Thursday, December 24, 2009

Empty Holiday

"The higher, the fewer;" as my years stack up, my world gets smaller. One of the biggest building blocks to be lost was my Dad, always larger than life no matter what else might change. We stopped being close before I was in my teens but he was always there, the steady center.

He was a Christmas baby; for a child born two years before the Great Depression let a lot of the steam out, having one's birthday fall on 25 December was about the worst possible date -- and considering Who Else's birthday it was, it wasn't even anything a kid could hold a grudge about!

My Dad, born into a very large and not at all wealthy family, saw the world move from economic depression to global war as he grew to adulthood; he had no idea what prosperity looked like until he attained it himself and he always viewed it with a little suspicion, lest it might evaporate if he didn't keep after it.

Christmases in my childhood home were special times -- as most are! -- and the more so because Dad's birthday would conclude the day; we didn't just have Christmas, we got birthday cake, too. In later years, Dad's day would get bumped forward or back, to fall on the same day as "family Christmas," whatever day near the holiday allowed for the greatest number of us to gather.

The big family holiday's become steadily smaller over the years; there are more of us but more schedule conflict as well, with the youngest generation of adults having vast lists of holiday services and festivities to attend. With my Dad's passing, his birthday has passed, too; one more diminishment of tradition, one more little reminder that the world moves on and takes little notice of us as it does.

Tell somebody y'love 'em this holiday, whichever holiday you're celebrating. We're not here forever.

17 comments:

MrWolf. said...

My niece was born on Christmas Eve. When she was a toddler, I started her Unbirthday tradition. We all still keep it up. She has her Unbirthday party, and her Unbirthday presents on June 24th. Her actual birthday is marked by token gifts only.

It works. Hope this information might come in useful for someone one day.

Thank you for informing, entertaining, and aggravating me this year.

I wish you a very Merry Christmas, and a happy and prosperous 2010.

Stephen.

D.W. said...

I hope you have a wonderful, Merry Christmas and a healthy, happy new year!

Did it MY way said...

Well said.

Nathan said...

Merry Christmas, Bobbi. We'll see you on the 3rd :)

Today is Sally's birthday. There sure seem to be a lot of Christmas Eve and Christmas babies out there :)

Jeffro said...

as my years stack up, my world gets smaller

Don't feel like the Lone Stranger. The ever shrinking circle of family and friends seems to be the price of survival as we age.

On the other hand, it makes the celebrations with those who are here sweeter and more significant.

Merry Christmas to you and yours, Roberta!

YeOldFurt said...

Merry Christmas Roberta.
YeOldFurt

Rev. Paul said...

Merry Christmas, Roberta. Thank you for keeping us informed. And remember that the 'shrinking circle' may include many who haven't met you in person, but consider themselves your friends anyway.

Lorimor said...

Good advice.

Merry Christmas!!

Timmeehh said...

Merry Xmas and/or Pagan ritual day to you.

reflectoscope said...

To no-one's complete surprise, Rev. Paul got what I was going to say.

Jim

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

RX!

Total non sequitir!

Have you seen this What is it? site?

I've been spending hours on it looking at the old tools and devices. It's right up your alley.

rickn8or said...

Merry Christmas, Roberta and Commenters. Prosperity to all y'all in 2010.

My birthday was the 19th; two days earlier as was my cousin's, and relatives MIGHT have felt guilty about the "Here's your birthday and Christmas present, too" swindle every year.

Hat Trick said...

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Sam said...

Happy hollandaise and a happy belated Festivus for the rest of us!

Airings and feats optional.

/kidding

One of my younger nieces' birthday is the 18th. She made out like a bandit this year, as per usual. I gave her a Barnes & Noble GC, and took her shopping to use it. She loves to read.

Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthful New Year to one and all!

farmist said...

Merry Christmas to the residents of Roseholme. Even tho' your father is no longer physically with you, I recommend celebrating the birthday in memoriam.

Assrot said...

I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Joe

Stranger said...

Well said. The 32in my HS graduating class have shrunk to 8. Of the 14 boys, war and accidents have taken 11.

Of the 18 girls, accidents and cancer have taken 10.

Still, I probably know more people now than I did in 1950, if the number I am close to has diminished. The years take their toll, and the friends of old live only in our memories.

Feliz Navidad to all

Stranger