I was never a fan of Thanksgiving. Wasn’t a fan of most of my relatives. Especially the Canadian ones. They resented that my mom married a foreigner, especially a darker skinned one from Greece. That didn’t stop them from visiting whenever they could. My father was very successful, both my parents worked very very hard for what they accomplished. A restaurant in a beach town in Southern California, a large house with a large amount of land where my dad grew every imaginable plant, tree, fruits and vegetables. My Grandma though was loving and amazing, and we were so fortunate to have her visit most Christmases. My Aunt Mary and Crazy Uncle Bob from Michigan were fun to have around too.
So, Christmas for me was magical, the only thing we felt we were missing was snow. Now I know we were not missing much. I never felt religious but I enjoyed the Jesus story and the nativity scenes. They didn’t have to be any more real than Santa. I loved him too, for a number of years. When I learned otherwise, I never let on to my younger sisters and my little brother, I knew how comforting and fun believing was. The best thing about my marriage when I was in my 30’s was Christmastime. I could relive my happy days from childhood through the kids.
As an old man (yes, that pains me to say, but it’s a fact at 70), I still love this time of year. In my mind I am still young, in many ways still that child. I am ok with that. I love giving presents and the whole joy of the season. I am not jaded about that. I do know that many people suffer during the holidays, especially this one. I donate to any and every Christmas food program or event I can, I have had some bleak Christmases in my life. Losses that I had to deal with at a time that was usually very happy. Wartime was hard, but even then there was so much the military did for others during the holidays, things I could volunteer for; knowing that even if my Christmas was somewhere I did not want to be, I was still helping others.
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