lunedì 1 febbraio 2010

Christmas on crutches

Christmas can be memorable for different reasons; often culinary reasons, occasionally because of a gift, and almost always because of the people. One year my mom came over from Canada and spent a few weeks with us mostly cooped up in the house because of the weather doing a 4000 piece jigsaw puzzle that almost got the better of us in the end. That was also the year that part of the family wasn’t here Christmas Day but we had other friends over instead and really whipped up a storm of seafood dishes for the Christmas dinner instead of the usual stuffed turkey. Another year my sister Ann and her husband Bill came over from Canada after Christmas for ten days’ holiday and we took them on a whirlwind tour of Bergamo, Venice, Friuli, Valtellina, St. Moritz and Florence; hard to believe we actually did all that! Yet another year I was thoroughly fed up with having to do the whole Christmas thing here at our place in Rescaldina and our in-laws offered to have Christmas at their newly renovated apartment in the centre of Milan; though it was bitterly cold outside it was paradoxically also one of the hottest Christmas days we have ever spent with the heating working uncontrollably and the Zuliani hilarity was interspersed with the scream of ambulance sirens every so often inhibiting any kind of normal conversation. So what was so great about Christmas 2009? I am still pondering that. It was a Christmas marked by things we did NOT do. We did not get the gingerbread cookies baked and decorated in time to hang them on the tree, we really didn’t get much Christmas baking done at all, we did not attend any church service or mass, I did not get to one Christmas concert or show, we did not see any Christmas films and I did not read the kids any Christmas stories (not so much as even the Grinch or Rudolf the red-nosed reindeer) we did not put chocolates or presents in the advent calendar for the kids, nor did we have a Christmas treasure hunt, we didn’t make Christmas pudding or Christmas cake, and not only did the “presepio” (nativity scene) not get resurrected and refurbished this year, the Christmas figures didn’t even make it out of the box! Still, it was a Christmas that I will remember all the same. This is the Christmas I got a little taste of what it means to be disabled. And yes, let’s just use the word ‘disabled’ or ‘handicapped’ if you like, I don’t think the term ‘differently abled’ really applies here unless being able to push the flush button on the toilet with your crutch from a distance of two meters counts as some wonderful ability!! Zacky thinks that is dead funny, but still I don’t think it qualifies me! This was the Christmas that I couldn’t drive and therefore could not do all the running around shopping for presents, picking up little things for the kids stockings and other Santa type things that have to be done in great secret. This is the Christmas that Meli really took over decorating the Christmas tree and also discovered a talent for decorating gingerbread cookies. This is the Christmas I had to wait for DH to realize that Christmas was not going to happen if we didn’t get our act together - together! - and so it was probably the first time in years that we actually did Christmas shopping together. This is the Christmas I had to learn to let go and not worry about everything being perfectly Christmassy; the Christmas I had to let other people pitch in. And I guess that’s how I’ll remember it; Christmas on crutches.

1 commento:

  1. Obviously I'm a little behind in my reading ... just noticed this blog today -- and it gave me much greater insight into what your Christmas was like than any of the messages or telephone conversations that we may have had in the intervening time!!
    Hope by now your leg is truly healing.