In a perfect world, all of the people I love would crowd around my mother in-law’s hand-me-down dining room table every Christmas Eve, holding hands and singing fahoo fores in matching Christmas jammies while fat snowflakes floated harmlessly to the ground outside our windows and the exact right presents sat beautifully wrapped under the tree.
But, we don’t live in a perfect world and, if we did, we wouldn’t need a Christmas would we?
So, we humans muddle on.
Or, in some of our cases, we careen down Wisconsin Avenue on Christmas Eve in a desperate attempt to make it to Costco before it closes, praying the chaos we left behind settles itself into some semblance of peace before our dinner guests arrive.
The same weather system everyone else in this country seemed to be battling had us moving our various Christmas celebrations around like chess pieces and we ended up jamming three formal meals, one of which we hosted, into a 24-hour period that also included mass and a very important bell choir concert.
Thankfully, all of the players in our house, from the tiniest rook to the noblest knight to the most earnest king, rose to the challenge. Though we are, to a man, exhausted, we are also so very grateful for each other and this blessed season that allows us to celebrate all we hold dear: faith, family, food, fortitude and, of course, football. (Go Pack Go!)
Thank you to our friends Ted and Jennifer Blakenship for the ramp we borrowed on Christmas Eve, and to our neighbors Sharon, Jerry and Sami for the home-tapped maple syrup and venison sausage, and our other neighbors Jim and Julie Daly for the hot chocolate bombs, and to our Kostelnik and Biskupic hosts, who opened up their gorgeous homes to us, and to our wildly defined family, who rolled with the curves we threw them, and to our in-house chef Molly, who just kept whipping up goodies, and to our LA-based family members Katherine and Ed, who bundled up and pitched in at every turn, and to Charlie, Tara, Vinnie and Danni, our family members who couldn’t join us in person but who worked so hard to make themselves part of the celebration anyway.
Our Christmas wasn’t perfect but it was special in its own way and we’ll cherish these memories as we move forward with optimism into 2023.