December 27, 2011
Editor’s Note: Carole Townsend, a correspondent for the Daily Post, is writing a blog called “Food for Thought.” It is available online at http://www.gwinnettdailypost.com/townsend.
I’m sitting here looking at our Christmas tree, a little worse for wear, a bit bedraggled, leaning a little to one side. The tree, not me. Another Christmas has come and gone, and with that fact comes some melancholy, some relief and another page of priceless memories.
For the first time in many years, we had little ones in our home for the big day. They are 2 and 3 years old, not quite old enough to understand the meaning behind all the excitement. All they know is that they travelled from house to house for two days, opening beautiful packages and hauling home some great loot.
But the looks on their little faces is what I always remembered about our children when they were young, and what I was looking forward to this year. As soon as my son and his family walked into the house, the first order of business was of course to open presents. The little girl, the 2-year-old, peeled one piece of wrapping paper off of a giant present and played with it for a while. Then she played with the new ball our dogs got for Christmas. When she looked up and acknowledged all the chaos and avarice in the room, she promptly began to cry hysterically and scream for her mommy.
The little boy, 3, crammed a chocolate tree in his mouth, first thing. Then he opened his giant mega-battery-powered-workbench, pried the drill out and began drilling on my coffee table, the fireplace mantel, anything that could be gouged permanently with a toy drill. Then he found the battery-powered toy saw.
Christmas dinner can best be likened to a three-ring circus.
Twenty years ago, I would have been a nervous wreck. This year, I calmly and quietly tried to avert whatever crisis was at hand, focusing instead on the rare pleasure of all our family and even some friends being together under the same roof, at the same time. This year, I looked on the scene with love and pride, not sweating the small stuff. This year, though the months leading up to Christmas have been hectic and busy for me personally, I tried to cherish every moment of the day itself. After all, isn't that what it's about?
And the coffee table actually looks better, has a little more character with the new gouges in it. The mantel, however, is going to need some work.
Carole Townsend is also a Gwinnett Daily Post staff correspondent and author of the recently-released book, “Southern Fried White Trash.” The book takes a humorous look at families and how we behave when thrown together for weddings, funerals and holidays. She has been quoted on msnbc.com, in the LA Times and the Anniston Star, been featured on FOX 5 News and CNN, and is often a guest on radio shows nationwide.