It wasn’t a river. It was a pond. More of a slough.
But I did skate away on it.
As I sit here in the late hour on Christmas Eve, singing along with Sarah Mclachlan on the radio and admiring the lights of the tree bouncing off the ceiling, I’m reminded of what’s important about this season.
I’m reminded of the memories that stuck.
And it seems cliche because it was never about the presents.
It was about Christmas Eve at the farm.
Nan’s 5 lb fudge.
Aunt Pat’s homemade eggnog.
Aunt Lynn’s Christmas pudding with rum sauce.
It was about joking around with our cousins, usually at the expense of our parents.
It was about the layers of touques and mitts and snow pants over our dress clothes because we rode the Skidoo two fields down to Nan’s house. And nearly peed our pants when Dad gunned it up a hill and Mom fell over backwards off the toboggan. We were laughing so hard, we couldn’t help her up.
It was about Christmas morning pancakes, served by Grandpa O, who always called us ‘darling”.
It was about everyone gathered around the table at our house for turkey dinner.
And it was about skating on the slough with only the light of the stars and the snow — which has this strange way of generating its own light.
As I look at the presents under our tree, I remember the best gift I ever received: life with family on the farm.
Merry Christmas, everyone.