How are my readers doing? Hopefully, a good holiday was had by all celebrating Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!
My desert sand family first spent both attending church services where beautiful candles were lit in tiny vestibules dressed in bright red. We watched children play “Mary and Joseph,” while singing joyous songs saved for once a year. It was a calming and peaceful time.
Later, we toured streets of candied-colored light displays, visited friends (some we’d never met before), opened presents with delight, and ate foreign food. Oh, the food…….The traditional turkey took center stage, surrounded by vessels of every edible fodder imaginable. It was a feast for hundreds it seemed. A large table was full of homemade sweetbreads, tamales, cookies and cakes. There was a great big ham, potatoes, fresh vegetables, bowls of steaming macaroni and chocolates on fancy plates.
The above was a celebration on Christmas Eve. We ate on great big picnic tables covered in red checkered table cloths. My back soaked up the warm Arizona sun while several dogs ran around in circles to play tag near a pot-bellied pig (his house had lights, too!). Later, a horse named, “Midnight,” nuzzled my cheek. I felt his warm, wet breath near my nose. I talked to him too. He was gentle, staying near me for several minutes. Not wanting me to go?
On Christmas Day we repeated the day before, eating “leftovers,” enough for an army or more. A live band played “Faliz Navidad” on the cement patio with a curtain to shield the sun from their eyes. When dinner was done we had a party of sorts. A big cake was presented to my father to celebrate his 81st birthday. He was embarrassed of course with presents surrounding him. Sitting at the head of a long wooden table, I thought the only thing missing was a bright jeweled crown to top his grey head!
Near the end of my dad’s party, I gave him one special gift. About a week ago I wrote a post entitled, “The Gift of My Father.” Several messages were received, comments, and e-mails about this post. A reader “friend” of mine suggested I print this out as a gift to my father, which is what I did. I found a lovely wooden frame with a cream-colored mat. I printed the post on steel-blue paper to match the blue of the church in the picture scene. Although it was hard for me to read aloud, I did get all the way through. Looking over at my dad, he wiped away at least a tear or two.
Yes, it was a wonderful Christmas Eve and a magnificent Christmas Day. A time to celebrate the birth of Jesus, and that of my dear father too.