddly, it is one little memory that makes me smile more than any other: music.
Actually, just one song.
Given that I can clear a room when I start singing, it makes me laugh that a song is the one thing guaranteed to lift the sadness on Christmas.
What I remember of the records my parents had, I recall by the time I was about 14 that I had heard a tonne of Hank Snow, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Conway Twitty, Loretta Lynn, Dean Martin, Andy Williams, Elvis Presley (just the later stuff), Patsy Cline, Patty Page, Tammy Wynette, George Jones, Merle Haggard, Charlie Rich, Charlie Pride and Nat King Cole.
There was this one Christmas album with songs of a variety of artists. I would cringe when it was played, except for one song, the Christmas Song.
I hope that when the twins are old enough to think about how I tormented them with music on Christmas, that they have a favourite.
If I can influence them at all, I hope they pick the Pogues. This is the one song that makes me think of some of the sadness and joy that the season brings.
Of course, if they have to think back to Christmases gone by to clutch at what makes them happiest, they could do worse than pick a tune from my favourite holiday show. The twins, in particular, my son has been known to request to play the dvd of Charlie Brown Christmas daily for months, often in the spring and summer.
To this of us who have no kids this morning to wake us up and no parents to visit, Merry Christmas and do what makes you happy.
PS: I also want to mention that there is no snow and temperatures are unseasonably warm this year. I swear I am not putting off doing wintery chores just to be nostalgic.