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Christmas memories can be good or bad but rarely indifferent

December 25, 2022
Elisabeth Sherwin -- ensherwin@gmail dot com

Everyone has a Christmas memory. It’s a day loaded with symbolism from the birth of Christ to the hysterical celebration of happy families and children.

That’s why a disappointing Christmas is likely to be a holiday never to be forgotten.

And to be honest, this holiday can never live up to the commercial and cultural hype that surrounds it. There’s too much baggage. Too much pressure for the perfect gift, the perfect meal, the perfect decorations. Perfection is unattainable and shouldn’t even be a goal.

And let me add a personal stressor: Christmas is my birthday. OMG. But I’m used to that. So why was last year, my worst Christmas, so bad?

Well, on Dec. 16, the morning after a fresh snow, I was striding across the yard when I fell into an unfilled post hole and broke my ankle.

The volunteer Allenspark Fire Department arrived on the scene and in short order I was at the hospital in Estes Park.

But I had to wait several days for surgery and the recovery period after that was rough.

After the accident I spent 25 days and nights on the sofa in the living room before I could maneuver up the stairs. And Mike, my patient and wonderful helpmate, slept on the floor next to me for each of those 25 nights.

So when our friends invited us over for Christmas dinner, I insisted Mike join them. I was just not up to an evening out. But he had more than earned a holiday dinner that he didn’t have to cook and at least a few hours out of the house and away from his patient (a very brave and wonderful patient, if I do say so), but a responsibility, nonetheless.

After he left, I remember lying on the sofa, feeling deeply sorry for myself, which wasn’t fair at all. I blame the medications.

I am approaching Christmas this year with a healed ankle and a positive state of mind. I am celebrating all things holiday-neutral.

I am healthy, Mike is healthy and our three animals are in good shape. We are all getting older but I’m not going to focus on that this month.

Allenspark continues to resemble a scenic greeting card at this time of year and I am filled with gratitude because I get to live here.

We are safe and secure. Our friends in Kyiv don’t get to experience those basic feelings.

We can communicate with loved ones easily and frequently. We have firewood to last the winter and a supply of food that will more than keep us going. We have books to read, music to listen to, and movies to watch. And we have friends.

What more could we ask for? This year on Christmas I will cuddle Liz-the-dog, feed the two cats a delicious treat of some kind, and thank Mike for being with me.

I don’t think I could ask for anything more.

-- Reach Elisabeth Sherwin at ensherwin@gmail.com

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