I have always loved Christmas. It is a time of joy and giving. A time for family and friends. A time even the unreligious can enjoy a winter festival and contemplate the meaning in life. A time to prepare for a New Year with hope and determination.
The first Christmas we moved into our now flooded house, I covered the front of the house with lights, including a giant tapestry of crawling, blinking, sequenced lights. I said it was so people could find the place but I just wanted to do it. In that now empty house we hosted several Christmas Eve parties for far flung family and friends. We have many memories.
Every Year we have gathered family and friends and exchanged gifts and good cheer. Often we hear for far away friends who, while not exactly forgotten are, in the press of time and the hustle of life, not often remembered either.
This year we took it easy. Just the Mother in Law, Brother in Law and Nephew joined us for a traditional Christmas dinner in our temporary condo. Christmas Eve was spent with a much reduced Family at Her Uncle's house, but her uncle has not yet been able to return to his home from exile in Texas, due to health care problems. Hopefully he will return shortly after the New Year.
After our Christmas Eve party, back in our temporary residence we exchanged gifts and talked of relatives and friends who have moved on. Children of friends we have known since childhood, now raising their own children. It doesn't seem that long ago. People no longer in New Orleans. She asked me what we did last year.
In the the aftermath of the flood we were trying to put our affairs in order. We didn't get together with family because they were spread across several states, with no home completely unscathed and ready to host the crowd. I don't even think we exchanged gifts between the two of us. I honestly can't remember Christmas at all.
This year was a whole lot better. Maybe next year will almost normal.