Betty Moses

Well, I did sing that song as I made my way out of town early Christmas morning to see my son Stevie and deliver his gifts from Santa.

He had the tires on his wheelchair hot as he sped down the hall of the care facility where he lives to see what was in the bright-colored gift bags I was carrying.

It was a wonderful visit.

But I didn’t sing the song as I made my way back home because a tummybug bit me, and I wasn’t going to anyone’s house for Christmas day except mine.

Due to circumstances totally beyond my control, I spent Christmas Eve and the remainder of Christmas day on my own.

Home alone for Christmas sounds terribly sad, but it wasn’t really all that bad.

I had time to do a lot of thinking which can be dangerous but not at this time.

When one is quite elderly — I can say this, but no one else should — doing a lot of thinking usually involves revisiting a lot of memories.

At this time of year, mine tend to be wonderful memories of past Christmas celebrations when the family was all together and my parents were the center of every gathering we had.

Christmas Eve was our special family time as members spread out in my daughter and son-in-law’s kitchen and dining room and feasted on a delicious and lovely array of food.

After our tummies were full, we settled in circles in the living room, ready to distribute gifts.

We had tried to establish a routine of only opening one gift at a time and passing it around for everyone to admire. A chosen small child would be in charge of bringing each present to be opened.

This tradition had been in my son-in-law’s family for years.

As for our family, we never succeeded in carrying out that routine because my impatient mother soon had all the little ones distributing gifts right and left, and soon the room was filled with empty boxes and torn wrapping paper, and bright bows were perched on many of our heads.

It was wonderful.

One of my favorite memories was of my father sitting in the recliner, usually with a small child beside him, both seriously working on opening a stubborn package or putting batteries in a race car.

Often before the party ended, my dad would doze in the recliner, usually with a toddler sleeping in his lap. I have several sweet photos of this over the years.

To go along with my memories on Christmas Eve, I listened to Christmas music and slept all night with everything from “Jingle Bells” to “Oh Holy Night” playing in my ears.

Unlike my usual holiday routine, I didn’t watch “The Christmas Story” or “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

I binged on Hallmark movies so much that I will never have to watch another one, but I probably will because happy endings are addictive.

We could all use more of those.

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