As I finished the wrapping and sat back watching a festive film my mind wandered to festivities past, the elements and people missing, a list which seems to be ever growing.
Listening to The Big Sing on tv put my Dad in mind, he loved traditional carols, he had been taught to play the organ so any music involving a ‘proper’ organ caught his joy. My Mum always did her baking Christmas Eve because she lost both her parents on that day thirteen years apart, I never knew this for decades, I only knew to keep clear of the kitchen. I remember my Sister’s Mother-in-law sitting on the sofa doing the Telegraph crossword, her bright rosy round face hinting as her mischievous thoughts (aided by the sherry). Then there is the dog, loosing him on Christmas Day was the hardest ever, he is still so strong in our minds, his antic of nosing the presents, sitting beneath the table waiting for the extras to come his way. His patience at the advent calendar, he loved it all. Warm memories edged with a tear.
I’m missing a couple of friends this year and I am thinking of their families facing the first without them. It’s not bad thing to remember that through all the twinkle and tinsel of the season, it’s not like that at everyone’s table.