I first posted this essay on December 24, 2012, as I neared the first anniversary of my blog. I had printed out a copy for my parents to read. My father got hold of it first and became somewhat emotional. But both he and my mother appreciated my honesty and ultimately liked it.
In the five years since, there’s seems to have been a lifetime’s worth of changes in my world. Most notably my father is gone, and so is my dog. My mother just turned 85, but didn’t seem to remember until she saw the birthday card and a glass vase stuffed with pinkish-red flowers on her dresser. Always give your loved ones flowers while they’re still alive! Laying them at a grave site is actually a waste of time and almost ghoulish.
In retrospect, it’s odd because none of us ever really got into the spirit of Christmas (whatever that’s supposed to mean), but relished it for the sake of family. My father’s side would gather on Christmas Eve, usually at my grandmother’s home, as Hispanic clans often do. On my mother’s side, we often convened at the home of her older sister on Christmas day, as non-Hispanics often do. That “non-Hispanic” side is really half-German. And, while there’d be a Teutonic-looking angel perched atop my aunt’s Christmas tree, we’d have chicken enchiladas as the main lunch course. Yes, Christmas in America takes many forms!
I don’t know why people wait until the end of the year to reflect on events of the previous twelve months. Is it just neater? Or purely sentimental? Perhaps both. Regardless, I have to thank all of you who have stuck with me and my quirky dispositions these past five years. In this hyper-fast, electronic-based, Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/latest I-Phone age, there’s much to be said for people who actually take time to read stuff online (as opposed to just scanning through it) or in print (as opposed to asking, ‘Can I just download a copy?’).
Thanks again, everyone, for tolerating this 50-something Wolfman! And we’ll see what howl-worthy events 2018 brings!
I don’t get too much into the Christmas thing; never really have. But, I do wish most folks a ‘Merry Christmas.’ It’s just a tradition for most of us born and raised in Christian-based societies. There is one tradition, though, that I think about often. My father’s family used to gather every Christmas Eve at his mother’s house. It’s a common Hispanic ritual. They gather late on Christmas Eve, eat tamales and other conventional Mexican foods, and then go to midnight mass at a local Catholic church. Most of us in the family, however, didn’t partake of midnight mass. We’d usually eaten and drank too much by then.
My father’s family last converged on my grandmother’s house on Christmas Eve 2000; she died the following February at age 97. And, that was it. No one got together anymore. Not for Thanksgiving, not for Christmas, not for Easter. In fact, the…
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