Twas’ the day after Christmas

I think I am still here. I can’t feel my feet, and my eyes are about closed, but yes, I just hit myself with the vacuum cleaner, and it hurt! It must mean I am alive, after all!

The garbage cans are so full that I am sure my nice trash man will change professions after today. The washing machine refuses to accept any more detergent, and the dryer doesn’t remember how to stop.

Remnants of Christmas are scattered everywhere, along with cookie crumbs and Rice Krispies. Toddler toys are piled high in a child’s toy grocery cart, and a doll keeps telling me she loves me when I limp past her.

The Gendusa Family Christmas just happened. Life in our neighborhood may not be the same again. Cars filled the street, the dog ran away, and Jax, my seventeen-month-old grandson, wanted to run folks over with the pink grocery cart that belonged to his little girl cousin. It was amazing how fast he could run from her screams and outstretched arms as she tried to retrieve her cart.

All our blended family, complete with their broods, returned home to celebrate with us. Plus nieces, nephews, and wait, who was that guy? Maybe it was the policeman, someone called to the scene of our chaos! I think he decided to eat with us. Still trying to figure it out.

Today the house is quiet except for the dryer and the vacuum. My husband is exchanging gifts he really likes just to leave the house. I can’t believe I am alone! I might take a moment to brush my teeth and hair if I can locate the brushes.

I plan the Gendusa Christmas for months. Menus, gifts, desserts, and decorations that resemble some location at the North Pole abound. I realize it gets bigger yearly; today, I figured out why.

My oldest grandchild will soon enter her teens. She has always insisted on coming to Grandma’s house for the holidays. She adores her cousins and loves the new babies in our brood.

I am blessed that folks still want to come to this winter wonderland I create in celebration. It takes a lot of work to entice this crew, but it has always worked. Now, as the years slip by, I realize there might come a day when the house will be clean on December 26, and no one will need to call the police.

Jax will walk instead of run, and the nephews and nieces will be with their broods in some faraway place they call home.

If I could stop time on any given day, it would be Christmas. I would make each precious second turn into a minute, and Christmas day would last another day or two.

However, I know life goes at its own pace, and we all must adapt to it, but it is still a big adjustment when our lives change. That may be why we have cameras and memory to go back while moving forward.

I take nothing for granted, especially my children. Every day those children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews are a part of my world; I realize how much God loved me to let me be a part of their lives. What a gift!

When we gather at our table, laugh, chase the dog or the babies, or watch Rice Krispies fall from the sky onto the floor, I realize I am happiest amid the chaos.

Yes, the Gendusa Family Christmas will not be the same one day. And it will become a memory ingrained into those blessed to be a part of it.

I hope those who were here will carry our traditions forward to the generations that will follow. One day my soon-to-be teen granddaughter will be watching her soon-to-be teen, recalling Christmastime at Grandma’s winter wonderland.

She will tell her child about dinners when we sang the “Twelve Days of Christmas” out of tune and never got it perfect. She will try to explain the games played, the abundance of presents, and the three-tiered, candlelit cake celebrating the birth of Jesus. She will describe the laughter of her parents, her cousins, and babies that made Rice Krispies fall from the sky.

She will tell her child that Christmas is family, beautiful, and a gift no matter how tired she may be the day after.

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