Most of the time my children were growing up, I was divorced from, and sharing custody of them with, their father. We took turns having them for holidays, so I taught them that Jesus wasn't actually born on December; therefore, we could choose any random day on which to celebrate Christmas together. Once, we ended up with Christmas, complete with a decorated tree and Christmas carols, in mid-March. This year, I'm putting our Christmas spirit to the test, once again.
My mother never even decorated our Christmas tree before Christmas Eve. She said that this was to commemorate the trees bursting into bloom when Jesus was born.
Tomorrow marks two weeks before Christmas. As usual, all of our gifts have long been bought and awaiting packaging into approximately fifty separate family surprise boxes. Jams have been made, but pecans have neither been bought nor roasted. Coconut macaroons aren't baked, and bourbon balls are still in the bottles and boxes of individual ingredients. And not one decoration has been hung by the chimney or anywhere else at our place.
Richard is alone at our home in the holler, and I have just been released from my duties as assistant to my sister, the executor of my mother's estate. I really don't have the energy to hurry home, bake, and box all those gifts for Richard to wrap and mail prior to the big day. For this, the package delivery people's families should be thankful. My children and their children have alternate holiday plans made because of the uncertainty about my availability, so I'm afraid that our version of Santa's sleigh will stay grounded this year.
Richard and I have never spent a Christmas together as a couple without outside obligations. This year, I think we can both stand a bit of comfort, joy, and blessed peace while we take a rest from family. We plan to check into a Gulf Coast Casino hotel and put a little jingle in the nickle slot machines, attend a few first-class Christmas shows, and eat rosy red crab legs dripping with butter from the bountiful buffets.
We'll spend lots of time driving around the Gulf Coast area from New Orleans to Ocean Springs looking for the perfect winter home. This way, we can guarantee that our next Christmas will be white, whether because of snow in Coker Creek, white caps on the waves of Lake Pontchartrain, or white sand on the Biloxi beaches. I'm dreaming of many wonderfully White Christmases to come; maybe a belated one in February or March. Would it be too tacky to celebrate Christmas during Mardi Gras?