Wednesday 2nd December 2020

I flipped the calendar over to December and other than eating a chocolate from my Advent Calendar the day was lost on me. I was busy and forgot all the jobs I should have done on the first of a month--writing my blog, giving my dog her monthly flea and tick pill, weighing myself—the day came and went like any other. It wasn't until the middle of last night I realized it was 24 days till Christmas! And then I began remembering Christmases past...

First there were the childhood memories of growing up in Geneva, New York, where the best sledding hill around was our own back yard and there was always tons of snow. Where I had 4 siblings all close in age to me to play with. Santa might have left us ice skates or a new sled. As soon as breakfast was over we'd be straight outside playing for the rest of the day—building snow forts, sledding, making snowmen and snow moguls (we never called them this—we just knew bumps would make a toboggan fly!) and looking forward to a turkey dinner. After dinner, we might all play a card game or board game (Parcheesi was a big favorite). These were wonderful, happy times.

My memory took me next to days of being single and working for the telephone company in the deep-freeze of the Minneapolis winter. Christmas Day and most of the week were spent at an old-fashioned 'cordboard' putting through calls from small hamlets all over Minnesota, answering questions like, "How do l cook a turkey?" and handling all my specialty calls—international, ship-to-shore from ore boats in Lake Superior and grain boats on the Mississippi, and a few air-to-ground calls. The office would be decorated, there would food everywhere (yes, we could eat, drink, and at first even smoke at our stations!) I made double time and half pay—well worth putting in the extra hours. It was a busy time but also a lot of fun. It wasn't till I got home and heard 'I'll be home for Christmas' on the radio that I would get a bit choked up—I still do! I'd heat up whatever was in the fridge (often Hamburger Helper) and watch whatever Christmas variety show was on the TV. I was alone but I wasn't lonely.

This Christmas will be just my husband and myself. We've 'booked' to go to church Christmas Eve and on the day we'll cook roast beef with all the veg. Maybe we'll work on a jigsaw puzzle, we'll watch the Queen's Christmas speech, and speak via Whatsapp or Zoom to family. It will be a good day. And I will feel incredibly lucky—to have my husband, to be able to speak to my family, to feel secure in our warm house, to enjoy good food, and to have such incredible memories.

May you all be blessed with a lovely Christmas--and may all your memories be happy ones.