“In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it ‘Christmas’ and went to church; the Jews called it ‘Hanukkah’ and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say ‘Merry Christmas!’ or ‘Happy Hanukkah!’ or (to the atheists) ‘Look out for the wall!” Dave Barry

Once upon a time  there were Christmases in Mexico with Santa coming in on a surfboard. There were the learning to ski Christmases in Lake Arrowhead, Big Bear, Steamboat Springs, Vermont and Upstate New York.  There was the first Christmas after our family split up.  There were a lot of skiing and ice skating Christmases  when I was growing up.  There was one in San Francisco where my daughter danced and I contemplated suicide (I’m not the type that does it  –  I don’t go anywhere that you can’t use mileage). There were many Christmases in Palm Springs and New York City with family, holiday windows and  lots of theatre.

Christmases at home meant Christmas Eve dinners, Christmas Day open houses, Christmas movie – movies,  with deli, without Chinese food, with Chinese food.

My Christmases throughout the years have been different.  Some years I was lonely. Some years I was happy.  Each  year was different and if I did  not try to hang on to the past, each Christmas was special in its own way.

There were Christmases with couples, babies, grandparents, small kids, teenagers, adult children, pets, family, family friends, boyfriends, girlfriends,  old friends, new friends and there are Christmases alone.

Christmas is part of the human experience, whether you believe in it or not.  It is usually not the media version. It is a time when the memories of the past slip into the present  –  remembering loss of a time that once was and enjoying the time that is.

Every year will not be the same.   Dont worry about what other people are doing,  what people on TV are doing or what you think you should be doing.

You are creating your story. The story of what it was like to live here and be you on Christmas.  Everything changes but our memories. These are the stories we hang on to. It is our stories that connect us to people. Every Christmas adds another chapter to the Christmas story.  I think if you look back on a lifetime of Christmas memories there will be many happy Christmas moments.

Merry Christmas and Fly Safe


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