Every year my mother says, that she is not cooking for Christmas, so we all have to bring what we are eating. Every year my sister co-ordinates with my wife and sisters-in-law and everybody brings something. Every year my mother still cooks. Every year I regret that this event does not go on all day. It is the only day in the year when all my siblings gather in one place with their children and our mother. We open presents, have lunch, then head off to our other extended families for dinner, but every year during the few hours we are together, my mother’s old house shakes with such happy noise.
Every year one of my brothers comes after twelve noon. Every year my mother proclaims “We eatin’ without him. Come let’s bless de food.” Every year my cousin Raymond, drops by, but not to eat or drink, just to wish us Merry Christmas. Every year I overeat, and wonder if I will offend my mother-in-law if I don’t pile my plate up with even more food when I get to her house.
There are a lot of things I have come to expect with Christmas, but I never take them for granted. Every year I think of the many things that could have happened this year that would have taken the joy out of Christmas: unemployment, bereavement illness or some other form of loss. I thank the Father for his generosity and remember that “there but for the grace of God goes me.”
Every year I thank God for all that he has given to me.